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Norwegian Cruise Line Returns to In Person Muster Drills

Citing the safety of guests and crew members, Norwegian Cruise Line and sister brands Regent Seven Seas and Oceania Cruises are returning to in person muster drills effective immediately. 

“The safety of our guests and crew members is our number one priority. We continuously evaluate our procedures for providing detailed instructions on safety and security measures to our guests, and as such, have made the decision to reinstate synchronized muster drills on embarkation day across all vessels in the fleet. This policy will go into effect immediately upon each vessel’s next embarkation day,” Norwegian said in a statement. 

The in person muster drill requires passengers to meet at the muster station to which they have been assigned at a specified time on embarkation day. The safety drill consists of the sounding of the ship’s safety signal and crew members instructing guests how to report to their muster station in the event of an emergency, how to wear a life jacket, emergency phone numbers, and other safety information. 

Since all guests are required to participate, all onboard activities and services are placed in hold during this time. There are several factors that play into the length of the safety drill such as the size of the ship, and if guests cooperate by reporting to their muster drill when directed. Guests can expect a muster drill to last anywhere from 20-45 minutes. 

Disney Cruise Line was the first major cruise line to return to in person muster drills in November 2022 also citing the safety of guests and crew members. 

Neither Royal Caribbean Line nor Carnival Cruise Line have indicated they will be returning back to in person muster drills. 

Greg Purdy, Senior Vice President of Marine Operations for Royal Caribbean, stated,  “We have no intention of moving back. We are always looking for opportunities to improve. So if we see a way to improve our drill, we certainly will pursue that. We’re always open to change, but we’re not so open to going backwards. So we will always look for moving forward and doing things if they’re better to do for our guests and our crew.”

John Heald, brand ambassador for Carnival Cruise Line, addressed online rumors of the return of in person muster drills with this statement, “The new way of doing the drill shows guests where to go in a real emergency and how to wear the life jacket. In a real emergency that is what guests have to do and from there listen to the Captain, listen to the crew. Trust the captain, trust the crew.”

So the question still remains, why are some cruise lines returning to in person muster drills? Clearly, the first priority of all cruise lines is the safety of its guests and crew members, so is that the real reason? If you want more information and another perspective, check out this video on the La Lido Loca YouTube channel.