My first two cruises, in 1995 and 1996 were on Carnival out of San Juan, Puerto Rico. I think we sailed at 10:00 p.m., but I'm not 100% sure about the time. I just know it was late. In both cases, we had our muster drill THE NEXT DAY as we left our first port of call, in one case St. Croix and the other St. Thomas. Good thing nothing happened before that, huh? None of us would have know what to do!
I sailed last october on celebrity's Horizon, and the ship left about 3 hours late, because the last sailing got caught in a hurricane on the return trip from Bermuda. We had the muster drill for EVERYONE the next morning at 11am. I wondered what would have happened if (god forbid) the ship had some kind of accident. Thank god it didnt.
When we sailed last spring on Rottie VI we were four hours late leaving port. The boat drill was the next morning. I sent my sister (first-time cruiser) to yell "YO!" and rolled over and went back to sleep. But NOT before I knew exactly where the muster station was and where the life jackets were. I'd been on a sister ship before.
This is not to make light, in any way, of the importance of SOLAS and boat drills.
Unless you know a ship well and have walked the line to your muster station DO NOT SKIP IT.
If it's your first time on a particular ship, do the drill again, by yourself (with your partner or family) just to make sure you KNOW, not just being part of the milling crowd who would rather be elsewhere during the mass experience.
It is important to keep in mind that in case of a real emergency your muster station may be very different than the "practice" one.
I thought it was a mandatory thing? I thought that they went around and checked all the cabins to make sure everyone was there? I am sailing again in september, I would hate to HAVE to do it again if I really DIDNT really need to.
I always feel better when the cruise line has the drill before leaving the dock and I always wonder what happens when people are the last to board or catch up at the first port. Last fall on Princess, there were alot of people who boarded late due to thunder storms in the area, we even sailed late and I don't remember them having a make up fire drill. We finally sailed around ten but the drill was at 5:00 p.m. No emergencies but it concerned me. Chaos is not a good thing if the emergency is real. Sue
Just got off Infinity yesterday 2/9 and the drill was at 10:30P on the night of departure 2/2. We were leaving SJU at 11:00P. Guess everyone was planning on staying up for departure and must have had a good attendance- no roll call and to the best of my knowledge - no makeup.
Just got off the Galaxy 2/8 and we had our muster the first night at 10:30 pm. First we had to go to a lounge inside for @ 15 minutes for a speech and then we had to go outside @ 15 minutes for instructions in 3 languages. They did not take attendance although they counted people as they went into the lounge. I don't know if they checked the cabins. I felt bad for the ones with little kids. It was boring but necessary. Last year we went on the Voyager and we got on the ship late and missed the muster and they handed us a sheet of paper with instructions. It was a 6pm sailing.