Royal Caribbean Group has revealed plans to replace the traditional muster drill with a new digitised version, offering a “faster, more personal approach” with “higher levels of safety”.
The company’s Muster 2.0 programme “reimagines” key elements of the process - including reviewing what to expect and where to go in case of an emergency, and instructions on how to properly use a life jacket - made accessible to guests on an individual basis instead of a group approach.
New technology, eMuster, will be used to help provide the information to guests via their mobile devices and interactive stateroom TVs.
Holidaymakers will be able to review the information at their own time prior to setting sail, eliminating the need for the traditional large group assemblies.
The new approach also enables everyone onboard to maintain better spacing as guests move about the ship.
After reviewing safety information individually, guests will complete the drill by visiting their assigned assembly station, where a crew member will check all steps have been completed and answer questions.
Each of the steps will need to be completed prior to the ship’s departure, as required by international maritime law.
In addition to introducing the new process on the ships of its own cruise lines - Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara - Royal Group is offering to license the patented technology to interested cruise operators and waive license fees as the industry works through the Covid-19 pandemic.
Patent licenses have already been granted to the company’s joint venture, Tui Cruises GmbH, as well as Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd – parent of Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises.
Muster 2.0 was first tested onboard Symphony of the Seas in January.
Royal Group chair and chief executive Richard Fain said: “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and crew are our number one priority, and the development of this new muster process is an elegant solution to an outdated, unpopular process.
"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.”
Jay Schnider, senior vice-president of digital, added: “Muster 2.0 represents a natural extension of our mission to improve our guests’ holiday experiences by removing points of friction.
“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.”