Royal Caribbean Group has announced that it is to replace one of the least-loved but most important elements of a cruise holiday – the muster drill an entirely new approach.
The innovative Muster 2.0™ program will be the first of its kind and will reimagine a safety process originally designed for large groups of people into something faster, more personal and developed to encourage higher safety levels in light of the recent pandemic.
Muster 2.0 will make the key elements of the safety drill – including reviewing what to expect and where to go in case of an emergency, and instructions on how to properly use a life jacket – accessible to guests on an individual basis, rather than the group approach that has been followed historically. New technology, eMuster™, will be used to help provide the information to guests via their mobile devices and interactive stateroom TVs, with travellers able to review the information at their own leisure prior to setting sail, removing the need for the traditional large group assemblies we’ve come to expect from the traditional muster drill. The new approach will naturally maintain better spacing as guests move about the ship and takes away the disruption usually experienced pre-sailaway.
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 any questions. 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and crew are our number one priority, and the development of this new muster process is an elegant solution to an outdated, unpopular process,” said Richard Fain, chairman and CEO, Royal Caribbean Group.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.”
The introduction of Muster 2.0 marks the first dramatic change to the safety drill process in a decade, since Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas moved the life jackets from guest staterooms to the muster stations, which improved the evacuation process and has been widely followed throughout the industry. More than a year in the making, Muster 2.0 is also 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 recently assembled in collaboration with Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd.
“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.”
“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.”
Muster 2.0 was first tested on Royal Caribbean’s Symphony of the Seas in January. Guests who took part in the mock process indicated a strong preference for the new approach and also reported better understanding and retention of the safety information.