Norwegian Cruise Line is making a significant change to the pattern exercise

Norwegian Cruise Line pattern exercise
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Norwegian Cruise Line has quietly updated its pattern exercise policy and subsequently reverted to the E pattern exercise resumed more traditional, in-person screening exercises in late January. Now, the E-type exercise will be reintroduced fleet-wide for voyages on or after April 1, 2023, but may not be available immediately on all vessels.

E-pattern for return

Frequent drivers will be thrilled to learn that the streamlined E-pattern exercise will return at will Norwegian cruise line this spring, for some ships as early as April 1, 2023.

The cruise line announced the change via communications to travel partners, noting that the reintroduction of the E-type exercise is also part of the effort “Improve the guest experience on board”, However, the change may not occur immediately on all ships.

“We will reintroduce E-pattern exercises via our online cruise check-in beginning April 1, 2023.” the message reads. “We are committed to providing an exceptional and safe onboard experience and as such will continue to actively evaluate and adapt our processes for best practices.”

Credit: John Konrad/Shutterstock

While the E-pattern option is scheduled to start from April 1st continuously Norwegian Cruise Line’s fleetit may not be immediately available on all ships.

“Please stay tuned for more information on effectiveness data for specific ships throughout the month of April.” the communication states.

This indicates that there may be a slight delay in the reintroduction of the new exercise, which could be related to crew member training and onboard operational policy updates for E-muster instead of the traditional exercise.

About the E pattern drill

The E pattern exercise is a more personalized experience for guests as it includes safety videos that can be viewed prior to boarding the ship. The videos provide information on what to do and where to go during an onboard emergency, including how to properly put on a lifejacket and what safety signals sound like.

Once guests board a cruise, all they have to do is go to their assigned assembly point – printed on their ship ticket and posted in their cabin – to complete the exercise.

Overall, completing the E-model exercise can take as little as 20 minutes of a guest’s time, which is broken down into the pre-cruise videos and just a few minutes onboard for the visit and check-in at the actual model station that may be located in one of a ship’s lounges or restaurants, in the casino or in other public spaces.

Sample exercise for cruise ships
Photo Credit: Mikhail Berkut/Shutterstock

The traditional exercise, on the other hand, has no pre-cruise component, but generally lasts 30 to 45 minutes on board, as all passengers participate simultaneously and report to their assembly stations just before a ship sets sail.

During the traditional drill, safety information is read over the ship’s public address system, the distress signal sounds, and crew members demonstrate how to don a life jacket. All guests must participate in the exercise before a ship can leave its home port.

E-pattern exercises were introduced as cruising resumed after the industry-wide pandemic lockdown to provide another way to encourage social distancing and reduce the risk of disease transmission. Since the reboot Disney Cruise Line first returned to traditional drill in mid-November 2022at Norwegian Cruise Line end of January 2023.

Why switch back to E-pattern?

Many guests clearly preferred the electronic muster, and guest feedback may have played a role in NCL’s decision to reintroduce the electronic muster exercise.

All cruise lines have the right to adjust operating procedures to best meet required policies and the preferences of their guests, and it is not uncommon for onboard policies and procedures to be changed and updated on a regular basis.

Currently, E-type drills are also popular aboard other major cruise lines, and there are no announced plans to return to traditional personal safety briefings. As a matter of fact, Carnival Cruise Line announced in mid-January that it remains committed to the E-pattern optionand will continue to use it for the foreseeable future.
Norwegian Cruise Line pattern exercise

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