Royal Caribbean has completely reinvented their muster drill and will be launching Muster 2.0 with brand new eMuster technology.

This means the least favourite part of any cruise will now take place online in your own time, rather than standing on deck with a bright orange life jacket with hundreds of other passengers.

It is, perhaps, the only silver lining to appear in the COVID-19 cloud.

must drillCruise lines usually try and sweeten the pill of getting all passengers on deck with the captain’s cocktail party straight afterwards – but it really doesn’t matter. Milling around while the crew waves numbered signs and point to the tiny rescue craft that we all rely on to save our lives is hardly the brightest start to a holiday.

Now all the drill information will be made available to you via your mobile phone or interactive stateroom TV. You will then have a leisurely four-hour window in which to complete the safety drill, eliminating the need for large group assemblies.

Here’s how Royal Caribbean are going to do it:

  1. Use your mobile phone or TV to review all safety information and acknowledge completion.
  2. Physically go and visit your assigned assembly station and scan in using your stateroom key.
  3. Whilst you are there, a crew member will verify that all safety information has been completed and answer any questions you may have.
  4. Use your mobile phone or TV to listen to the emergency signal, which will be played again by the ship’s captain before the ship sets sail.

This marks the first major change to a safety drill in over 10 years – social distancing sparked the hunt for a solution.

Richard Fain, chairman and CEO, Royal Caribbean Group said: “The development of this new muster process is an elegant solution to an outdated, unpopular process”.

Muster 2.0 represents a natural extension of our mission to improve our guests’ vacation experiences by removing points of friction,” said Jay Schneider, Royal Caribbean Group’s senior vice president of digital. “In this instance, what’s most convenient for our guests is also the safest option in light of needing to reimagine social spaces in the wake of COVID-19.”

Royal Caribbean will be implementing the new process on the ships of its own cruise lines including Celebrity Cruises and Azamara and are offering to waive patent license fees to other cruise lines as the world battles the pandemic.

Expect others to follow.