Lifeguards will not monitor pools on cruise ships departing Australia this wave season, despite Disney and Princess Cruises hiring lifeguards on foreign cruises.

Disney began using lifeguards on its ships in 2013, while Princess is currently advertising for lifeguards on its Asian cruises.

Carnival, P&O and Royal Caribbean have no plans to introduce the pool lifeguards on their ships.

A Carnival Australia spokesman told Cruise Passenger: “The safety and wellbeing of our guests are always our first priority. We constantly review onboard operations to further enhance passenger safety and comfort across all areas including the operation of onboard swimming pools with safety advice for guests and crew vigilance integral to this approach. With Princess Cruises’ expansion into China, a decision was made to have swimming pool monitors in Asia where widespread proficiency in swimming is far less likely than in other regions.”

An RCI representative said: “Royal Caribbean does not have lifeguards by our pools. Signs are always posted that warn passengers to swim at their own risk, similar to what is found at many hotels. We have provided our fleet with children’s lifejackets available at the pool area as an added safety precaution. We still strongly recommend that children not be in the pool area unsupervised.”

The P&O guide to pool safety states: “On P&O Cruises any child using the pools must be supervised by a parent/ guardian at all times”.

The debate about lifeguards flared again following the death earlier this month of an eight-year-old boy, Prince Adepoju, after an incident aboard Royal Caribbean’s Anthem of the Seas. There have been a number of fatalities and near-drownings on cruise ships in recent years.

One Princess Cruises advertisements reads: “Be the Consummate Host and delight our passengers by monitoring and operating all water-based recreation facilities including, opening, closing and monitoring the safety and volume of the swimming pool and general activities around the pool areas including environmental issues. Assist with investigating any medical situations or security matters that may arise, and promptly report to Deck and Medical and work with Security team to correct any Security issues in order to maintain a safe and secure shipboard environment …”

The employee is charged with “monitoring the pool areas” and “keeping pool areas clean”, and “efficiently and calmly reacts to incidents where any individual may be in need of minor first aid or lifesaving actions (prior to the medical team’s attendance)”.

What do you think? Should there be lifeguards stationed at all pools on cruise ships?