If you’ve ever been on a cruise before, you’ll already be aware of the almighty muster drill. I’ve heard some people refer to them as “Mustard” drills, however, it’s actually called “muster”.
A pain in the butt, yet it’s a life saving drill that is mandatory on any cruise ship before you leave port. Some cruise lines perform the muster drill shortly after the ship leaves port, however, I’ve been on many cruises, with many different cruise lines, and I have never been on a cruise that allows the ship to leave port, without first performing that muster drill.
Usually about an hour before the ship leaves port, the muster drill has to be done. It is a mandatory drill, and if you think you’re going to stay in your stateroom and hide, it won’t work, because it’s the responsibility of the stateroom attendants to check each room to make sure no one is hiding.
The thrill of being able to carry your life jacket down the narrow halls in the ship, around corners, and down, or up the staircase, with the belt dangling along behind you, is going to be a thing of the past soon. It’s already a thing of the past on Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas, and will also be a thing of the past on Allure of the Seas.
Eventually, Royal Caribbean will be changing their ships to have the life jackets located at the muster drill. They will be removed from the staterooms for safety reasons. The belts that some passengers let trail behind them as they walked to the promenade deck, or to wherever the drill was being held, were starting to become a safety hazard.
Norwegian Cruise Lines will be following behind Royal Caribbean. They will be removing the life jackets from the staterooms, and storing them at the muster drill area. The only ship that NCL will not be changing, will be the Pride of America.
On my first cruise I ever went on, I couldn’t understand what the big deal was about going to the muster drill. I overheard people standing outside in line on the promenade deck, moaning and groaning, and couldn’t understand why they were complaining about such a simple task. Something that was very important for our safety. That was until I had taken my 3rd muster drill. After that, I was doing the moaning and groaning along with the others.
Muster drills, however, will always leave you with something to talk about later down the road. It usually ends up being a memorable moment of your cruise vacation. At least mine has been.
Muster drills give your family the opportunity of being able to take photos of you at your worse. Even though the bright orange life jackets that can be seen from space, do not make the best fashion statement, they are necessary to save your life, if something happens to the ship.
The drills also keep you entertained by watching people try to blow on the whistles that are attached to the front of the life jacket, while you stand there in wonder of whom was the last one that had that same whistle in their mouth.
I’ve always been envious of the people that, for some reason, get to sit in one of the restaurants in air conditioning on the ship, while they get instructions explained to them during their muster drill. Why haven’t I ever gotten that lucky to do that? All the muster drills I’ve attended, have been standing outside on the promenade deck, in 95 degree heat, with a hot life jacket wrapped around my neck for 30 minutes, yet it feels like 2 hours.
The excitement of a cruise, outweighs that crazy muster drill any day of the week. Not only is it for your benefit, it will also give you something to take back home and talk about.
Vacations to Go Newsletter