Royal Caribbean Introduces a New Way to Attend the Muster Drill
Royal Caribbean Group has announced that they are replacing one of the least-loved but most important parts of a cruise vacation — the safety drill — with Muster 2.0.
The first-of-its-kind program reimagines a process, originally designed for large groups of people, into a faster, more personal approach. With Muster 2.0, the key elements of the muster drill, including reviewing what to expect, where to go in case of an emergency, and how to properly use a life jacket, will be accessible to passengers using technology called eMuster. This new technology will be used to help provide information to travelers via their mobile devices and interactive stateroom TVs.
How it Works
Guests can review the information on their own time prior to setting sail, eliminating the need for a large group assembly. After reviewing the safety information, passengers complete the drill by visiting their assigned assembly station, where a crew member will verify that all steps have been completed and answer any questions that the passenger may have. As is familiar with traditional muster drills, each of the steps will need to be completed prior to the ship’s departure as required by international maritime law.
“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and crew are our number one priority, and the development of this new muster process is an elegant solution to an outdated, unpopular process,” said Richard Fain, chairman and CEO, Royal Caribbean Group.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.”
A Year in the Making
This marks the first dramatic change to the safety drill process in a decade, since Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas moved life jackets from guest cabins to the muster stations, which improved the evacuation process and has been widely followed throughout the industry. More than a year in the making even before the COVID-19 pandemic caused businesses to look at spacing and large groups of people differently, Muster 2.0 is now an initiative that will be part of the comprehensive set of protocols and procedures Royal Caribbean Group is developing along with the Healthy Sail Panel that was recently assembled in collaboration with Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd.
“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.”
The electronically distributed muster for ocean-going vessels concept is patented in the United States and is patent-pending in major markets around the world. The company has worked with international regulators, the U.S. Coast Guard, and other maritime and government authorities to ensure it meets all safety requirements.
In addition to introducing the new process its own cruise lines Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, and Azamara, Royal Caribbean Group is offering to license the patented technology to interested cruise operators and will waive patent license fees during the time the world and industry battle the global pandemic. Patent licenses have already been granted to the company’s joint venture TUI Cruises, as well as Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. which is the parent company of Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, and Regent Seven Seas Cruises.
Muster 2.0 was first tested on Symphony of the Seas in January 2020. Passengers who took part in the mock process indicated a strong preference for the new approach and reported better comprehension and retention of the safety information.
Join the discussion
How do you feel about this shift in how the safety drill is performed? Do you think it will be as memorable and effective?