Anyone who has been on a cruise has participated in the muster drill in which crewmembers give passengers instructions on what to do in the event of a maritime emergency. These drills are required by law and are conducted in order to help ensure passenger safety. But despite its noble cause, the muster drill is likely one of the least pleasant aspects of any cruise vacation. And in an age of the coronavirus pandemic it is not recommended that cruise lines call all passengers to the deck of the ship to stand in large groups. Now, Royal Caribbean has devised a way to make the muster drill process more palatable and less crowded.
ThePointsGuy.com reports that in a new process called Muster 2.0, Royal Caribbean passengers will be able to review safety information on a cabin TV or their mobile device. Then they will report to their muster stations where a crew member will ensure that they have completed all the necessary steps and answer any questions the passengers may have.
This process will allow passengers to complete the drills as required by law and simultaneously limit the size of crowds on the deck.
In a statement Royal Caribbean's chairman and CEO Richard Fain said that the changes are meant to help increase safety aboard the ships. “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.” he said.
With the coronavirus pandemic showing no signs of abating, the typical muster drill would be untenable. But while Royal Caribbean's measures may help prevent the kind of grouping that muster drills historically have required, it is still not clear how these new measures will work in practice.