Muster drills? How do the different lines conduct?

When we took our first cruise in the 90's, everyone went out their respective muster stations (near the life boats), with the life vests, and went through the drill guided by the crew. The past couple of years, sailing with RCL and Celebrity we haven't had to bring vests to the drill. Instead, went to muster stations (inside) and watched the safety video at the muster station. Is this the new industry standard for drills?

Tags: muster drills?

25 Answers

Carnival no longer requires you to take your life jacket to the safety drill, but you still must go to your muster station (which may be a lounge rather than near the life boats). We also did not need the jackets on Princess. So, perhaps the drills are becoming more streamlined... but still done!

Celebrity doesn't require you to take your life jacket either, but they do require you to go to the Muster Station. They even check you in when you arrive at the Muster Station so that they can be sure that everyone onboard the ship attends. They also require you to bring your Sea Pass card so they can find your room number to highlight you out.

Muster drills can be a pain though necessary. Dislike having to stand outside in a crowded, humid , enclosed area. Would prefer a lounge area for the briefing.

I believe the muster station is pretty much set by the coast guard rather than the cruise lines.

The rules state that the muster station must be in an area closest to the lifeboat with unimpeded access to the lifeboat. Many of the older ships lack the unimpeded access but have plenty of room on the boat deck -- therefore the musters are held outside. The newer ships have shrunk the boat deck relative to the expanded passenger base and are therefore not big enough to muster the passengers on deck, but do have unimpeded access (ie more doors leading to the deck) from the theater, ballroom and lounges -- therefore the musters are inside.

I think most lines have gone to not having to bring the life vest down for the briefing.

That's correct BD, NCL has em inside in the theatre, no jacket required. Havent stood outside in ages...once upon a time we happened to be passing the library and she had her cane. because we were "exploring" first day and all, don't remember the ship.....a ships "waif" (she was a tiny Asian and looked like she was about 12 years old..some o you boyz remember the type) told us in her pidgin it was ok to sit in there...I guess she figured wife was incapable of going anywhere...hardly true...let her spot a sale online or in the paper and...I digress...point is we spent the muster drill sitting in the ships library...not bad atall….. does wonder of what value any of that is in case of a true emergency...smoke, mebbe fire, ship mebbe listing...about 4000 passengers milling around, most of the crew about as much use as the proverbial rubber crutch....some folks might do ok, depending on how bad their attitude is....

Muster drills are a requirement that all cruise lines must do. They have a time requirement to be done within a set time of departure so that everyone knows where to go when \ if there is a problem. Great plan but in the event of a problem chaos usually is the order of the day.

Old infantry adage "the plan goes to s___t as soon as soon as the first shot is fired.." (or before actually hehheh)

Holland America does not require lift jackets either. You must gather at your assigned muster station. Crew check off everyone and then the captain makes the announcement about what we're doing and what to expect in a real emergency. It's only a few minutes long.

Judging from the number of guests who are confused when attempting to put on their life jackets during our voyages over the years I question whether or not it is wise to assume folks are going to be able to complete this task during the heat of a real emergency. I used to have a lot to do with firefighting. During inspections I would ask the crew if they were proficient in the use of "Air Pacs" (self contained breathing apparatus). They would inevitably respond in the affirmative. So I would say, "put them on right now". Almost every time some of the firefighters would blow it. The rules used to say, when going to the muster station, "do not put your life jacket on until later but carry it to the station". We used to laugh at the number of clowns who would have them on with the cords dragging on the deck behind them on the way there.

That's why I said here and in another thread that only folks with attitudes (and some real training) just MIGHT survive on a cruise ship (or elsewhere) in a real emergency..Almost any kind of training will have to LEARN to keep cool to do what needs to be done to get you and yours to safety.....I say might because a modicum of luck is a requirement. Its an ugly scenario regardless....


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