What is a cruise ship muster drill?

Ashley Kosciolek

No, not "mustard." Muster. If you've been under the impression that this cruise ship staple involves condiments, listen up.

The mandatory muster drills — also known as cruise ship safety drills, safety briefings or lifeboat drills — serve to tell passengers all they need to know to stay safe on a cruise. They're the cruise ship equivalent of school fire drills.

True emergencies are rare at sea, but it's important for everyone on board to know what to do if an "abandon ship" order is given by the captain. That's where a muster drill is helpful.

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What is a muster drill on a cruise ship?

cruise muster drill

Cruise muster drills are mandatory safety briefings that all passengers must attend before the ship is allowed to sail. This applies even if you have cruised before.

The purpose of a cruise safety drill is to familiarize you with your assembly station, where you will gather in case of an emergency. Each passenger is assigned a station based on where their cabin is located, and each station has its own corresponding lifeboat.

During the drill, the crew will also tell you where to find your life jackets and demonstrate how to properly put them on in the event they're needed.

The captain is also likely to make some announcements to go over general safety rules for the vessel (don't throw anything overboard, don't smoke except in designated areas, don't run on the wet pool deck, hold handrails in rough seas, etc.) and demonstrate the emergency signal — seven short blasts, followed by one long blast on the ship's alarm system, which can be ear-splitting.

Related: Cruise ship embarkation day do's and don'ts

How are muster drills conducted?

cruise muster drill

For years, ships forced passengers to gather at the same designated time in large groups, either out on deck by their lifeboats or in an indoor space, such as the theater, casino or a lounge.

When the COVID-19 pandemic created a need for social distancing, most big-ship cruise lines developed virtual muster drills , which can either be watched on cabin televisions or via cruise lines' mobile apps within a certain time frame after boarding.

As lines slowly rolled back their coronavirus protocols and returned ships to full capacity, two major companies — Norwegian Cruise Line and Disney Cruise Line — reverted to fully in-person drills, citing safety. Other major lines say they'll continue to offer e-muster and claim there's nothing unsafe about it; Norwegian has since reversed course and reinstated the popular e-muster drills after complaints. Check with your cruise line to see which type of drill is offered.

In cases where lines continue to conduct e-muster drills, passengers must report to their designated muster stations to check in with crew members waiting there. Some will conduct a life jacket demonstration in person; others will verify that you've watched any required instructional videos. All will either scan your keycard or take down your name or cabin number to confirm you've done your due diligence.

Regarding fully in-person drills, some lines conduct a version where everything is done in real-time. Others gather everyone to watch a video in the same place simultaneously.

Why do cruise ships have muster drills?

cruise muster drill

Cruise ships must conduct muster drills for all passengers on board before they are allowed to set sail. The purpose is to familiarize passengers with safety protocols and demonstrate what they must do in an emergency. Familiarizing them with the process beforehand eliminates an unnecessary layer of chaos and panic in the unlikely event of an emergency.

In 1914, Safety of Life at Sea regulations were implemented following the sinking of Titanic in 1912. Those familiar with the tragedy will know that so many died because there weren't enough lifeboats on board. The senselessness of those deaths led officials to realize changes were needed.

SOLAS seeks to hold all vessels to a consistent standard of safety to avoid further loss of life in a similar situation. As such, the SOLAS rules have been amended many times. They originally stated that muster drills had to occur within 24 hours of sailaway.

In 2013, following the sinking of Costa Concordia in Italy, a new amendment was made. It went into effect in 2015 and declared that muster drills had to be completed before the ship left the dock or immediately upon leaving, rather than within 24 hours of departure.

Related: 21 tips and hacks that will make your first cruise go smoothly

What happens if I skip the muster drill on my cruise?

cruise muster drill

If you fail to report to your assigned muster station by the cutoff time, your name and cabin number will be reported to the vessel's commanding officers, who will embarrass you by summoning you over the shipwide public address system.

There will likely be a makeup drill conducted for those who missed it the first time around, but in severe cases, those passengers will not be allowed to sail and could either be forced to disembark before the ship leaves or to depart in the next port of call.

For more cruise terminology, check out TPG's glossary of common cruise terms .

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Are You Ready for the Cruise Muster Drill? Here’s What to Know…

If you’ve never cruised before, you may not know anything about one of the ship’s most important safety practices, known as a muster drill.

Muster station sign on a cruise

And even if you have sailed, in recent years the drill has changed dramatically following the pandemic. So what exactly is this drill and what does it involve?

Truth is that the practice is no big deal, but if you know what to expect beforehand, you can definitely make it go smoother, spend less time, and get on with the rest of your vacation.

What Is the Muster Drill?

For those that have never cruised before, the ship’s muster drill is an emergency practice in case you have to abandon ship in the middle of the cruise. Rules require that it be done before the ship leaves the dock. You can think of it as being similar to the rules that require the airline crew to go over the safety procedures before every flight.

The muster drill isn’t really a “drill” however. These days, it’s more of a safety briefing where you’ll learn what to do in the case of an emergency on the ship.

How Do I Complete It?

It used to be that to complete the muster drill you had to find your assigned station, check-in, physically line-up with your other passengers and then listen to the crew explain what to do in the case of an emergency. Due to the pandemic, the cruise lines adjusted the drill as before it meant passengers were in (very) close proximity to each other for extended times.

Today, on most cruise lines the drill is a two part process. First, you watch a couple of short videos on your cabin TV or through the cruise line’s app once you are on the ship. These go over how to put on a life jacket and what the ship’s emergency horn signal sounds like.

Second, you will check in at your muster station. The muster station is the meeting point you go to in case of an emergency on the ship. Each cabin is assigned a muster station, and it’s printed on your room keycard, on the back of the cabin door, or in the ship’s app.

Head to the station and the staff will scan your card to show that you’ve checked in and possibly have a short (1-2 minute) briefing. Sometimes you simply have to scan in to show that you’ve been to the station and then you are done.

When Does the Drill Happen?

The muster drill doesn’t have a set time. It’s completed as passengers board. The muster stations are manned by the crew for several hours during the boarding time and you simply watch the videos and then check-in on your own schedule. It just needs to happen before the ship departs.

So some people will complete the drill at noon on boarding day while others might not complete it until later in the afternoon.

The smartest thing to do, however, is go ahead and get it done as soon as you can . This allows you to get to enjoying your vacation right away instead of having to stop the fun to go do the drill.

How Long Does it Take?

The muster drill used to take considerable time — easily 20-30 minutes as the ship shut down, everyone made their way to the muster station, and then had to listen to the emergency instructions.

Now, it takes less than five minutes. The videos that explain the life jacket and emergency signal are each just a minute or so. Then you simply need to walk to the muster station and scan your card to check in.

After that, you’re done and can get on with the fun of your cruise.

What Happens if I Don’t Do the Drill?

Thinking of skipping the “homework” of the muster drill? Not a great idea. Remember, passengers are scanned in to show that they have done the drill. So the crew has an entire list of who has and hasn’t completed it.

Since the drill is required by law, the crew will then track down these passengers to ensure they go through the safety regulations. That means you can be in the middle of enjoy your cruise and have to stop everything to do the muster drill.

It’s much simpler just to take a few minutes right at the start and get it done.

Do I Need to Bring Anything?

The only thing you need to bring to the drill is your room keycard. The crew will scan this to show you’ve completed the muster drill. You don’t need to bring anything else with you, such as the life jackets that are found in your room.

What About Kids?

cruise muster drill

Everyone on the ship will need to complete the muster drill, including kids. You’ll want to bring them (and their keycards) along with you as you arrive at the muster station.

If you have a smaller child, then the crew will provide them with a bracelet/band they will wear the entire cruise. This band has the muster station printed on it. In the case of an emergency where the child is in the kids area or otherwise not with you, then the crew will be able to know where to bring the kids to meet up with their parents and get to safety.

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Royal Caribbean Changes The Game With Muster 2.0

More flexibility, no crowds..

cruise muster drill

Muster 2.0 is both flexible and encourages an even higher level of safety. 

Credit: Royal Caribbean

The muster (or safety) drill—a mandatory practice at the beginning of each cruise designed to show guests where they should go in the unlikely event of an emergency, how to put on a life jacket and other safety measures. It’s incredibly important, but it’s also the least favorite part of the cruise for guests since it requires pausing your vacation just when it’s getting started.

That’s why Royal Caribbean began to develop a new approach years ago, and today, that’s Muster 2.0™. The new program reinvents the cruise industry’s standard safety drill with a process that is more personal and promotes higher levels of safety. Having worked with international regulators, the U.S. Coast Guard and other maritime and government authorities, the app also meets all safety requirements.

Here’s how it works. Guests can complete the drill on their own time thanks to our new eMuster™ technology, which brings the safety information they need to their mobile device via the Royal Caribbean app and stateroom TV. Then, before the ship departs, every guest just needs to visit their assembly station—a designated check-in location—where our crew can verify they’ve completed the process. No more set time, no more large group assemblies.

Nick Weir, Royal Caribbean’s senior vice president of Entertainment, was instrumental in developing Muster 2.0™. We chatted with him to see how it came to be and what it means for the guest experience:

cruise muster drill

Families will have more time to enjoy their vacation and explore the ship without interruption.

Q: How and why was Muster 2.0™ developed?

Nick: The safety drill has always put a pause on the cruise experience, and felt like it could be more efficient. When I was a cruise director, I was responsible for the welcome party held on the first day—but also had to make the announcements for the drill. It always brought all the fun to a halt right when things were getting going.

I happened to be outside on one hot, sweaty day during the drill, and I thought why not put it all on a device so it can be done individually and monitored? Technology naturally played a big part—location services on smartphones is essential, and a big team at Royal Caribbean came together to make it happen.

Q: In terms of the guest experience—what are the biggest differences between the old process and Muster 2.0™?

Nick: Muster 2.0 changes the experience entirely. Previously, the safety drill meant having crowds of people going to the same space at the same time. Some may say many are just following others as opposed to actively finding and learning where their assembly station is located.

Also, on the first day, guests are officially on vacation mode. We used to have to drive home all the safety information in a clunky, disruptive way. With this new program, they can complete the process with more flexibility and speed, so they’ll have more time to visit the pool, hit up a bar for cocktails or surf on the FlowRider .

What’s more, now going to your assembly station naturally integrates with exploring the ship—a notion reaffirmed by the more than 95% positive response from guests who participated in our first trials on Symphony of the Seas in January.

cruise muster drill

Guests can begin the process on stateroom TVs as well as mobile devices.

Q: Where can guests complete the process before visiting their assembly station and what happens if someone forgets to?

Nick: The beauty of it is that our guests can access everything they need right from their smartphone or the stateroom TV, and then complete the drill by checking in at their assembly station. If someone hasn’t completed the process, they’ll get a reminder on their device, and if it comes to it, we’ll make reminder announcements. There are no shortcuts when it comes to safety.

Q: Why was the decision made to share this technology across the cruise industry?

Nick: We’re all in this together. This isn’t just big for Royal Caribbean—it’s a major innovation for the cruise industry. When you’ve patented something like this for safety, sharing it is simply the right thing to do. The same thing happened in the car industry with the patent for the three-point seatbelt.

Q: Is the goal to continually enhance Muster 2.0™?

Nick: We’ll continue to modify the process as the technology evolves. Our digital team is always looking for ways to maximize the latest technological innovations to make the vacation experience more seamless for our guests.

Looking forward to your next cruise, where you can try out Muster 2.0? Head here to see where Royal Caribbean can take you.

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Muster Drill Breakdown: Ensuring Cruise Safety for All Passengers

Cruise ship in water with lifeboats followed by small ship.

A muster drill is an important part of any cruise, ensuring the safety of all passengers and crew members in the event of an emergency. These safety drills are a mandatory event for every cruise ship on the sea, so you will likely be familiar with them if you are a veteran cruiser. But if you are a first time cruiser, rest assured that these are a simple and standard part of every voyage, and not something to be intimidated by. If you are wondering what to expect and what will be expected of you during a muster drill, then read on as we break down the ins and outs of these important cruise safety events.

Safety First With a Muster Drill

A muster drill is a mandatory safety drill that is done at the start of a cruise, and is an important part of ensuring passenger safety during an emergency. During one of these drills, passengers will be familiarized with the onboard emergency procedures and evacuation routes of the ship, so that they can be prepared if something goes wrong. While emergency situations on cruise ships are rare, the last thing you want is for large groups of passengers to be panicked and unsure of what to do during an emergency, so it is important that everyone participates to ensure cruise safety.

What to Expect During Your Muster Drill

You can usually expect muster drills to be held shortly after embarkation, but before the ship sets sail. Cruise ships are not allowed to depart until the drill is complete and it is mandatory for all passengers to participate. Passengers gather at designated muster stations, which will be indicated either on their key card or on a map of the ship. Once there, crew members leading the drill will demonstrate how to properly wear a life jacket, instruct on where to locate lifeboats, and point out the evacuation routes. That way, every passenger on the ship will be ready for a smooth and safe evacuation if the need arises.

Duration and Format

While every cruise ship is required to complete a cruise safety drill, the duration and format varies from cruise line to cruise line, typically lasting around 30 minutes. Passengers are required to listen to safety announcements and follow whatever instructions the crew members give during the drill.  While muster drills are traditionally held by crew members, some cruise lines have started using innovative technology like electronic muster stations so that passengers can complete them on their own time, instead of having a designated time and place. You will be instructed during embarkation on how your cruise will be handling its drills.

Importance of Participation

While it may not seem like you need to worry about these safety protocols, especially if you are not a first-time cruiser, it is still both mandatory and necessary for all passengers to participate in a muster drill. That is because reminders of safety protocols and details about the ship you are boarding will help ensure not only your safety, but the safety of all on board. If people are unprepared during an emergency, that can contribute to increased panic and cause people to need additional assistance in getting where they need to go, which can endanger other passengers on board as well. Taking cruise safety seriously is important to make sure that doesn’t happen.

Tips for a Smooth Muster Drill Experience

To make sure you have a smooth experience, you will want to arrive promptly at your designated muster station, so as to avoid delaying the drill for yourself and others. Make sure you pay close attention to the cruise safety instructions and ask questions if you have any concerns. The most important information to take note of is the location of emergency exits and life jackets, so that you can quickly access them if you need to. If you are in an emergency situation, remain calm and remember what you learned during the muster drill to make sure you and your traveling companions get out safely!

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The Cruise Ship Muster Drill Explained (And What Happens If You Miss It)

sailing cruise ship

The definition of "muster" is to assemble. Well, a "muster" is also a group of peacocks, and we mustered all of our restraint to not mention that. But, for the purposes of this article, the "assemble" context makes more sense. On a cruise, a muster drill is not a hotdog cart run or a group of peacocks, it's part of the cruise experience. If you've ever been on a cruise , you know what we're talking about. If not, let's ease some condiment-connoting confusion.

As part of the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), all passenger ships must perform a muster drill within 24 hours of disembarking. Sometimes referred to as "lifeboat drill" or "safety drill" (both lacking that old-world, maritime panache), muster drills are mandatory when you take a cruise.

If you don't participate in the muster drill at the appropriate time, the cruise won't throw you in the brig, but if you're really defiant about the process for some reason, you could find yourself marooned.

Muster drills explained

Muster drills differ from cruise line to cruise line, but they're fundamentally drills to show passengers what to do if they need to abandon ship. Although mega-ships seem pretty unsinkable, we've heard that before, and a shivering Leo did, too. Overall, muster drills are easy and short but also mandatory.

Basically, every passenger is assigned an assembly station in accordance with their cabin location. When the ship runs a muster drill, you'll go to your designated assembly station, which is where you'd go in case of an emergency. While there, the crew will explain where your lifejackets are, how to put them on, where the lifeboats are located, and review other safety procedures. Typically, the cruise ship will also sound the emergency alarm to familiarize passengers with the ear-piercing noise.

During COVID-19, cruise lines created e-drills to accommodate social distancing. These drills just included watching a video within a timeframe upon boarding. Some cruise lines still utilize the e-drill format, while others have reverted back to in-person drills.

Muster drill are a must

As mentioned, all passengers are required to participate in muster drills — even children — under SOLAS regulations. When you meet at your assembly station, a crew member runs a roll call. If you don't show, they'll know. Your name and room number will then be reported to the ship's commanding officer.

Typically, cruise ships run a makeup muster drill for all the no-shows. While you may be embarrassed as you hear your name called through the ship-wide speaker system, passengers who show up for a makeup muster drill should enjoy smooth sailing for the rest of the trip.

However, if you refuse to attend the makeup drill as well, the ship may force you to disembark at the next port of call. Again, the muster drills are part of maritime regulation and not optional for crew or passengers. Overall, muster drills aren't a big deal and don't take too long. Even if you feel these drills are a waste of time, muster a bit of cooperation to avoid getting marooned.

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What Is Muster Drill?

The first day of your cruise is filled with excitement as you explore the ship and start your vacation, but safety is the priority, so you'll invariably be participating in a muster drill.  It may not be the most fun part of your vacation, but let's go over what muster drills are, why they're important, and how you can make the best of this "lost time" on embarkation day.

IMO Muster Station Placard

What is a Muster Drill?

A muster drill is a mandatory emergency drill (sometimes referred to as a lifeboat drill, though you won't actually be using a lifeboat in this process) which takes place on the first day of your cruise.  When you arrive for muster the crew will check you in (ensuring everyone is in attendance), note any special needs individuals have in the event of an actual emergency, and then, once the entire ship is assembled, there will be a safety presentation.  The safety presentation may be on a screen, performed by a crew member standing right in front of you, over the PA, or any combination thereof.  The primary topics covered are:

  • A roll call and confirmation that all guests are in attendance (they  will  find you).
  • How guests and crew will be notified of an emergency (and the horn/whistle/alarm will be demonstrated).
  • What to do in the event of an actual emergency/when if you hear the ship's alarm.
  • How to don life-vests (some lines require you to wear them to the drill, others don't).
  • Other safety notes, such as rules regarding disposing combustibles (cigarette butts, etc).

Billy wearing life vest

You Won't Be Able to Miss It

Not only is it mandatory, but even if you've no idea what muster drill is, it's pretty impossible to miss as there are multiple ways in which the crew informs guests of muster.

  • When you check in at the port you'll be provided with the day's schedule which includes the time for muster.
  • Multiple announcements will be made ahead of muster noting the time and how to find your muster station.
  • Starting a bit before muster all guest services will cease - yes, this means the bars will close, too.
  • While guest services are suspended (as the crew has safety duties to tend to for the drill) nearly every crew member you see will begin reminding guests about muster and answering any questions.

muster drill shirt

Where is the Muster Drill?

The location of the muster drill may actually be the most important part, as one of the goals is to ensure that guests know where to assemble (or "muster") in the event there is an actual emergency.  Your stateroom location determines your muster station, and the station (often expressed as a number and letter, such as "D4") is indicated on your stateroom keycard and on the back of your stateroom door.  On the back of the door you'll also find a map with at least two routes showing you how to get to your muster station from your room.  Signs (like the one shown above) are found throughout the ship along with station numbers and directional indicators, and you can always ask a crew member for assistance finding where you're supposed to be.

Muster stations are sometimes located in lounges, theaters or other indoor public spaces.  On many ships some muster stations are located outside on the promenade deck.  If you arrive to your muster station to find that the particular location is challenging for you based on mobility issues or other complications, simply let a crew member know and they'll help you make alternative arrangements.  

Who Requires Muster Drill Attendance

Muster drill and pretty much all things safety are regulated by an international set of guidelines in SOLAS, the Convention for Safety of Life at Sea.  You can read more about SOLAS in our article about  lifeboats .  This convention, which almost every nation has signed onto, requires that muster drills occur within 24 hours of sailing, though cruise lines now perform muster prior to leaving port to ensure that if there was an emergency shortly after departing, all guests would be aware of safety procedures.  The International Maritime Organization (IMO) also regulates how long it can take for a ship to be evacuated (30 mins) and other related safety factors.  It doesn't matter how many times you've cruised, even on the same ship, all guests and crew are required to attend muster .  If you miss muster, perhaps because of a late arrival, a medical incident, etc, a separate drill will be conducted just for your party.

cruise muster drill

Billy's Muster Drill Tips

  • Don't make plans for "right after muster" and expect to be there in 2 minutes.  While muster may only take 10 or 15 minutes, the rush of people leaving the drill and heading to elevators, major corridors, etc makes things more congested than any other time on the ship. We hang out for just a few before even leaving our station.
  • Just before muster, use of elevators will be restricted to those guests with mobility difficulties.  Just let the crew know if you require assistance, which is also important for them to note in the event of a real emergency.
  • Don't play with your phone once the drill starts! While it's not fun, these drills are important.
  • Before the drill starts take the time to meet your neighbors.  Because stations are assigned based on stateroom location, you may find the your neighbor lining up next to you. This is a great way to break the ice and have the "knock on the ceiling if I'm being loud" chat.
  • Kids aren't exempt, and in fact, if you have children in the kids programs the staff will ensure they get to their muster stations in the event  there is an emergency while the kids are with the program.  They'll explain this and other safety information to you.
  • If you're in the Caribbean put on some sunscreen before muster and bring your sunglasses. We're probably just unlucky in this way, but it seems anytime we have an outside muster station we're staring into the sun the entire time.

Have questions about muster drills?  Comment below or reach out on  Twitter  or  Facebook !

View the discussion thread.

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cruise muster drill

Cruise Muster Drill Procedure

You’ve queued through Embarkation Day, unpacked your bags and now you’re ready to get your holiday well and truly going. Hold on just a sec. Before you go bombing into the pool, there’s the small matter of the muster drill to deal with first.

Below, we’ll walk you through what you can expect from a muster drill, including what the procedure is, what it involves, and any etiquette you might want to know about ahead of time. Let’s get started!

What is a muster drill?

A muster drill is a mandatory safety drill that happens on all cruises, as laid out by the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea. They are sometimes referred to as a ‘lifeboat drill’ or ‘safety drill’.

Taking place before the ship sails, the drill lets guests familiarise themselves with where to assemble in the (unlikely) event of an emergency.

What happens during the muster drill procedure?

Your ship’s loudspeaker will let you know where and when your muster drill is to take place ahead of time. When it’s time to gather, another announcement will happen, informing you that the drill is about to start.

There’s also an announcement for crew members to take their places. They’ll be stationed in the stairways and corridors where your cabin is located. Should you get lost or you’re unsure of where to go, the crew – who’ll be wearing high-vis jackets – will be able to guide you in the right direction.

The muster drill formally begins with seven blasts of the ship’s general alarm, followed by one long blast of the ship’s horn and the Captain’s announcement. This is your cue to head to your designated muster station.

Bring your cruise card with you, as this will be scanned to record and prove that you attended.

With everyone gathered, you’ll then be walked through the process for safe evacuation should an emergency take place. It also gives guests a chance to familiarise themselves with their surroundings and the routes to the ship’s lifeboats.

The muster drill will also advise:

  • The horn sounds you should expect in the event of an ‘abandon ship order’
  • How to inflate, deflate and use the whistle and light on life jackets
  • How to put life jackets on children, if necessary

The muster drill might also cover some practical tips about hygiene and handwashing onboard, as well as what you should do if you see a man overboard or if you need to report anything suspicious.

After the muster drill has taken place, you’ll hear a final alarm to signal the end. Now you’re free to hit the pool, grab a cocktail or head to that restaurant you’ve had your eye on.

What is a cruise muster station?

A muster station is the place on your cruise ship where the safety drill takes place. They can either be inside or outside. It’s usually written on your cruise documents, and it’ll likely be written on the back of your cabin door too.

If it’s due to be held inside, your muster station will usually take place in a lounge, theatre, restaurant, or bar. If it’s held outside, it’ll be on your ship’s promenade deck. At an outside muster station, you’ll be asked to form lines like you would in a real emergency. There tends to be more standing during an outside muster drill, so we’d recommend wearing closed shoes that you know you’re comfortable in.

Can you skip muster drills on a cruise?

No. Every guest, including children, must attend the muster drill, even if you’ve sailed on the same ship or cruise line before.

If you miss or skip the muster drill, you’ll be invited to attend another drill later on. Cruise lines are pretty no-nonsense when it comes to their muster drills, and if you fail to attend this one, then they can disembark you from the cruise, without any sort of refund. We’d recommend not trying to get away with skipping the muster drill in any way.

Helpful tips for your muster drill

With every cruise guest gathered at their muster stations, things can become a bit of a bottleneck when the muster drill ends. Queues and long waits for lifts and elevators will also be a frequent occurrence. For this reason, it’s a good idea to hang back or head to a quiet bar and wait for the rush to calm down before you make your way back to your cabin.

Once the muster drill has kicked off, your ship’s lifts and elevators will not be operational. If you need to use either of these to get around, then you should set off for your muster station as early as you can.

Remember, everyone else will be attending the muster drill at the same time as you, so if you’re late, you’ll only be holding up the rest of that part of the ship – no big deal. Avoid the death stares and make sure you’re on time.

If you’re tempted to take a peek at your phone during the drill, then be aware that you’ll get a talking to by the crew. Repeat offenders may have their phones taken away for the duration of the drill too. Pay attention and keep your phone in your pocket while the crew are speaking. 

It depends on the cruise line, but you may need to bring your life jacket with you to the muster drill – though this is becoming less of a requirement. If you’re unsure, you can always play it safe and bring it with you.

What are digital muster drills?

Truth be told, muster drills are a bit of an inconvenience, especially when you just want to get on with having a great time. Luckily, a new innovation now allows guests to familiarise themselves with safety procedures on their smartphones. Step forward: e-mustering!

Not only is this way more convenient, but in a post-COVID world, it keeps everyone safe too. After reading through the safety info and watching any accompanying videos, guests then head to their muster station to check in and finish the drill. No queues, crowds or lines needed.

Each line has its own app and digital process for the muster drill, as well as some “incentives” for completing it. For instance, Carnival limits the number of pre-muster drinks that guests can have, lifting this limit after the drill has been completed. Viking, meanwhile, won’t let you sit back and enjoy your stateroom’s TV until their muster video has been watched.

The e-muster process still has a few kinks to overcome – notably, it’s been causing delays with sailing as ships wait for everyone to get up to speed with the drill – but it’s great to see cruise lines adapting and changing with the times.

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Muster 2.0™

cruise muster drill

Muster 2.0™ is a new approach to delivering safety information to guests. The first-of-its-kind program reimagines the traditional safety drill, a process originally designed for large groups of people, into a faster, more personal approach that encourages higher levels of safety. Eliminating the gathering of large crowds, the program’s new technology – eMuster™ – will make key elements of the drill, including where to go in case of an emergency and instructions on how to properly use a life jacket, accessible to guests on an individual basis via their mobile devices and interactive stateroom TVs. Muster 2.0™ will be among the comprehensive protocols Royal Caribbean Group is developing with the Healthy Sail Panel.

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cruise muster drill

Emma Cruises

What is a Muster Drill on a Cruise? Everything You Need to Know (REVIEW of Traditional and Virtual Muster Drills)

The Covid cruising shutdown changed many things about the cruise industry. One of the biggest changes relates to the Muster (safety) Drill that is conducted on every cruise.

The majority of cruise lines have made changes to the Muster process in the last few years.

Most cruise lines seem to have moved away from the Traditional Muster Drill, where you assemble at your Muster Station – often on the promenade deck – and stand and listen to the safety announcements given by the crew.

Now you are much more likely to be watching a safety video on the cabin TV or the cruise line App

What is a Muster Drill on a Cruise?

A Muster Drill is a safety drill completed on a cruise, designed to show passengers what to do in the event of an emergency. The Muster Drill is often referred to as the ‘Lifeboat Drill’ or ‘Safety Drill’.

The Traditional Muster Drill takes less than 30 minutes and is a legal requirement.

A Muster Drill will happen on every cruise in some form or another. It is important that you attend and are prepared for what is going to happen.

Is The Muster Drill on a Cruise Mandatory or Optional?

Cruise lines are legally bound by SOLAS (Safety of Life at Sea) to provide a Muster Drill for all guests. The cruise line would be breaking the law if it, for whatever reason, didn’t conduct the muster drill correctly.

It is a legal requirement that all passengers take part in the Muster Drill. It is compulsory.

Prior to the Costa Concordia disaster of 2012, the muster drill was required to take place within 24 hours of embarkation. It must now happen before the ship departs or immediately on departure. 

The time, location and specifics of the Muster Drill will vary by cruise line. Each passenger will be marked off a list when they have attended the Muster Station, to prove they have taken part.

MSC Status Match Black Card in Theatre

How Has The Muster Drill Changed?

Pre covid, Muster Drills would be completed by gathering together all guests in their allocated Muster Station area at the same time.

The majority of mainstream cruise lines have moved away from this, partly due to the social distancing rules of the covid pandemic.

All bars and restaurants onboard would be shut at a set time, and the crew would man the stairs or Muster stations to assist with the drill.

This meant that guests could not really start to enjoy their cruise holiday until the Muster Drill was completed.

“The safety drill has always put a pause on the cruise experience, and felt like it could be more efficient.” Nick Weir, (Royal Caribbean’s senior vice president ) – source.

The photos below show how Muster Drills used to be completed.

It is unusual to find this type of traditional Muster Drill on a mainstream cruise ship now.

Life Jacket Selfies What Is a Muster Drill?

Virtual or E Musters

The new style of Muster is far better in my opinion. There is none of the waiting around in a bar or on a promenade deck, waiting for latecomers to show up! It is far quicker too.

An E-muster or Virtual Muster Drill involves guests watching safety videos prior to boarding the ship or onboard on the cabin TV.

Guests then only need to visit their assigned Muster Station once aboard, so that they know where to find it in case of a real emergency.

The traditional drill, on the other hand, involves all passengers participating at once in a large venue like the theatre and takes 30-45 minutes which takes precious time out of your cruise holiday.

Guests seem to far prefer the newer Style Muster Drills.

Norwegian Cruiseline did go back to the old-style Muster after the Covid Pandemic – but within a couple of months, they had backtracked and returned to the E Muster.

“ In an effort to enhance the onboard guest experience while keeping the safety of our guests and crew our top priority, we will reinstate e-muster drills through our online check-in for sailings beginning April 1, 2023 “ Norwegian Cruise Line

msc muster drill in cabin

When I sailed on the first ship to leave the UK after the pandemic – the MSC Virtuosa – Muster station locations were projected onto the dome, which I thought was very helpful.

MSC Virtuosa dome muster drill

What is a Muster Station?

A Muster Station is a place on a cruise ship where you “Muster” together in an emergency situation.

Stations can either be inside or outside on the deck.

There are multiple Muster Stations and you will know where yours is by checking in your App or looking at the safety poster on the back of your cabin door.

Your Muster Station number is also written on your cruise card.

Inside Muster Stations

The Muster Stations will either be a letter – a number – or a combination of both.

Most Muster Stations are in a Lounge, Theatre, Restaurant or Bar.

Muster Stations are usually grouped together by cabin location. You might have all of deck 8 in Muster Station ‘D’ for example.

Below is a photo I took just before the Muster Drill on the Celebrity Silhouette. As you can see ‘A6’ is on the left and ‘A4’ is on the right.

cruise muster drill

Outside Muster Stations

Before the Covid cruising shutdown, Muster Drills that were often completed on the Promenade deck outside could take quite a long time.

I remember standing about on the Promenade deck of the Costa Luminosa for what seemed like ages, waiting for other guests to show up.

Some Muster Stations are on the ship’s Promenade deck. This isn’t very good in very hot – or very cold weather!

Guests would be asked to line up in lines of 4 or 5 and the safety information would be played over the overhead Tannoys for guests.

These types of muster drills were often difficult for guests who were unable to stand for long periods or those who felt uncomfortable around large groups.

Not every guest turned up on time, and you were often left hanging about, waiting for latecomers.

I’m happy to see the end of this type of Muster Drill. They were particularly unpleasant if the weather was very warm .

Which Cruise Lines Have ‘Virtual’ Muster Drills?

The majority of mainstream cruise lines now have virtual or E musters, rather than traditional Muster Drills.

Once onboard you go to your Muster Station in person and check in. The crew then know you have completed the drill and can find the Muster Station in case of a real-life emergency.

Cruise lines who now carry out Virtual or E Musters include:

  • Royal Caribbean
  • Norwegian Cruse Line
  • Holland America
  • Virgin Voyages

Only smaller and more traditional cruise lines, like Fred Olsen and Azamara, seem to be sticking with the old-style Muster. This could be because their technology isn’t good enough to support an E muster, or they have an older passenger demographic that might not like the E Musters anyway.

Find out all about my cruise with the Traditional British Cruiseline Fred Olsen in the video below:

cruise muster drill

The above photo shows a selection of screenshots from Royal Caribbean’s Muster 2.0 technology. This technology allows passengers to complete muster drills electronically on their phones.

Musters on MSC and Costa Cruises

If you cruise with Costa or MSC around the Mediterranean you will notice that guests can embark and disembark at any port.

This means that there are Muster Drills taking place virtually every day for the passengers that have just embarked.

It can be a little unnerving, to hear announcements about reporting your Muster Station when you know you have already completed your Muster Drill!

Once you have carried out your Muster Drill on your day of Embarkation, you need never complete another one.

Before You Go!

Lots of other new safety measures were put in place for cruise ships after a fire onboard the Star Princess in 2006. Find out all about how the fire started, and how the cruise line dealt with that emergency here:

Star Princess Fire (2006) – Pictures, Cause, and Safety Improvements

Lots of people still think that cruising through the Bermuda Triangle is an unsafe thing to do! Find out all about the Bermuda Triangle, the ships that have been lost there, and whether it is less safe there than cruising elsewhere in the article below:

Cruising Through The Bermuda Triangle – What to Expect, and should you avoid it?

I was lucky enough to cruise to Bermuda recently on Norwegian Prima and had a wonderful time! Find out all about that trip here:

I Spent 7 Days on a LUXURY Megaship – Inside Norwegian Prima

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What is a Muster Drill on a cruise?

Muster Drill on a cruise ship

A muster drill (also known as a lifeboat or a boat drill) is one of the most important things all cruise lines must do before the ship departs for the first time. It’s the only boring part of your vacation but it’s a legal requirement to help keep you safe in the event of an emergency. Cruise ships must keep to the SOLAS regulation. Although some people quite enjoy it and see it as an important activity on their cruise! Prior to embarking on the ship, you will be notified where your muster station is. It could be either indoors or outdoors (usually on the promenade deck). Usually, they are on the outside of a ship, however, it’s not uncommon to see them in living areas. On most cruise lines you can find the location of your station on your cruise card. If you are unsure where your muster station is then you can find a crew member to help you.

The drill happens on the first day of your cruise and the crew will check you in to make sure you have attended. Be sure not to miss it as it is compulsory! To alert everyone a general alarm is sounded before the captain announces what passengers need to do.

The drill will cover important information on life jackets and how to use them and what should happen in the case of an emergency or evacuation.

So what’s involved?

All guest services will cease just before the muster is about to happen including bars, restaurants and theatre shows.

The drill is an exercise conducted by the crew. All passengers must remain silent during the drill while the captain broadcasts the safety drill/safety briefing. The safety presentation could be on screen, in front of you demonstrated by a crew member or a combination of both. It should include simple instructions for all to understand, even children who are also expected to attend. If you have questions do just ask!

A register is used to make sure that all guests are in attendance. The drill will then explain what to do in the event of an emergency or when you hear the ships alarm. This includes how to put on a lifevest. You will also be told how passengers would be informed about an emergency situation i.e via a horn, alarm or whistle.

The general alarm signal

Usually, the ship’s internal general emergency alarm consists of seven or more short blasts, followed by one long blast of the ship’s horn. There is also often flashing strobe lights in the public area to indicate an emergency. It can be really useful to hear these alarm bells so you know what to listen for and they don’t shock you too much should they be activated.

What happens if you miss the muster drill?

It will be very difficult to miss a muster drill but I bet it does happen, especially if people have had one too many cocktails on arrival! Crew members have a number of ways to remind cruise passengers about the muster procedure.

You will first learn about the muster drill when you check-in at the port – they will give you a cruise card and let you know the time of the muster drill and when you need to attend it. The captain will let you know several times throughout the day when the muster is – this means paying attention to the tannoy announcements!

If you miss the first muster drill (which is very unlikely given all the reminders) you will be asked to attend another muster drill. If you miss this muster drill the cruise operatorcan force you to disembark the ship. If you’ve already set sail the cruise line will make you leave on the next port. You will not be entitled to any refund and you will have to make your own arrangements getting back home.No one wants that so if there’s one thing you should do on your cruise holiday it’s not missing the this before you head on your voyage.

Do regular cruisers still have to attend?

Yes, muster drills usually happen on a weekly basis. Regardless if you’re on the cruise ship for 3 weeks you must attend all of the muster drills that are carried out. Even if you have been on previous cruises with the same cruise line you are still obliged to attend.

This is to remind everyone of the safety and evacuation procedures during their cruise vacation. Crew members have to follow the same evacuation guidelines so all passengers receive the same instructions. Imagine how many times the crew have to do the drills when on a tour with the cruise line!

Do you need to take your life jacket?

Usually, cruise lines will not require you to take your life jacket to the muster drill. Just be mindful of what to do in an emergency, safety procedures and where in your cabin or stateroom your life jacket is kept. As part of the drill, it will be explained how to safely wear and inflate your life jacket and how to use any tools that are attached such as torches or whistles and straps. If you are sailing with children then make sure you have been given suitable life jackets for them – do check at reception or guests services if you are unsure what you need.

What happens if you have children in cruise programs?

If you have children with you on a cruise ship and they are in a kids program or club onboard during the time of the drill they will be taken to the muster drill location by the staff members.

How long does a muster drill take?

Cruise liners suggest that the average time the drill takes is about 30 minutes. Safety advice may be spoken in several languages if there are passengers from many countries and so could take some additional time. We have found that most of the time is spent waiting for all the people to join their station and be registered by the crew. The actual safety demonstration doesn’t take that long!

It really doesn’t take long and you can then get back to your dining or relaxing knowing you’ve attended and hopefully shouldn’t have to now worry about safe evacuations and life jackets again!

Muster Drill on a cruise ship

Crew muster drills

If you didn’t know already crew members have their own muster drills as well. This involves how to use lifeboats/life rafts in an emergency (lifeboat drill) and potential issues to look out for while onboard. It’s always reassuring to hear the crew have regular updates on how to keep everyone safe and know what to do in an emergency situation.

Cruise The Waves Muster Drill Tips:

Here are our top tips for muster drill success!

Don’t be too early or too late to the muster process:

If you end up going too early you will be waiting around a long time and often will get caught up with a lot of passengers. If you are late it will inconvenience the crew members (and your other passengers!). Aim to get there on the dedicated time and you’ll be just fine. I believe on our first cruise we had just ordered a cocktail and so ended up taking it with us which might have not made us look the most responsible!

Wear appropriate shoes:

We recommend you don’t wear flip flops to the muster drill – this is because you will be sharing the muster drill with loads of passengers and pre-pandemic be in close proximity to others. Your feet might get stepped on and you don’t want that!

Put away your phone:

It’s just as annoying as those ones at the cinema. Put away your phones during the muster drill briefing! The crew are making sure you know what to do in an emergency and it’s to the benefit of yourself. Apparently, you can get your phone confiscated while this happens – wouldn’t that be embarrassing!

Caribbean muster drill? Use suncream!

If you are in the Caribbean or anywhere else particularly sunny and hot for that matter, and you are attending a muster drill, ensure you’ve covered yourself in suncream. This is because you will likely need to stand in the same location for a good 20-30 minutes so take caution.

Stay away from elevators/lifts

Stay away from elevators while going to your muster station. This is because those with mobility issues will need to use the lifts and should have priority. If you need to use the elevators, ask the crew members if you need assistance and they will happy to help.

Be mindful of the time and location of the muster drill

Don’t be one of those passengers who decide on the quick nap and you miss the muster drill. Ask a crew member if you are not sure of the time of the drill. The location of the muster drill is usually located on your cruise card. If the cruise ship is quite big the assembly station is usually located on the promenade deck.

Listen out for additional safety advice

A muster drill is a perfect opportunity for the captain to say any other important safety advice for your upcoming trip. Handwashing will definitely be a part of this important advice given that Covid has a very wide impact on everyone. Other things include might include what happens if someone falls overboard and reminders of drinking sensibly onboard.

Let the stairs clear after the drill

What’s the point in rushing like everyone else once the drill is over? Just sit it out and wait, or if you are outside, take in the sea breeze and enjoy the sight.

Muster drills for disabled passengers

Some cruise lines will offer another muster drill for disabled passengers, possibly inside the ship where it is more accessible. Please ask a crew member about this if this is something you might need.

Make sure you register!

How bad will it be if you’ve attended the muster drill but forgot to register your name? Make sure the crew member has logged you down for attending the muster drill or you will have to do it again! Often this is done by showing your cruise card or giving the number of your cabin / cabins. On some cruise liners, crew will scan your cruise card to markdown you’ve attended.

Pay attention!

If you are attending a safety briefing please make sure you keep quiet at all times and pay attention! Not only is it rude to talk over the crew member ensuring your safety but other passengers next to you will likely want to listen carefully to the potentially life-saving advice too!

Muster Drill on a cruise ship

Royal Caribbean announces a new electronic muster drill called Muster 2.0

Given the current or recent pandemic (depending on when you read this!) Royal Caribbean have announced an electronic muster drill called Muster 2.0.

These were implemented to help keep everyone on board and able to complete the muster procedure but socially distanced. These drills will debut in Germany and be rolled out across to all Royal Caribbean ships.

Before boarding passengers will be informed of what to do in case of an actual emergency situation onboard.

How it works:

Passengers on Royal Caribbean’s ships will be required to download an app on their mobile device or view the information on their stateroom TV. This will contain important safety advice which everyone must-see.

This new technology aims to help protect everyone from the Covid-19 virus. It will no doubt stay after the pandemic as it seems it will be quicker and easier for people to attend and pay attention too and not require the crew to attend.

Have any other muster station tips you would like to share? Give us a message on the contact form!

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  • Princess Cruises

Muster Drill

By Jayhoaps , November 3, 2023 in Princess Cruises

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50+ Club

Hello everyone, I'm set to go on Cruise on Monday and I'm very excited. However, I am new to Princess Cruise, just wondering once you board the ship, how do you complete the muster Drill, or find Muster Station. 

Any insight or guidance on this manner, would be greatly appreciated it. Thanks again. Time. 

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karatemom2

Princess has made it much easier. You can identify your muster station by looking at the map on your door. Simply check in at the station where they will scan your medallion and then watch the safety video in the comfort of your stateroom and you will be all set. 

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2 hours ago, karatemom2 said: Princess has made it much easier. You can identify your muster station by looking at the map on your door. Simply check in at the station where they will scan your medallion and then watch the safety video in the comfort of your stateroom and you will be all set. 

Thanks for your reply, if my room is not available at this time, where can I find it?

1 minute ago, Jayhoaps said: Thanks for your reply, if my room is not available at this time, where can I find it?

Any crew member can direct you based on your stateroom number. But your room will be available by 1 pm and I don’t recall them setting up the check in stations before that time.  

2 hours ago, karatemom2 said: Any crew member can direct you based on your stateroom number. But your room will be available by 1 pm and I don’t recall them setting up the check in stations before that time.  

Okay thanks so much.

Just to clarify, I can watch the safety video on the app and then proceed to muster station?

Yes, either order is fine. You just need to do both before sailaway. You can also watch it on your stateroom tv. 

Cruisintimer

Cruisintimer

27 minutes ago, Jayhoaps said: Hello everyone, I'm set to go on Cruise on Monday and I'm very excited. However, I am new to Princess Cruise, just wondering once you board the ship, how do you complete the muster Drill, or find Muster Station.    Any insight or guidance on this manner, would be greatly appreciated it. Thanks again. Time. 

Have a great time!

Torfamm

8 minutes ago, Jayhoaps said: Thanks for your reply, if my room is not available at this time, where can I find it?

 Once you are onboard and connect to the ship’s intranet you can see your muster station and watch the safety video on the app under Safety Essentials

3 hours ago, karatemom2 said: Yes, either order is fine. You just need to do both before sailaway. You can also watch it on your stateroom tv. 

Thanks so much, I greatly appreciate it. This has really helped me a lot. 

3,000+ Club

BTW I was trying to use the cabin TV as a touch screen until Steward told us to use the remote 🙂

Haha

I normally watch on the App via my phone in the Piazza whilst enjoying my first drink of the cruise.

You should be able to see where your muster station is before the cruise by looking on the Ocean Ready app.¹

Holiday Sharing

Big brother knows if you watch it or not, the announcements of the naughty list will start around 2pm!   😂

2 hours ago, Crashe said: Big brother knows if you watch it or not, the announcements of the naughty list will start around 2pm!   😂

haha that's hilarious!  

1 hour ago, Jayhoaps said: Thanks for your reply, if my room is not available at this time, where can I find it?

As you board and encounter your first ship's security person, ask them for the location of your Muster Station.

Muster stations are located on deck 7, Promenade deck. Muster station "A" is located in the Princess Theater, then B, C, D etc moving aft on deck 7. Knock that out as soon as you board and then watch the muster movie on your smart device while you have lunch waiting for your room to open.

Rick&Jeannie

Rick&Jeannie

1 hour ago, Jayhoaps said: haha that's hilarious!  

But very true!

1 hour ago, EDDY0827 said: As you board and encounter your first ship's security person,  ask them for the location of your Muster Station.

Please do not do this.

Scan your medallion and proceed through the security checkpoint onto the ship without delay and don't hold up the queue. Just beyond security you will enter the ship, most likely just off the Piazza or into a large elevator lobby where there are dozens of crew just waiting to give you directions to wherever you wish to be. If you decide to just wander away in any direction you will encounter more crew just hanging out, holding radios, and answering questions. Questions like "where is my muster station?" are very popular and once again, they are there to answer exactly that sort of thing.

There are dozens of crew members whose  only job that day is to make sure you know where your muster station is. The security guy scanning people onto the ship is not one of them.

It goes like this:

Me-"My muster station is?"

Security- "Station "C"."

Me- "Thank you."

I never stop moving to hold up any queue that may or may not be there.

14 minutes ago, EDDY0827 said: It goes like this: Me-"My muster station is?" Security- "Station "C"." Me- "Thank you." I never stop moving to hold up any queue that may or may not be there.

Then who do you ask where station D is ?

11 hours ago, memoak said: Then who do you ask where station D is ?

I fully assume that you were giving a "tongue-in-cheek" reply...but for those who *really* don't know:

1) Just look on the inside of your cabin door

2) Ask your steward

3) Ask any crew member you see.

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FinanceBuzz

FinanceBuzz

16 Things You Must Do Every Time You Board a Cruise Ship

Posted: August 22, 2023 | Last updated: April 7, 2024

<p> Planning for a cruise can be a year-long event. By the time you've booked your journey with one of the <a href="https://financebuzz.com/top-travel-credit-cards?utm_source=msn&utm_medium=feed&synd_slide=1&synd_postid=13047&synd_backlink_title=top+travel+credit+cards&synd_backlink_position=1&synd_slug=top-travel-credit-cards">top travel credit cards</a> and boarding day arrives you might not know what to do first.  </p> <p> Should you visit the buffet? Get situated in your cabin? Plunge into the pool?  </p> <p> Start your ocean journey on the right foot by following our checklist of 16 things to do as soon as you board your cruise ship. </p> <p>  <a href="https://financebuzz.com/top-travel-credit-cards?utm_source=msn&utm_medium=feed&synd_slide=1&synd_postid=13047&synd_backlink_title=Compare+the+best+travel+credit+cards+for+nearly+free+travel&synd_backlink_position=2&synd_slug=top-travel-credit-cards">Compare the best travel credit cards for nearly free travel</a>  </p>

Planning for a cruise can be a year-long event. By the time you've booked your journey with one of the top travel credit cards and boarding day arrives you might not know what to do first.

Should you visit the buffet? Get situated in your cabin? Plunge into the pool?

Start your ocean journey on the right foot by following our checklist of 16 things to do as soon as you board your cruise ship.

Compare the best travel credit cards for nearly free travel

<p> Tackle the first important step before you board your cruise ship and pack a carry-on bag full of essentials you need to access during your first day on board the night before you leave.  </p> <p> Include a swimsuit, change of clothes, essential medications, a toothbrush, and any activities to keep you occupied during lulls in the action. </p> <p>  <p class=""><a href="https://financebuzz.com/extra-newsletter-signup-testimonials-synd?utm_source=msn&utm_medium=feed&synd_slide=2&synd_postid=13047&synd_backlink_title=Get+expert+advice+on+making+more+money+-+sent+straight+to+your+inbox.&synd_backlink_position=3&synd_slug=extra-newsletter-signup-testimonials-synd">Get expert advice on making more money - sent straight to your inbox.</a></p>  </p>

Pack a carry-on bag

Tackle the first important step before you board your cruise ship and pack a carry-on bag full of essentials you need to access during your first day on board the night before you leave.

Include a swimsuit, change of clothes, essential medications, a toothbrush, and any activities to keep you occupied during lulls in the action.

Get expert advice on making more money - sent straight to your inbox.

<p> You’ll need to present identification to board your cruise ship. As you’re putting together your carry-on bag, double-check your driver’s license and passport if needed.  </p> <p> These things should be secure within your carry-on but easy to access quickly.  </p>

Verify that travel documents are in order

You’ll need to present identification to board your cruise ship. As you’re putting together your carry-on bag, double-check your driver’s license and passport if needed.

These things should be secure within your carry-on but easy to access quickly.

<p> Most major cruise lines have mobile apps you can access throughout your trip.  </p> <p> While you’re waiting to board, scroll through the first day’s schedule as listed on the app to find out: </p> <ul> <li>Where you can find lunch  </li><li>What time the muster drill will be at  </li><li>How to access your cabin  </li><li>Whether any special events are planned for the evening  </li> </ul> <p>  <p><a href="https://financebuzz.com/southwest-booking-secrets-55mp?utm_source=msn&utm_medium=feed&synd_slide=4&synd_postid=13047&synd_backlink_title=7+Nearly+Secret+Things+to+Do+If+You+Fly+Southwest&synd_backlink_position=4&synd_slug=southwest-booking-secrets-55mp">7 Nearly Secret Things to Do If You Fly Southwest</a></p>  </p>

Check out the schedule on the cruise app

Most major cruise lines have mobile apps you can access throughout your trip.

While you’re waiting to board, scroll through the first day’s schedule as listed on the app to find out:

  • Where you can find lunch
  • What time the muster drill will be at
  • How to access your cabin
  • Whether any special events are planned for the evening

7 Nearly Secret Things to Do If You Fly Southwest

<p> Once you’ve safely boarded the ship, make your way to your cabin and start to get situated.  </p> <p> Your bags might not be waiting for you yet, but you should be able to access the room. Have a look around and report any concerns to the staff ASAP.  </p>

Find your cabin

Once you’ve safely boarded the ship, make your way to your cabin and start to get situated.

Your bags might not be waiting for you yet, but you should be able to access the room. Have a look around and report any concerns to the staff ASAP.

<p> Get ahead of the tedious task of unpacking by sorting through whatever you brought in your carry-on bag.  </p> <p> You’ll have plenty more to organize once your bags arrive, so you might as well give your future self a helping hand by unpacking what you can now instead of adding to any chaos later. </p>

Unpack your carry-on

Get ahead of the tedious task of unpacking by sorting through whatever you brought in your carry-on bag.

You’ll have plenty more to organize once your bags arrive, so you might as well give your future self a helping hand by unpacking what you can now instead of adding to any chaos later.

<p> If you purchased an internet package for your journey, take the time to log into the system and figure out how well it works.  </p> <p> If you didn’t buy a Wi-Fi package ahead of time but find that you can’t live without it, now is your chance to sign up. </p> <p>  <p class=""><a href="https://financebuzz.com/top-no-interest-credit-cards?utm_source=msn&utm_medium=feed&synd_slide=7&synd_postid=13047&synd_backlink_title=Pay+no+interest+until+nearly+2025+with+these+credit+cards&synd_backlink_position=5&synd_slug=top-no-interest-credit-cards">Pay no interest until nearly 2025 with these credit cards</a></p>  </p>

Find out if the internet works

If you purchased an internet package for your journey, take the time to log into the system and figure out how well it works.

If you didn’t buy a Wi-Fi package ahead of time but find that you can’t live without it, now is your chance to sign up.

Pay no interest until nearly 2025 with these credit cards

<p> You might still have some phone service before you embark, but it’s bound to get spotty as soon as you leave the port.  </p> <p> Forgetting to turn on airplane mode can mean racking up roaming charges without even noticing you’re doing so. Set your phone to airplane mode now instead of leaving it until later.  </p>

Set your phone to airplane mode

You might still have some phone service before you embark, but it’s bound to get spotty as soon as you leave the port.

Forgetting to turn on airplane mode can mean racking up roaming charges without even noticing you’re doing so. Set your phone to airplane mode now instead of leaving it until later.

<p> If you were waiting until you checked in to change into your swimsuit and gear up for a fun first day of hanging around the pool, now’s your chance. </p> <p> You’ve made it on board, so feel free to slip into something a bit more comfortable.  </p>

Dress for the day’s events

If you were waiting until you checked in to change into your swimsuit and gear up for a fun first day of hanging around the pool, now’s your chance.

You’ve made it on board, so feel free to slip into something a bit more comfortable.

<p> Hoping to spend at least some of your first day exploring your cruise ship’s decks? No one wants to kick off their vacation with a sunburn. </p> <p> Get ahead of the sun by applying sunscreen before you leave your cabin for the first time. </p> <p>  <p class=""><a href="https://financebuzz.com/top-cash-back-credit-cards?utm_source=msn&utm_medium=feed&synd_slide=10&synd_postid=13047&synd_backlink_title=Earn+up+to+5%25+cash+back+when+you+shop+with+these+leading+credit+cards&synd_backlink_position=6&synd_slug=top-cash-back-credit-cards">Earn up to 5% cash back when you shop with these leading credit cards</a></p>  </p>

Apply sunscreen

Hoping to spend at least some of your first day exploring your cruise ship’s decks? No one wants to kick off their vacation with a sunburn.

Get ahead of the sun by applying sunscreen before you leave your cabin for the first time.

Earn up to 5% cash back when you shop with these leading credit cards

<p> Cruise ships are large enough that you likely won’t feel any dramatic rocking as you sail unless you encounter a storm. Still, people who tend to get motion sick on dry land can get seasick on cruise ships.  </p> <p> If you’re one of those people, don’t forget to take anti-nausea medication so you can explore the ship without getting too dizzy. </p>

Take anti-nausea medication

Cruise ships are large enough that you likely won’t feel any dramatic rocking as you sail unless you encounter a storm. Still, people who tend to get motion sick on dry land can get seasick on cruise ships.

If you’re one of those people, don’t forget to take anti-nausea medication so you can explore the ship without getting too dizzy.

<p> Cruise lines provide passengers with comprehensive safety training before the ship embarks on its journey.  </p> <p> All passengers are required to attend the safety training — called a muster drill — and wear their life jackets for the duration of the drill.  </p> <p> You can expect the muster drill to happen 30 to 90 minutes before embarking, but check your ship’s schedule for exact details.</p>

Attend the mandatory muster drill

Cruise lines provide passengers with comprehensive safety training before the ship embarks on its journey.

All passengers are required to attend the safety training — called a muster drill — and wear their life jackets for the duration of the drill.

You can expect the muster drill to happen 30 to 90 minutes before embarking, but check your ship’s schedule for exact details.

<p> Cruise ships are massive, so there are plenty of areas to explore, activities to find, and decks to get used to.  </p> <p> While you’re waiting for the mandatory muster drill, pull up a map of the ship on your cruise line’s app and start familiarizing yourself with the place you’ll call home for the next week or so.</p><p>  <p class=""><a href="https://financebuzz.com/1000-in-the-bank?utm_source=msn&utm_medium=feed&synd_slide=13&synd_postid=13047&synd_backlink_title=7+savvy+moves+when+you+have+%241%2C000+in+the+bank&synd_backlink_position=7&synd_slug=1000-in-the-bank">7 savvy moves when you have $1,000 in the bank</a></p>  </p>

Explore your surroundings

Cruise ships are massive, so there are plenty of areas to explore, activities to find, and decks to get used to.

While you’re waiting for the mandatory muster drill, pull up a map of the ship on your cruise line’s app and start familiarizing yourself with the place you’ll call home for the next week or so.

7 savvy moves when you have $1,000 in the bank

<p>Some cruises now host their muster drills entirely via their app instead of in-person safety training.  </p> <p> Find out if your cruise line requires an in-person drill or if you can complete an e-course instead, then take care of the course right away. </p>

Consider choosing an e-muster

Some cruises now host their muster drills entirely via their app instead of in-person safety training.

Find out if your cruise line requires an in-person drill or if you can complete an e-course instead, then take care of the course right away.

<p> You might need to make a reservation to enjoy the cruise line activities you’ve been most excited about, such as a spa day or meal at a fancy restaurant.  </p> <p> Hopefully, you signed up for events well in advance. If so, take a moment to verify that the details are in order. If you didn’t sign up early, you should be able to use your app to find any open spots. </p>

Double-check reservations — or make them in the first place

You might need to make a reservation to enjoy the cruise line activities you’ve been most excited about, such as a spa day or meal at a fancy restaurant.

Hopefully, you signed up for events well in advance. If so, take a moment to verify that the details are in order. If you didn’t sign up early, you should be able to use your app to find any open spots.

<p> There’s nothing quite like the rush of watching your ship pull away from the shoreline and head out to sea at the start of your grand adventure.  </p> <p> Document the moment by finding the ideal spot to watch the moment you leave port — you won’t want to miss it. </p> <p>  <p class=""><a href="https://financebuzz.com/top-signs-of-financial-fitness?utm_source=msn&utm_medium=feed&synd_slide=16&synd_postid=13047&synd_backlink_title=5+Signs+You%E2%80%99re+Doing+Better+Financially+Than+the+Average+American&synd_backlink_position=8&synd_slug=top-signs-of-financial-fitness-2">5 Signs You’re Doing Better Financially Than the Average American</a></p>  </p>

Find the best spot to enjoy embarking

There’s nothing quite like the rush of watching your ship pull away from the shoreline and head out to sea at the start of your grand adventure.

Document the moment by finding the ideal spot to watch the moment you leave port — you won’t want to miss it.

5 Signs You’re Doing Better Financially Than the Average American

<p> You’ve already unpacked your carry-on. Next up, unpack your luggage as soon as it arrives in your cabin.  </p> <p> The sooner you check this tedious task off your list, the faster you can get to the cruise ship activities you’ve been looking forward to for so long.  </p>

Unpack the rest of your bags

You’ve already unpacked your carry-on. Next up, unpack your luggage as soon as it arrives in your cabin.

The sooner you check this tedious task off your list, the faster you can get to the cruise ship activities you’ve been looking forward to for so long.

<p>Follow this simple 16-step checklist to <a href="https://financebuzz.com/seniors-throw-money-away-tp?utm_source=msn&utm_medium=feed&synd_slide=18&synd_postid=13047&synd_backlink_title=avoid+wasting+money&synd_backlink_position=9&synd_slug=seniors-throw-money-away-tp">avoid wasting money</a> and enjoy every minute of your cruise, from the start of your journey to the end.</p><p>You’ve spent ages preparing for your cruise. Don’t let a second of it go to waste.</p> <p>  <p class=""><b>More from FinanceBuzz:</b></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://www.financebuzz.com/supplement-income-55mp?utm_source=msn&utm_medium=feed&synd_slide=18&synd_postid=13047&synd_backlink_title=7+things+to+do+if+you%E2%80%99re+barely+scraping+by+financially.&synd_backlink_position=10&synd_slug=supplement-income-55mp">7 things to do if you’re barely scraping by financially.</a></li> <li><a href="https://financebuzz.com/make-extra-money?utm_source=msn&utm_medium=feed&synd_slide=18&synd_postid=13047&synd_backlink_title=12+legit+ways+to+earn+extra+cash&synd_backlink_position=11&synd_slug=ways-to-make-extra-money">12 legit ways to earn extra cash</a><a href="https://financebuzz.com/ways-to-make-extra-money?utm_source=msn&utm_medium=feed&synd_slide=18&synd_postid=13047&synd_backlink_title=.&synd_backlink_position=12&synd_slug=ways-to-make-extra-money">.</a></li> <li><a href="https://financebuzz.com/offer/bypass/637?source=%2Flatest%2Fmsn%2Fslideshow%2Ffeed%2F&aff_id=1006&aff_sub=msn&aff_sub2=&aff_sub3=&aff_sub4=feed&aff_sub5=%7Bimpressionid%7D&aff_click_id=&aff_unique1=%7Baff_unique1%7D&aff_unique2=&aff_unique3=&aff_unique4=&aff_unique5=%7Baff_unique5%7D&rendered_slug=/latest/msn/slideshow/feed/&contentblockid=984&contentblockversionid=17466&ml_sort_id=&sorted_item_id=&widget_type=&cms_offer_id=637&keywords=&utm_source=msn&utm_medium=feed&synd_slide=18&synd_postid=13047&synd_backlink_title=Can+you+retire+early%3F+Take+this+quiz+and+find+out.&synd_backlink_position=13&synd_slug=offer/bypass/637">Can you retire early? Take this quiz and find out.</a></li> <li><a href="https://financebuzz.com/extra-newsletter-signup-testimonials-synd?utm_source=msn&utm_medium=feed&synd_slide=18&synd_postid=13047&synd_backlink_title=9+simple+ways+to+make+up+to+an+extra+%24200%2Fday&synd_backlink_position=14&synd_slug=extra-newsletter-signup-testimonials-synd">9 simple ways to make up to an extra $200/day</a></li> </ul>  </p>

Bottom line

Follow this simple 16-step checklist to avoid wasting money and enjoy every minute of your cruise, from the start of your journey to the end.

You’ve spent ages preparing for your cruise. Don’t let a second of it go to waste.

More from FinanceBuzz:

  • 7 things to do if you’re barely scraping by financially.
  • 12 legit ways to earn extra cash .
  • Can you retire early? Take this quiz and find out.
  • 9 simple ways to make up to an extra $200/day

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IMAGES

  1. What to Expect During a Cruise Ship Muster Drill

    cruise muster drill

  2. Muster Drill on Royal Caribbean Mariner of the Seas Cruise Ship

    cruise muster drill

  3. What is a Muster Drill on a cruise ship?

    cruise muster drill

  4. What to Expect During a Cruise Ship Muster Drill

    cruise muster drill

  5. What to Expect During a Cruise Ship Muster Drill

    cruise muster drill

  6. Muster drill

    cruise muster drill

VIDEO

  1. 15 cruise ship rules you shouldn't break

  2. WELP! It’s back to the traditional muster drill on Disney Cruise Line #disneycruiseline #disneywish

  3. MUSTER DRILL ANNOUNCEMENT

  4. Muster Drill!!!

  5. Muster Drill # Disney #cruise

  6. Mariner Of the Seas Muster drill

COMMENTS

  1. What is a cruise ship muster drill?

    The mandatory muster drills — also known as cruise ship safety drills, safety briefings or lifeboat drills — serve to tell passengers all they need to know to stay safe on a cruise. They're the cruise ship equivalent of school fire drills. True emergencies are rare at sea, but it's important for everyone on board to know what to do if an ...

  2. What is a muster drill?

    A muster drill is a mandatory safety exercise with the objective to familiarize all guests and crew with the location (muster station) where they are to assemble in the unlikely event of an emergency, as well as additional safety information. The assembly muster drill is an international (SOLAS) requirement that is enforced by the Coast Guard ...

  3. Are You Ready for the Cruise Muster Drill? Here's What to Know…

    For those that have never cruised before, the ship's muster drill is an emergency practice in case you have to abandon ship in the middle of the cruise. Rules require that it be done before the ship leaves the dock. You can think of it as being similar to the rules that require the airline crew to go over the safety procedures before every ...

  4. Cruise Muster Station and Muster Drill: What Are They?

    A muster drill is an event held at the start of a cruise and familiarizes all travelers with safety procedures like where life jackets are and how to don them quickly. (Passengers often need to ...

  5. Royal Caribbean Changes The Game With Muster 2.0

    Muster 2.0 is a new program that allows guests to complete the safety drill on their own time and device, and check in at their assembly station. It is more flexible, personal and safe, and meets all regulatory requirements.

  6. What to Expect During a Cruise Ship Muster Drill

    Even if you have been on numerous cruises in the past, you would still be required to participate in a muster drill within 24 hours of embarkation day on a new cruise ship. This is because all ...

  7. Safety Briefing

    In 2021, Carnival Cruise Line implemented a new Guest Safety Briefing, which consists of a self-mustering process of guests at their assigned muster station. Guests can identify their assigned muster station on their boarding pass, Sail & Sign Card or cabin key. Once they visit their assigned muster station, they will check in with one of the ...

  8. Muster Drill Breakdown and Cruise Safety

    Muster Drill Breakdown: Ensuring Cruise Safety for All Passengers. A muster drill is an important part of any cruise, ensuring the safety of all passengers and crew members in the event of an emergency. These safety drills are a mandatory event for every cruise ship on the sea, so you will likely be familiar with them if you are a veteran cruiser.

  9. The Cruise Ship Muster Drill Explained (And What Happens If You Miss It

    The definition of "muster" is to assemble. Well, a "muster" is also a group of peacocks, and we mustered all of our restraint to not mention that. But, for the purposes of this article, the "assemble" context makes more sense. On a cruise, a muster drill is not a hotdog cart run or a group of peacocks, it's part of the cruise experience.

  10. Muster drill

    A muster drill in progress on Royal Caribbean cruise ship Grandeur of the Seas A muster drill in progress on the Coral Princess. A muster drill, sometimes referred to as a lifeboat drill or a boat drill, is an exercise that is conducted by the crew of a ship prior to embarking on a voyage. A muster drill prepares passengers for safe evacuation, in the event of an emergency on board the ship ...

  11. What Is Muster Drill?

    The first day of your cruise is filled with excitement as you explore the ship and start your vacation, but safety is the priority, so you'll invariably be participating in a muster drill. It may not be the most fun part of your vacation, but let's go over what muster drills are, why they're important, and how you can make the best of this "lost time" on embarkation day.

  12. Cruise Muster Drill Procedure

    A muster drill is a mandatory safety drill that happens on all cruises, as laid out by the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea. They are sometimes referred to as a 'lifeboat drill' or 'safety drill'. Taking place before the ship sails, the drill lets guests familiarise themselves with where to assemble in the ...

  13. Muster 2.0™

    Muster 2.0™ is a new approach to delivering safety information to guests. The first-of-its-kind program reimagines the traditional safety drill, a process originally designed for large groups of people, into a faster, more personal approach that encourages higher levels of safety. Eliminating the gathering of large crowds, the program's new ...

  14. What is a Muster Drill on a Cruise? Everything You Need to Know (REVIEW

    A Muster Drill will happen on every cruise in some form or another. It is important that you attend and are prepared for what is going to happen. Is The Muster Drill on a Cruise Mandatory or Optional? Cruise lines are legally bound by SOLAS (Safety of Life at Sea) to provide a Muster Drill for all guests. The cruise line would be breaking the ...

  15. Cruise Lines Now Have Digital Muster Drills -- Here's What We've

    Throughout the year, Cruise Critic's editors have been on ships of all shapes and sizes as the industry has returned, and the digital muster drill has been one of the sleeper hits of each voyage.

  16. What is a Muster Drill on a cruise ship?

    A muster drill (also known as a lifeboat or a boat drill) is one of the most important things all cruise lines must do before the ship departs for the first time. It's the only boring part of your vacation but it's a legal requirement to help keep you safe in the event of an emergency. Cruise ships must keep to the SOLAS regulation.

  17. NCL Returns to E-Muster Drills in April

    2 min read. (1:45 p.m. EDT) -- Say goodbye to the in-person muster safety drill: Norwegian Cruise Line has confirmed it will once again return to digital muster drills beginning April 1, 2023 ...

  18. What is a cruise ship muster drill?

    The muster drill will occur prior to sail away, and every passenger onboard will be required to either attend a physical all-ship drill or complete it virtually on the cruise line's app. Note, though, that if you have the option to participate via the app, you will still have to physically visit your muster station.

  19. What is a cruise muster drill?

    Updated. The muster drill is a safety meeting where all passengers assemble at their emergency evacuation location. Per the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, all passenger ships must have a cruise muster drill during the first 24 hours of the trip. After the 30 min to 1 hour muster drill, you are free to start your fun!

  20. Muster Drill

    Then, again before departure, you proceed - by whichever means you desire - to your muster station to have staff scan your Medallion (which replaces the old cruise card). The old muster drill allowed those guests with trouble on stairs to take an elevator manned by staff to the muster station where everyone sat thru the presentation and life ...

  21. Muster Drill

    Southern California. #2. Posted November 3, 2023. Princess has made it much easier. You can identify your muster station by looking at the map on your door. Simply check in at the station where they will scan your medallion and then watch the safety video in the comfort of your stateroom and you will be all set. 1.

  22. Safety Briefing

    Safety Briefing - Muster Station Drill. In 2021, Carnival Cruise Line implemented a new Guest Safety Briefing, which consists of a self-mustering process of guests at their assigned muster station. Guests can identify their assigned muster... Date Updated: 12/04/2023.

  23. 16 Things You Must Do Every Time You Board a Cruise Ship

    Cruise lines provide passengers with comprehensive safety training before the ship embarks on its journey. All passengers are required to attend the safety training — called a muster drill ...

  24. Are Traditional Cruise Muster Drills Coming Back?

    "The Disney Cruise Family Travel Blog" also wrote a posted on the subject, titled "In-Person muster Drills are Returning," on November 14, 2022, revealing that Disney Cruise Line has reverted to ...