Royal Caribbean Group Introduces Electronic Safety Drill To Avoid Cruise Ship Crowds
Muster 2.0 will replace the safety drill, where passengers generally gather in large groups at different points around the ship, with a process that cruisers can complete on their own time before the ship sails. Known as eMuster, the process starts with passengers reviewing safety information either on their own mobile devices or on their in-stateroom interactive TVs. These electronic briefings include what to expect during and emergency and where to go, as well as the proper way to use life jackets.
People then visit their assigned assembly stations, where crew members verify that all steps have been completed and scan the passengers' keycard to complete the process.
All of the steps must be finished before the ship sets sail, to comply with international maritime safety laws. The law requires cruise lines to take a hard line with muster drill completion; every passenger must be checked off as having gone through the briefing before the ship is allowed to leave port.
The technology solves a major crowding issue for the cruise lines in the COVID-19 era. Muster drills, which are very unpopular with passengers who are either unpacking or enjoying their first drinks onboard, can be fairly chaotic as people fill stairways and elevators to get to their stations. Crew members often have to compete with pre-vacation excitement and passenger noise to be heard.
Muster 2.0 was first tested on Symphony of the Seas in January, well before the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the cruise industry. "Guests who took part in the trial run indicated a strong preference for the new approach and reported better comprehension and retention of the safety information," the company said.