Royal Caribbean announces online way to muster before sailing

With a tentative reopening date of Sept. 16 amid the coronavirus pandemic, Royal Caribbean announced it is replacing one of the least-loved, yet most important, parts of a cruise vacation, the safety drill.

Muster 2.0 takes the key elements of the drill, including reviewing what to expect and where to go in case of an emergency and instructions on how to properly use a life jacket, and makes them accessible to guests individually online rather than holding the usual large group meeting.

This new technology is the first dramatic change to the safety drill process in a decade.

“The health and safety of our guests and crew are our No. 1 priority, and the development of this new muster process is an elegant solution to an outdated, unpopular process,” said Richard Fain, chairman and CEO, Royal Caribbean Group.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.”

By providing the guests information on their mobile devices, travelers will be able to review the information prior to setting sail, which will help to maintain better social distancing on the cruise.

Before their ship leaves, guests will still be required to visit an assigned assembly station and meet with a crew member who will verify that all the review of the safety measures has been completed.

“In this instance, what’s most convenient for our guests is also the safest option in light of needing to re-imagine social spaces in the wake of COVID-19,” Fain said.

Due to the pandemic, most cruise lines fall under the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s No Sail Order that suspends operations for passenger cruise ship travel until Sept. 15.

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