Code names from the bridge.


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#1
Littlehampton
318 Posts
Joined Jun 2012
We have just returned from a wonderful crossing on QM2. Whilst onboard there were, unfortunately, a number of medical emergencies (praying for speedy recoveries all round. Obviously, won’t ever know details) I know that some onboard events are labelled with a code word and on one morning my husband and I are sure we heard ‘this is the bridge - fanfare, fanfare, fanfare’. Did we hear it right? If so, what does it mean? We tried googling it but to no avail. On a similar note- with a 2am tannoy call for a medical response team to go to the medical centre, do the necessary team not have pagers? (I am absolutely not complaining, just intrigued at the workings of the ship)


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#2
1,296 Posts
Joined Oct 2009
I only know of:

Code Alpha (medical emergency)
Code Alpha Tango (accident/trauma)
Assessment Team to...... (firefighting team)

The general crew alert is a high pitched whistle and all previously assigned crew must immediately don their yellow hats and tops, put on black trousers,, wear their life jacket and get to their appointed station asap. (My daughter was emergency announcer on Ventura)

Stewart
#3
Iowa
1,867 Posts
Joined Mar 2010
The only thing I can think of that sounds like "fanfare, fanfare, fanfare" is the radio alert message "pan-pan, pan-pan, pan-pan" to announce a situation that is urgent but not yet serious enough to warrant a distress call of "mayday, mayday, mayday". Such a message would be sent via the ship's radio to alert other ships in the area or shore stations of the situation. I wasn't aware it would be announced thoughout the ship to alert the entire crew. But then I'm a novice about such matters, so I can't say for sure.
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#5
Brooklyn, NY, USA
894 Posts
Joined Mar 2009
I know sailing on the QE2 in the past I found terms that were verified by crew/staff that we knew that were used.


"Niagara, Niagara, Niagara" - A flooding situation on the ship followed by the location
"Starlight, Starlight, Starlight" - A Medical Emergency Team to Respond followed by the location


We witnessed these terms several times and seeing crew heading to the incident locations.


With Luck we have not heard "terms" on board the QM2 during the 5 times we sailed in the past.
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#6
Canada
61 Posts
Joined Jun 2018
Originally posted by bluemarble
The only thing I can think of that sounds like "fanfare, fanfare, fanfare" is the radio alert message "pan-pan, pan-pan, pan-pan" to announce a situation that is urgent but not yet serious enough to warrant a distress call of "mayday, mayday, mayday". Such a message would be sent via the ship's radio to alert other ships in the area or shore stations of the situation. I wasn't aware it would be announced thoughout the ship to alert the entire crew. But then I'm a novice about such matters, so I can't say for sure.
There are three such messages used in radio-telephone communications:
Sécurité (Safety)
Pan-Pan (Urgency)
Mayday (Distress)
They would not be announced over the ship's Public Address (PA) system.
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#7
2,360 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
Originally posted by MawganTr
I know that some onboard events are labelled with a code word and on one morning my husband and I are sure we heard ‘this is the bridge - fanfare, fanfare, fanfare’.


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Could it possibly have been an alert for the gay members of the crew to theatre practise?
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#8
Melbourne, FL
9,049 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
all cruise ship use code words to alert the crew to 'situations'

these code words are not standardized ... each line is free to develop their own system. There are commonalities often tied to other typical references. One trained in fire fighting knows what an ALPHA class fire is ... hence ALPHA is often a fire emergency. Man overboard is signaled by the OSCAR flag in the International Code of {flag} Signals hence, OSCAR is often the code for a man overboard .....

When USCG inspects and tests cruise ships for safety procedures the use of codes is permitted and encouraged but no 'standard system' is forced. What is evaluated is the promptness of getting word of the issue to the appropriate crew for response. On the other hand, as another post mentioned, international convention for communications by radio at sea DOES specify certain 'code phrases' such as "security" "pan" and MAYDAY ...... these ARE international standard terms in the radio communication world but becoming less and less used today as ship communications move to satellite based systems. In the same way that few recognize ... --- ... as a distress signal today (that's morse code for SOS which was sent by TITANIC by radio telegraph calling for help)
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#9
184 Posts
Joined May 2018
Originally posted by Capt_BJ
all cruise ship use code words to alert the crew to 'situations'
Everywhere uses codes to alert the staff and not disturb the customers. Calls for "Inspector Sands" to report to a location at UK railway stations, a "Time Check" in some retail stores, and if you hear a cleaner called for a "Code 3" on the London Underground, I would give it a miss.