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What to expect with Royal Caribbean's new virtual safety drill

13 Nov 2021
Jenna DeLaurentis

One big change that Royal Caribbean has implemented this year is Muster 2.0. Otherwise known as eMuster, this is a streamlined and digital upgrade to the traditional muster drill.

The muster drill is a mandatory safety briefing during which passengers learn where to go and what to do in case of an emergency onboard. The drill must be completed by all passengers on the first day of a cruise before the ship can depart.

Prior to the cruise shutdown, the muster drill was an activity many passengers disliked. Passengers had to gather at their muster station at the same time as everyone else in their group. This often led to large crowds and a lot of waiting around outside in uncomfortable temperatures.

Muster 2.0 is a new and improved hybrid model, completed partly on the Royal Caribbean app (or stateroom television) and partly in-person at your designated assembly station. It is a quick, flexible, and stress-free experience.

If you haven’t been on a cruise yet this year, it’s important to know when and how to complete the new emuster drill. After all, you don’t want to be that one passenger who is delaying the ship’s departure!

Here’s what you can expect when doing the emuster drill on your next cruise.

What to do first: Download the Royal Caribbean App

The first step to completing Muster 2.0 is to make sure you have the Royal Caribbean app downloaded on your smartphone. Royal Caribbean’s app is free and is available on both iOS and Android devices.

After the app is downloaded, login to your Royal Caribbean account. You should see your next sailing appear on the app. Once on the main page, select the safety button in the bottom left corner. This will take you to the page where you can begin the emuster drill.

No smartphone?

If you do not have a smartphone, you can complete all necessary Muster 2.0 steps on the television in your stateroom once you get onboard.

Keep in mind that you could download the Royal Caribbean app on a tablet as well.

Muster 2.0 Steps

On the safety page within the app, you will see three steps that you must complete. Next to each step, you will see a box that says “incomplete”. As you complete each step, each box will change from “incomplete” to “complete”.

Step one: Watch the short safety video

The first step on the emuster drill is to watch a short, animated safety video demonstrating how to properly put on a lifejacket. At the end, you click on a checkbox next to your name to confirm that you have watched the video.

Step two: Listen to the emergency horn

If there is an emergency onboard, you will hear a very loud, high-pitched beeping sound. The emergency horn on Royal Caribbean ships consists of seven short beeping noises followed by one long noise. It is important to know what the horn sounds like so that you are aware of an emergency should the horn blast through the cruise ship’s speakers.

To complete this step, simply press the blue play button in the “Emergency horn” box. Make sure your phone’s audio levels aren’t up all the way as the emergency horn can be quite loud.

Step three: Locate and visit your assembly station

Step three of the emuster drill differs from the first two steps in that it requires going to your assembly station onboard the ship.

After you’ve listened to the emergency horn, scroll down to the box that says “Visit Assembly Station” and click “Find on deck”. A deck plan of the ship will pop up showing you exactly where your assembly station is located.

With your phone in hand (or SeaPass card if you do not have a smartphone), go to your assembly station. If you need help locating your assembly station, simply ask one of the crew members.

Once you arrive at the assembly station, a crew member will give you a very brief safety demonstration. After this is done, they will scan your SeaPass, indicating that you have completed the emuster drill.

It’s a good idea to double check that all steps on the app’s safety page have been marked as complete. Once you see a green “complete” box next to each step, you have successfully completed the emuster drill.

How to do Muster 2.0 with children

Children also have to complete the emuster drill, although the process is a little different for them. When an adult in the cabin watches the safety video and listens to the emergency horn, the children in that cabin are automatically considered to have completed those steps too.

Children must also accompany the adults in their cabin to the assembly station to have their SeaPass cards scanned, indicating that they have completed the emuster drill.

Royal Caribbean also has a safety section for children located at the bottom of the safety page on the app or on the stateroom television. It is called “Learn about safety with Lulu & Mika” and goes over the safety information in a fun, cartoon-style video.

The video is not mandatory to watch, but may be helpful to give children a better idea of what to expect in an emergency situation.

When to do the Muster 2.0

In the weeks leading up to your cruise, you may be eager to get everything done ahead of time. You can watch the safety video and listen to the emergency horn at any time on the app, but unless you see the “Incomplete” box next to each step, the muster drill has not officially opened for your sailing yet.

You will receive a notification on your phone when you can start working on the steps of the emuster drill. If you don’t receive a notification, simply check the day before your sailing to see if the emuster drill is available.

A good idea is to complete the first two steps of the emuster drill the night before your cruise so that all you have to do once onboard is go to your assembly station. You can even choose to do this immediately after boarding so that you are done with the emuster drill within the first few minutes of being on the ship.

Whatever you do, don’t forget to do the emuster drill! Some passengers may be so excited to explore the ship or grab a drink by the pool that they completely forget about it. The ship will not leave port until all passengers have completed every step.

Royal Caribbean is constantly working to improve the cruise experience for its guests, and Muster 2.0 is no exception. What used to be an experience many passengers disliked doing on the first day of a cruise is now an easy, straightforward process that will allow your vacation to begin without any hassle.

Jenna DeLaurentis enjoys exploring new ports of call around the world on a cruise ship, learning about new cultures, discovering beautiful landscapes, and trying diverse cuisine. She loves to get active while at port, whether cycling through mountains in the Caribbean or scuba diving under the sea.

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