Besides the regular Safety Training (Weekly compulsory crew drills, Safety Training Sessions, Passenger Drills) there is another Safety schedule in place, which will effect your daily/weekly routine – the In Port Manning.
While a cruise ship is at sea, all crew members are onboard and everyone has their assigned duty, in case of an emergency.
All positions in the safety plan are very important. One key job is the evacuation from all passengers and crew out of the cabins in the effected area – or in case of a bigger problem, the evacuation of passengers and crew from all cabins.
While the ship is in port, crew members who are not on duty are normally free to go ashore and enjoy their time off. In order to ensure the safety and coverage of all positions while the ship is docked, a port manning plan is in place.
In the unlikely event of an emergency, the evacuation of all passengers and crew would mean that all people are taken off the ship, onto the pier and a roll-call would be performed there, to ensure everyone is accounted for.
Each cruise line handles the organization of the in port manning plan a little differently. However, there always need to be enough crew onboard – and the safety positions need to be defined as such - that a complete check of all passenger and crew cabins can be performed at any time.
This means, that you might be off duty, while the ship is docked in a port, but you are not allowed to go ashore, because you are on in port manning (IPM). You are basically on your safety duty.
Some cruise lines allow you to swap with your co-workers (which might be on duty anyway, or do not wish to go ashore), others schedule the port manning according to the work schedule or vice versa. Others have a port manning in place and the department heads try to get the work schedule to match the port manning.
Most likely, your in port manning duties will be different from your regular safety duties but you will learn all about the safety onboard your ship, in the regular safety meetings which are held on a weekly basis.