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Reinventing the muster drill

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Royal Caribbean has a solution for the muster drill congestion problem. Muster 2.0 has been in development for over a year. This new technology will allow passengers to complete the muster drill without disrupting their vacation prior to the ship’s departure, in accordance with 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and crew are our number one priority, and the development of this new muster process is an elegant solution to an outdated, unpopular process,” said Richard Fain, chairman and CEO, Royal Caribbean Group.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.” 

“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.”

Passengers will be able to access the information an individual basis instead of 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. Passengers will be able to review the information prior to setting sail, eliminating the need for the traditional large group assemblies. The new approach also enables everyone on board to maintain better spacing as guests move about the ship. 

After reviewing the safety information individually, guests will complete the drill by visiting their assigned assembly station, where a crew member will confirm that all steps have been completed and answer questions.

This is the first dramatic change to the safety drill process in a decade. Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas removed the life jackets from guest staterooms to the muster stations, which improved the evacuation process and has been widely followed throughout the industry. 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 that was recently assembled in collaboration with Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd.

Royal Caribbean Group is offering to license the patented technology to interested cruise operators and will waive patent license fees during the time the world and industry battle the global pandemic. Patent licenses have already been granted to the company’s joint venture, TUI Cruises GmbH, as well as Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd., the parent company of Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises.

Muster 2.0 was first tested on Royal Caribbean’s Symphony of the Seas in January 2020. Guests who took part in the mock process indicated a strong preference for the new approach and also reported better comprehension and retention of the safety information.


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