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

13 Nov 2021

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.

Royal Caribbean announces electronic muster drill on its cruise ships

24 Jul 2020

Royal Caribbean announced a new way for guests to conduct the cruise ship safety drill by digital app, which will help with promoting social distancing onboard.

Known as Muster 2.0, the cruise line revealed its plans on Friday to implement a new way to conduct the mandatory guests safety drill, known as the muster drill. 

The rollout of these reimagined safety drills will debut in Germany this week on board Royal Caribbean Group’s joint venture, TUI Cruises GmbH, and continue in Royal Caribbean Group’s return to service. 

In order to comply with maritime law, passengers on an ocean-going vessel must be aware of what to do for a response to an emergency condition onboard.

How it works

With Muster 2.0, the new tech will be used to help provide the information to guests via their mobile devices and interactive stateroom TVs.

Travelers will be able to review the information at their own time prior to setting sail, eliminating the need for the traditional large group assemblies. 

After reviewing safety information individually, guests will complete the drill by visiting their assigned assembly station, where a crew member will verify that 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.

One on the cruise ship, guests have a set time (indicated by a timer in the app) during which muster drill must be completed by all of the passengers and, in response, a message is transmitted to each mobile device that the muster drill has commenced.

As well, subsequent to a lapsing of the timer, a listing is displayed of any passenger not recorded as having completed the muster drill.

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.

Solving a problem

For many cruise passengers, the muster drill is viewed as a necessary annoyance.

Traditionally, in the context of a passenger cruise ship, a muster drill is performed at the beginning of the cruise before the cruise ship departs or shortly thereafter. During the muster drill, each individual passenger reports to an assigned muster station—a specific location on the vessel. A crew member then confirms the presence of each passenger expected to be present at the specific location during the muster drill so that all passengers may be accounted for in the event of an actual emergency and a resultant actual muster.

Further, the muster drill can be confusing for some—particularly the elderly and children—both of whom often require additional assistance locating and moving towards assigned muster stations.

For crew members, trying to perform the drill with thousands of guests may create unnecessary confusion or missed opportunities to educate and inform, in light of the ultimate goal.

Moreover, an electronic muster drill would potentially allow guests to conduct the safety drill at their leisure during the first day, and while maintaining proper social distancing. 

The inventor of Muster 2.0 is Royal Caribbean's Senior Vice President of Entertainment, Nick Weir, who is listed as the inventor on the patent with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Royal Caribbean applied for a patent on the concept in September 2019, and the application was granted on March 3, 2020.

An innovation for everyone

Despite Muster 2.0 being a proprietary invention of Royal Caribbean 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.

Royal Caribbean adds safety muster information to app

07 Jun 2020

Could this be one aspect of Royal Caribbean's rumored eMuster functionality?

Royal Caribbean has added a new feature on its app, "Learn about safety at sea" that lists the safety information for guests that is usually given during a traditional safety muster drill.

The app includes a video for watching how to put on a life jacket, what to do and what not to do during an emergency, youth evacuation instructions and assembly station information.

The new feature comes a few months after Royal Caribbean filed a trademark application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office for "EMUSTER". This lead many to speculate that Royal Caribbean might be considering a change to the required safety drill at the beginning of every sailing.

Royal Caribbean has not commented publicly on the trademark, nor on if they have any plans to change the safety drill.

In its traditional form, the muster drill involves all guests reporting to their assembly stations and being lined up closely together to hear and see the safety demonstration of what to do in casy of an emergency.

An electronic muster drill would potentially allow guests to conduct the safety drill at their leisure during the first day, and while maintaining proper social distancing. 

Thanks to RoyalCaribbeanBlog readers FionaMG and CGTLH for spotting this change.

Royal Caribbean offers an app for free to its guests that is available from the iTunes App Store and Google Play Store.

Royal Caribbean files trademark for possible electronic muster drills

25 Apr 2020

Royal Caribbean has filed a trademark application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office for "EMUSTER".

The trademark potentially indicates a move by the cruise like to moving towards electronic muster drills.


It is important to note that trademark applications do not necessarily correlate with actual policy or procedural changes.

No other information was included with the trademark beyond the name, but it certainly fosters a certain level of intrigue.

The muster drill is a compulsory drill required of all guests to gather in designated areas around the ship in order to understand where to go and what to do in the case of a real emergency.

Currently, the muster drill involves large groups of guests lining up in close proximity to each other while being counted and briefed on what to expect in the case of an emergency.

Much like Royal Caribbean's recent trademark filing for "SEAFACE" mask, this could be another change the cruise line is preparing for resuming cruise service once the voluntary global cruise suspension ends.

In the last week, Royal Caribbean has filed trademarks for "SEAFACE", "TOUCHLESS", "CRUISE SAFE", "EMUSTER", and "ROYAL PROMISE".

Royal Caribbean debuts new muster drill safety video

01 Jun 2017

Guests aboard Royal Caribbean ships can look forward to seeing a new film during muster drill.

Cruise Critic spotted a new safety film that evokes a secret agent vibe that guests can watch in their stateroom prior to the mandatory safety drill that takes place before the ship can sail away.

The film is named "Operation: Little Bear," and will roll out to Royal Caribbean's fleet in June.

Guests aboard Oasis of the Seas reported seeing the film already as recently as last week.

Royal Caribbean to add lifeguards to its cruise ships

27 Feb 2017

Royal Caribbean will add lifeguards to all of its cruise ships in an effort to improve onboard water safety.

Cruise Critic reported the change, which will see Royal Caribbean add licensed lifeguards that are trained through a partner company, StarGuard Elite. At least one lifeguard will be stationed at every pool (including the Solarium) during all open hours, and will be noticeably visible in bright red and white uniforms. All have been hired specifically as lifeguards and will not serve in any other role onboard.

In addition, Royal Caribbean will present a 15-minute water safety presentation during the Adventure Ocean open house session on embarkation day. 

The lifeguards and water safety program will be deployed to all of Royal Caribbean's cruise ships over the next four months. The program debuted on Oasis of the Seas this week, and will be added to 14 ships by mid-April.  All remaining cruise shops will have lifeguards added by June 15.

  • Oasis of the Seas: February 26-March 5
  • Harmony of the Seas: March 7-11
  • Independence of the Seas: March 11-16
  • Anthem of the Seas: March 11-14
  • Liberty of the Seas: March 12-19
  • Freedom of the Seas: March 22-29
  • Allure of the Seas: March 23-26
  • Brilliance of the Seas: March 24-30
  • Quantum of the Seas: March 26-31
  • Ovation of the Seas: March 29-April 3
  • Navigator of the Seas: March 31-April 5
  • Serenade of the Seas: March 31-April 7
  • Jewel of the Seas: March 31-April 4
  • Rhapsody of the Seas: April 5-8
  • Majesty of the Seas: April 21-24
  • Empress of the Seas: April 24-29
  • Adventure of the Seas: April 26-29
  • Enchantment of the Seas: May 8-12
  • Grandeur of the Seas: May 13-18
  • Explorer of the Seas: May 15-26
  • Mariner of the Seas: May 26-June 4
  • Radiance of the Seas: May 28-June 6
  • Voyager of the Seas: June 5-12
  • Vision of the Seas: June 15-27

Royal Caribbean began offering guests the option to use life jackets for children to use in the pool in late 2015, but adding lifeguards and water safety programs is a big step forward.

Royal Caribbean's Majesty of the Seas delayed in port due to Coast Guard inspection

14 Feb 2017

Royal Caribbean's Majesty of the Seas was kept in port through Tuesday morning, after U.S. Coast Guard inspectors forced the ship to remain in port until an issue with the lifeguards was resolved.

Cruise Critic reports a spokesman from the U.S. Coast Guard cited the delay stems from the ship's older life jackets, "generally speaking, problems with older life jackets can include fraying straps that could break when a person was in the water or disintegrating foam that will not float in the water."

Royal Caribbean sent messages via Twitter to convey the company is working around the clock to fix the issues.

There has not been any indication yet when Majesty of the Seas will be able to set sail on her 4-night Bahamas cruise, nor what impact the delay will have on the ship's itinerary.

9:30am Update: Royal Caribbean is offering guests a 25% refundable onboard credit, and a 25% Future Cruise Certificate.

Photos of Royal Caribbean's training facility in the Philippines

30 Jan 2016

​Royal Caribbean sends its more than 11,000 Filipino crew through safety training at its facility in Marongondong, Cavite, Philippines.

Friend of the blog, John Roberts, sent us these photos from his recent tour of the facility. The campus offers courses on Basic Safety Training, Advanced Firefighting, Survival Craft Operations, Water Rescue and other related courses designed to help build the competencies of cruise staff in a wide range of maritime skill sets.

The conditions created during the exercises simulate actual shipboard scenarios.

John Roberts writes about cruise and fitness-based travel on his website

Royal Caribbean providing children with life vests for use in the pool

16 Oct 2015

It appears Royal Caribbean is providing life jackets for children to use in the pools on Oasis of the Seas.

Leigh Cormack from the Oasis of the Seas Cruisers...Past, Present, Future Facebook group took these photos of the new life jackets.

The sign reads, "Children's Swimming Pool Life Jackets are available for the safety all children.  They are to be used on the Oasis Pool Deck."

We have not spotted life jackets for pool use like this previously.

The life jackets for children could be a response to recent pool accidents involving drownings.

Do you think Royal Caribbean offering life jackets for kids in the pool is a good idea? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Inside look at Royal Caribbean's cruise ship simulator

07 Oct 2015

Royal Caribbean has provided a look at its Simulation Training Center at Resolve Maritime Academy in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.

The 7,000 square foot training center launched in 2012 and cost $6.5 million, where the bridge facilities have been replicated for a safe place to train Royal Caribbean junior officers on how the real thing works.

The computer simulations displayed on high-definition screens include some 200 ports visited by Royal Caribbean ships, with all their landmarks, buildings and seaside facilities. As various conditions and perils are brought to bear, trainees respond using controls just as they exist on their actual ship’s bridge.

Officers here can practice and refine their skills onshore to handle any situation that may occur at sea.

“Most simulators in the world are generic,” says Captain Patrik Dahlgren, Royal Caribbean vice president for marine operations. “This simulator is made up to look and feel and work the same as a real bridge on board our specific vessels. You actually have the physical consoles and all the equipment looks exactly the same as it does on board the vessel.”

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