Prior to March of 2020, before all the cruise lines had to shut down due to the pandemic, the beginning of your cruise would have started off with a large gathering of passengers and crew aboard deck. This of course was the mandatory muster drill that every cruise goer was required to attend. However, when cruising came back after the pandemic large crowds of people was something that was avoided and the birth of the virtual muster drill came into being, but now that might be going away as well.
Virtual muster drills were adopted by all the cruise line when all cruising resumed in 2021. Each cruise line tackled this unique problem differently, some cruise lines used an app to check into your muster station and watch your drill, others had you tune into a channel on your staterooms tv to watch the drill, but what they all had in common was that passengers were no longer required to have to congregate in mass on deck for this very necessary safety protocol. Many cruise lines had great success with implementing their virtual muster drill and cruise passengers have reported preferring these new procedures more than previous on deck muster stations. With that being said, one cruise line and a prominent one at that has ended their virtual muster drills and returned to mandatory in person drills. The Disney cruise line, at this point in time, has returned its ships to the pre-pandemic in person muster drills.
It has been reported that Disney’s cruise passengers were not being compliant to the virtual check-in for their muster drills. This of course would pose a huge safety concern, seeing as passengers that don’t receive the safety information on what to do in case of an emergency could be at risk if an actual emergency were to happen. The returning of in person muster drills can ensure that each and every passenger has received the necessary safety information that these drills impart. This could mark the start of other cruise lines returning to ways of old. Some evidence of this come in the form of social media posts recently that stated that they too had in person muster drills aboard a Norwegian cruise line ship. At this moment though no official statement has been given by NCL regarding in person muster drills but only time will tell. What are your thoughts on this change in safety protocols? Let us know in the comments!