I was afraid the answer would be something like that. I was hoping to be on foremost part of the ship available to pax as we navigated the channels to the Gulf--by my maps about a 40 mile trip. I want to get a series of pictures as we approach the Sunshine Skyway Bridge. I was also hoping to take some seaward pictures of a couple of lighthouses and range markers we'd be passing. Just indulging a couple of personal eccentricities. But when the drill is called, I'll be ready and I'll be where I'm supposed to be. Thanks for the info.
Usually they have the drills before the boat leaves the pier. My first cruise was on the Sensation, but I do not remember when they did the drills, but on my last two cruises (one of them being a Carnival ship) the drills were while still docked.
On the Pride and Legend which also has a 4 p.m. departure time, the Life Boat drill was/is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. It only takes about 15 minutes. You can bring your camera to the drill also for a memorable group photo.
"Consider it part of the traditional cruise experience." Yes, on most ships, they will check each cabin. The only people who are excused are the late arrivals or "no shows". Remember the fire as the ship was leaving Miami in 2000!