Royal Caribbean has introduced electronic safety drills onto its app.
Muster 2.0 is a new programme which updates the cruise industry’s standard safety drill with a process that is more personal and promotes higher levels of safety, the company claimed.
The muster (or safety) drill—a mandatory operation for everybody on board at the beginning of each cruise – is designed to show guests where they should go in the unlikely event of an emergency, how to put on a life jacket and other safety measures.
This allows guests to complete the drill in their own time thanks to the new eMuster technology, which brings the safety information they need to their mobile devices via the Royal Caribbean app and stateroom TV.
Before the ship departs, every guest must then visit their designated assembly station where the crew can verify that they have completed the process.
Nick Weir, Royal Caribbean’s Senior Vice President of Entertainment, who was instrumental in developing Muster 2.0, said: ”The safety drill has always put a pause on the cruise experience, and felt like it could be more efficient. When I was a cruise director, I was responsible for the welcome party held on the first day—but also had to make the announcements for the drill. It always brought all the fun to a halt right when things were getting going.
“Technology naturally played a big part—location services on smartphones is essential, and a big team at Royal Caribbean came together to make it happen.
“Muster 2.0 changes the experience entirely. Previously, the safety drill meant having crowds of people going to the same space at the same time. Some may say many are just following others as opposed to actively finding and learning where their assembly station is located. And, in light of COVID-19, this approach can cause concern for other reasons.
Now we have a process that allows for physical distancing, which is so crucial today. Also, on the first day, guests are officially on vacation mode. We used to have to drive home all the safety information in a clunky, disruptive way. With this new programme, they can complete the process with more flexibility and speed.
What’s more, now going to your assembly station naturally integrates with exploring the ship—a notion reaffirmed by the more than 95% positive response from guests who participated in our first trials on ’Symphony of the Seas’ in January,” he said.