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Royal Caribbean Group reinvents cruise industry's safety drill

- New patented approach helps guests sail away smoothly

- Technology licensed to other cruise lines to help eliminate crowding

News Release Issued: Jul 24, 2020 (6:00am EDT)

 

https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/royal-caribbean-group-reinvents-cruise-industrys-safety-drill-301099281.html

 

 

Edited by Host Kat
Removed copy/paste of article's text & replaced with link per the Copyright Infringement section in the Cruise Critic Guidelines.
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After reviewing safety information individually, guests will complete the drill by visiting their assigned assembly station, where a crew member will verify that all steps have been completed and answer questions. Each of the steps will need to be completed prior to the ship's departure, as required by international maritime law.

IMO, I am not sure this is much different than the traditional safety drill as it seems it will be quite crowded as the guest "checks-in and answers questions".......prior to ships departure.  Time will tell...

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1 hour ago, FlorenceItaly said:

After reviewing safety information individually, guests will complete the drill by visiting their assigned assembly station, where a crew member will verify that all steps have been completed and answer questions. Each of the steps will need to be completed prior to the ship's departure, as required by international maritime law.

IMO, I am not sure this is much different than the traditional safety drill as it seems it will be quite crowded as the guest "checks-in and answers questions".......prior to ships departure.  Time will tell...

 

my guess is they will space out (time-wise) this process to avoid the large crowds.

 

that said, my guess is no cruises on any large scale until a vaccine of some sort is available.

 

 

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1 hour ago, FlorenceItaly said:

After reviewing safety information individually, guests will complete the drill by visiting their assigned assembly station, where a crew member will verify that all steps have been completed and answer questions. Each of the steps will need to be completed prior to the ship's departure, as required by international maritime law.

IMO, I am not sure this is much different than the traditional safety drill as it seems it will be quite crowded as the guest "checks-in and answers questions".......prior to ships departure.  Time will tell...

Yeah I see some problems with this too.

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If they wavied the process for Elite+ and Zeniths they could shorten the wait for others.

if you are an Elite+ you've attended the drill so many time that you could repeat it in your sleep.

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6 minutes ago, Orator said:

If they wavied the process for Elite+ and Zeniths they could shorten the wait for others.

if you are an Elite+ you've attended the drill so many time that you could repeat it in your sleep.

Perhaps very true but you would need the specific muster information for your current cabin.  And of course the muster requirement for departure is mandatory for all.

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6 minutes ago, TeeRick said:

Perhaps very true but you would need the specific muster information for your current cabin.  And of course the muster requirement for departure is mandatory for all.

Isn't the location of Muster Station mounted on the door? Perhaps they could also waive it for people on a B2B in the same cabin. A number of lines waive attendance for passengers on a B2B following their first cruise on the B2B.

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I appreciate any attempt to relieve the problem of crowding at the drills. This should be addressed. However, I see potential problems here. A great many folks will misinterpret  a "recorded" TV safety briefing as optional. I didn't think I had to watch it before we left. I was too busy unpacking etc.. I forgot.  My wife/husband looked at the video ... he/she will check in for me. Why can't I just call it in? Lots of excuses. Under the old muster drill system, the crew already had to call out a number of "absent" cabin numbers. Wow ... can you imagine how many more non-compliant passengers they'll have to chase down under this new system?

 

Life jackets? I want mine in my cabin. In an emergency, trying to grab one at the muster station could present a dangerous free-for-all. Frightened people aren't going to line up politely and patiently wait to be handed their lifejacket!

 

Allow Elite+ and Zenith a waiver? Not an option. As already stated, different cabins and/or ships = different muster locations. That's obvious.

 

Sure, the muster drills are annoying, but they are a necessity. This critical source of life-saving safety info has already been dumbed down enough. Eg: Overcrowded public rooms and video screens that you can't actually see. During the drills, I watch people glued to their phones, or engaged in conversation, ignoring instructions. (They'd be clueless in a real emergency.)

 

There's got to be a better way. Perhaps dividing total muster station numbers in half and conducting drills in 2 consecutive sessions? In other words, call the first half of the cabin numbers on the list; when finished, allow 10 minutes or so to clear the halls, then call the second half? Of course, it would take additional time, but this might address crowding. It could end up being less time consuming than having everyone check in after "watching" their personal videos.

 

Please, don't flame me! I don't have the answers. I'm only voicing concerns.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Anything would be better than the last muster I attended on Harmony of the Seas.  Could not see or hear a thing due to the sardine conditions.

In this day and age we should be able to type in a code or call in to someone/somewhere on the ship to verify we watched/listened to the presentation.  My bank sends me a code which I type into my account to gain access.  Some technically competent person must have an answer.

Many cruisers have issues standing, especially in the hot sun on an open deck.  I have not seen Celebrity requiring this in years but have been in a dining room or somewhere where it was almost impossible to see or hear.

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I believe that any changes will reflect the new policies for cruising. In this case I believe that the changes reflect the requirement of social distancing. It will be much easier for the ships to enforce social distancing at Muster Drills under the new system since they are checking passengers one at a time and can having spacing regulated. Under the former system it would have been nearly impossible to have any social distancing. Imaging being assigned the Photo Gallery or a small dining venue as a Muster Station.

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While these changes might not have created a "perfect" Muster Drill, it's a vast improvement over the existing model and light years ahead of enduring the whole drill standing at our lifeboats in weather both fair and foul. With a window of 5-6 hours for passengers to complete the drill, any crowding should be minimal. Once the new system has rolled out and been used for a while, any obvious issues can be ironed out. 

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46 minutes ago, AC Stew said:

Life jackets? I want mine in my cabin. In an emergency, trying to grab one at the muster station could present a dangerous free-for-all. Frightened people aren't going to line up politely and patiently wait to be handed their lifejacket!

 

Many of the newer ships do NOT have them in the cabins but in locations central to the muster stations. (Just looked at my video of my cabin from Edge and they do NOT have them.) It actually makes it easier as people are not trying to go back and forth getting to their cabin and then back to their station. You just go to your station.

Edited by WrittenOnYourHeart
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In concept, this sounds like a great idea, and if they can get it to work, more power to them and I will love it. In addition to some of the possible hiccups listed by others, I fear that  there will be folks who just won't bother to comply.  One of the thing cruise lines have always done is shut the bars down before the muster drill, which removed a major distraction.  The ship can't sail until passenger compliance is verified.  The same people who were always late under the old system, won't follow these instructions either. I can hear the announcements now: "Will Mr. & Mrs. X of cabin xxxx and Ms. Y of cabin ????!, etc., etc. please report to your muster station. At least initially, expect ships to sail late until people get used to the new procedure.

Edited by Straughn
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The last safety/muster drill we did on Silhouette in February was horrible. The safety/video portion was done in the Ensemble Lounge and more than half of the assembled crowd were in locations in this long, narrow space where we could see neither the video or any of the crew. Everyone was complaining. 

 

Our cruises on HAL Koningsdam and Nieuw Statendam in 2018 and 2019 had already implemented the in-cabin viewing portion of the safety/muster drill. Everyone went to their staterooms to watch the video on their television sets and then we assembled briefly at our muster stations. There were crew members in the halls to direct us to the correct route for the muster station. It was not done on a staggered schedule as being proposed by Royal Caribbean but it felt less crowded because there weren't thousands of people piling out of the same location in a common area but were instead coming from our staterooms. It was much better overall than any other cruises we've been on. 

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6 minutes ago, WrittenOnYourHeart said:

 

Many of the newer ships do NOT have them in the cabins but in locations central to the muster stations. (Just looked at my video of my cabin from Edge and they do NOT have them.) It actually makes it easier as people are not trying to go back and forth getting to their cabin and then back to their station. You just go to your station.

But in the case of a REAL emergency, and you have to evacuate the ship, you need to go back to your cabin to collect your medication, put on warm clothes and get your ID.

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3 hours ago, FlorenceItaly said:

After reviewing safety information individually, guests will complete the drill by visiting their assigned assembly station, where a crew member will verify that all steps have been completed and answer questions. Each of the steps will need to be completed prior to the ship's departure, as required by international maritime law.

IMO, I am not sure this is much different than the traditional safety drill as it seems it will be quite crowded as the guest "checks-in and answers questions".......prior to ships departure.  Time will tell...

Imo, the check in will be the same as always, “Cabin number and names..?”

This would be followed by one or two questions about the video. It probably would take less than a minute to do. If guests had to line up single file in one direction on the decks outside, it should move along easily. It would be much faster and safer, Imo, than cramming everyone (sometimes in standing room only) into dining rooms and other closed-in venues as they have always done, followed by the mass exodus where everyone is jammed together walking through the ship at a snails pace. Can't wait to see how this actually works.

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1 minute ago, puppycanducruise said:

But in the case of a REAL emergency, and you have to evacuate the ship, you need to go back to your cabin to collect your medication, put on warm clothes and get your ID.

 

IF you are able. You may not be able to get back to your cabin.

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46 minutes ago, AC Stew said:

Life jackets? I want mine in my cabin. In an emergency, trying to grab one at the muster station could present a dangerous free-for-all. Frightened people aren't going to line up politely and patiently wait to be handed their lifejacket!

And if you are nowhere near your cabin, are you going to try to fight your way against the flow of frightened people just so you can get "your" lifejacket? What if the emergency is a fire in the vicinity of your cabin and you have no access?

 

The whole purpose of having lifejackets readily available is to ensure that people report immediately to their muster station when required. Just as you learned with fire drills in school, you move calmly in an orderly fashion. No one should be panicking or shoving others out of the way to get at the lifejackets.

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57 minutes ago, mikkelhansen said:

Here are some app mock-ups from Celebrity showing how it will probably be going when the new muster drill concept goes live: http://creative.rccl.com/Sales/Celebrity/General_Info/CEL_Muster_2.0_Graphic_072320.pdf

Thanks for posting the link!

From the examples it looks like there is a time limit of an hour to complete the process?

If this video is available from the time you board, I'm wondering if the Muster stations will each have a crew member already in place to check guests in. You could watch it at your leisure, then go and check in and not have to wait until just before departure. This would help with social distancing and would eliminate having everyone show up at the same time.

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I believe that muster stations already stock numbers of "overflow" life jackets. No doubt, not enough for everyone (except, as cited, ample numbers for new age ships like the Edge). However, if an emergency is sounded, some people will already be in their cabins. Or they will be close by. Or there will be a sufficient time window to get necessities from the cabin. Maybe not; every situation will be different. Still, I want that additional security of a life jacket in my cabin. 

 

Of course, since we prefer smaller (generally older) ships, I've never sailed without a life jacket in our cabin. If I find that we're on a ship without them in the cabin, I'll ask for 2 life jackets to be provided. Not an unreasonable request.

 

 

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35 minutes ago, Fouremco said:

And if you are nowhere near your cabin, are you going to try to fight your way against the flow of frightened people just so you can get "your" lifejacket? What if the emergency is a fire in the vicinity of your cabin and you have no access?

 

The whole purpose of having lifejackets readily available is to ensure that people report immediately to their muster station when required. Just as you learned with fire drills in school, you move calmly in an orderly fashion. No one should be panicking or shoving others out of the way to get at the lifejackets.

 

I definitely appreciate your point, however:

 

- Rest assured, in a bad situation, I would not endanger myself to retrieve anything from our cabin.

- It's simply an extra layer of safety to have that lifejacket in the cabin.

- Not to be overly pessimistic, but haven't you seen news coverage of fights breaking out on airplanes and ships? Absolute chaos ensuing over the dumbest provocations. Sorry to report: Bad behavior has become normalized ... there would be pushing and shoving!

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