A Summary Of The Self-Mustering Process
After boarding a Carnival Cruise ship guests are required to go to their muster station. A muster station is a designated area onboard where in the event of an emergency guests will meet. Carnival is asking guests to go to their designated muster station very shortly after boarding. When a guest walks up to their muster station crew members will be present at the entrance and each guest will show their Sail & Sign card or Boarding Pass to get scanned. The crew member will use a tablet to take attendance as each guest comes. Crew members will then direct guests into the muster station area. A crew member will demonstrate how to put on the lifejacket and give some other basic safety information. After the drill is complete and attendance is logged, guests can leave their muster station and continue the fun of the cruise!
Question 1: How do I know which muster station I am assigned to and where to find this location on the ship?
Your muster station letter and number will be printed on your Boarding Pass, Sail & Sign card, shown within your Carnival Hub App account, and posted on the back of your stateroom door. On the Carnival Hub App once you have logged in you can click a button that says "View In Ship Maps" and the app will tell you which lounge your muster station is in. Since when you first board you will not be logged into the Carnival Hub App, your best bet is to probably ask a crew member where to go. Crew members are stationed throughout the common areas of the ship on the first day to answer guest questions.
Question 2: What happens if I do not go to my muster station for self-mustering?
As the ship gets ready to sail, announcements will continually be made reminding guests that the self-mustering drill is mandatory. On my recent Carnival Breeze cruise, an announcement was made late in the afternoon instructing guests that had not attended yet to go immediately as the captain was ordering all remaining guests to go to their muster station. Keep in mind that attendance is logged so it is very easy to determine which guests have not yet attended. Guests who fail to attend could find themselves getting kicked off the cruise (likely with no refund), so I highly recommend not trying to skip this drill.
Question 3: Does the old style muster station drill (pre-covid) still happen onboard?
The self-mustering process is a part of Carnival's Covid protocols that is replacing the old style traditional muster station drill. Guests who sailed before Covid may remember at a set time the muster station alarm would ring and everyone would go to their muster station at the same time. This is no more as the self-mustering process has replaced the old style muster station drill. Having guests go at their own time prevents large crowds from congregating and is one way Carnival is trying to minimize the spread of Covid-19.
Question 4: Is there anything else related to safety going on besides the self-mustering process?
Prior to departure, Carnival's ships are making an announcement with general safety information. This information reminds me of the content that used to be part of the old style safety briefing. Safety information as well as environmental information is shared in this announcement. The ship's general emergency alarm (seven short blasts & 1 long blast) is also demonstrated on the PA system during this announcement.
Question 5: Is this drill required?
Yes, the muster station drill is required. All guests must attend regardless of past cruise status. Carnival must do this in order to comply with Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) requirements as well as other laws.
Question 6: Are there any benefits of the self-mustering process compared to the old style muster station drill?
In my opinion, the new self-mustering process is much better. First, since this drill can be completed on your own time, you can get it over with quickly and not have to worry about it becoming a disruption later in the afternoon. Second, the self-mustering drill does not take as long as the old style drill because crew members no longer have to wait until everyone arrives since everyone comes at their own time. Third, if you have questions about safety procedures it is easier to ask because the muster station is not crowded with many other guests.