Royal Caribbean Implements New Safety Drill 

It’s the least exciting, but most necessary part of any cruise vacation; the muster drill. We’ve heard a lot about safety-first cruising lately, and it appears Royal Caribbean Group is taking that seriously. The Muster 2.0™ is a mobile and smart tv service on board the ship where guests learn what needs to be done in case of emergency.

In the age of social distancing, a large gathering event like a muster drill simply isn’t an option. Royal Caribbean is using guest’s own smart devices like phones and interactive stateroom TVs to deliver information in ways people are comfortable engaging with. Royal Caribbean is calling this new technology eMuster™ and will be available on all Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara ships moving forward. 

What is Muster 2.0?

Guests will review what to expect and where to go in case of an emergency, and even learn instructions on how to properly use a life jacket instead of a group approach that has been followed on Royal Caribbean cruise ships in the past. 

“The health and safety of our guests and crew are our number one priority, and the development of this new muster process is an elegant solution to an outdated, unpopular process,” said Richard Fain, chairman and CEO, Royal Caribbean Group. “The fact that this will also save guests time and allow the ship to operate without pause means that we can increase health, safety and guest satisfaction simultaneously.”

After reviewing safety information individually, guests will complete the drill by visiting their assigned assembly station, where a crew member will verify that all steps have been completed and answer questions. Each of the steps will need to be completed prior to the ship’s departure, as required by international maritime law.

Healthy Sail Panel 

The press release also stated that patents have been granted to use the technology on board TUI Cruises GmbH, as well as Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd., the parent company of Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises. 

“I’d like to extend my congratulations to Royal Caribbean Group on this innovative milestone. It’s exactly what our industry needs during these unprecedented times and we appreciate the generous offer to participate in this innovation,” said Frank Del Rio, President and CEO, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. “In this industry, we all work cooperatively to enhance health and safety, and this is an example of that.”

Earlier this month, Royal Caribbean Group and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings announced a collaboration with leading public health experts to oversee new protocols for cruising. The redesign of the tradition muster drill is now one of those new protocols. 

“This new process represents the kind of innovation that the Healthy Sail Panel is focusing on as part of its mission to enhance the health and safety of cruising,” said former Utah Gov. Mike Leavitt, co-chair of the Healthy Sail Panel. “It shows that we can accomplish a lot if we try to think outside the box on safety.” 

Before the COVD-19 pandemic, Muster 2.0 was tested on Royal Caribbean’s Symphony of the Seas in January 2020. Guests who took part in the mock process indicated a strong preference for the new approach and also reported better comprehension and retention of the safety information.

What do you think about making safety virtual? Do you think you’d be better able to understand the instructions when received electronically? We want to hear from you!