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The Muster Drill Session for the Safety at Cruise Ship

The muster drill's primary goal is to inform the passengers about the ship's emergency procedures and where to report in the event of an emergency. To know more about muster drills, read here.

By Cruise Booking Team

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We're not sure who dreads the muster drill more – the fellow cruisers or the crew members for conducting them. There are you enjoying your drink in one hand when the cruise is preparing to sail off, and that dreaded announcement comes. The bars will automatically be closed by the crew so that everyone can prepare for the Muster drill Session.

Now, you'll know that it's essential and that every cruise has to do its version of the mandatory safety drill. Well, these are the things that will help you in understanding the Muster Drill.

A Look into the Muster Drill and What You Can Expect

1. Why is it called muster drill?

The word "Muster" means assembling what all crew members and fellow cruisers do during every cruise's vital safety briefing. This briefing process is known as Muster Drill. The passengers are asked to bring their life jackets and wear them once there.

2. How long does the muster drill last?

Generally, it lasts 30 to 60 minutes or so before the cruisers and crew members are released. Until 30 to 60 minutes, the passengers are given a demonstration of putting on a life jacket during an emergency. Even if you've sailed before, you must attain the drill.

3. Should you attain the muster drill?

Yes, you must attain the muster drill aboard for 30 to 60 minutes. It takes place within 24 hours after embarkation. Don't think to escape the muster drill by hiding in your cabin or somewhere on the cruise.

4. What is a muster drill on cruise ships?

It is a safe exercise carried on the passengers' and crew members' safety on the embarkation day. The crew members onboard demonstrate the process of wearing a life jacket and save yourself from any emergency on the cruise.

5. What is the tenacity of a muster list?

A muster list is a list that has all emergency conditions along with the plan to escape for the crew members. The list gives clear instructions to be followed in an emergency for every person on board. It makes sure that all import duties are assigned.

6. Where is the muster list located?

Some of the crucial areas where the muster list is located are the bridges, engine room, accommodation alleyways, etc., along with the areas where crew members spend their maximum amount of time.

7. How are muster stations assigned?

The cabin location assigns them. All cabins in the same lobby tend to share a muster station, and they tend to be on the same side of the ship as your cabin when possible. On some cruises, there are separate muster drill stations for the people who have disabilities and require wheelchair access or access by scooters.

8. Can you skip the muster drill?

You might have heard the speech 100 times, but if you skip the muster drill, you are saying goodbye before you even set for sailing. Anyways, it's not possible to ignore it because all the crew members check the staterooms, whether you're at the drill or not. Moreover, you can be kicked out of the cruise if you break the rules.

9. How are announcements made?

Usually, the muster drill is taken in simple commands that are described below in 5 easy steps.

1. A casual announcement will be made about the beginning of the muster drill.

2. Then, another announcement will be made for passengers and crew members that a "general emergency alarm" will only be made for exercise purposes.

3. Once the alarm has been sound, all passengers and crew members should be gathered at the muster stations.

4. After reaching their passengers are requested to wear their life jackets and head into the lifeboats.

5. A final alarm will be sound that the drill is concluded.

10. Are muster drills available on small or short trips?

Muster drills are typically not conducted for the short trips on the water. Usually, it is not required, such as trips on ferries, dinner cruises, or riverboats. Generally, on ferries, a safety briefing delivered through the PA system alerts passengers to the emergency alarm's sound pattern.

11. What if the muster drill is not performed?

If the drill is not performed, a report in the logbook must be made to state the circumstances. It is the crew's responsibility to ensure that the training happens and that every person aboard attains it and is aware of being held.

12. Are life jackets available in the cabins?

Instead of putting the life jackets in the cabins, cruise lines have started keeping them at the muster stations for quick access. The Royal Caribbean is the first cruise that has done this on the Oasis and Allure of the Seas. It can be a growing trend in the future.

13. How many life jackets are on each cruise?

According to The International Convention of Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), every person aboard will require a life jacket. Besides, 5% more life jackets will be there of the total number of people on board.

Muster Drill programs on all cruises

No one enjoys the muster drills on the cruises, but they are performed for the cruisers' safety. Here are muster drills programs according to the cruise lines.

They follow the guidelines of SOLAS, The International Convention of Safety of Life at Sea, that the muster drill should be done within 24 hours after the cruise's departure. On the embarkation day, the drill for guests onboard of all Royal Caribbean ships held for 30 to 60 minutes before departure.

The announcement is made in English, and if there are non-speakers, then an additional core language announcement is made. Generally, their first language preference is the market language, then English and at last other core languages.

Generally, all cruise lines have a similar way of muster drill. Still, when you talk about MSC cruises, they have a different way of muster drill. There are several embark and disembark ports so, and they have to perform muster drills at every port. But the good thing about it is that if you have attained it once, you don't have to attain it again and again.


Everyone aboard, including kids and older people, should attain the muster drill, even if they've sailed in that cruise in the past. Moreover, cruisers should stay quiet and follow instructions during the drill so that everyone can hear the safety announcement.

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