Cruise Cruise lines agree to mandatory safety drills before departure By Donna Tunney / February 09, 2012 Share 1 -- Cruise lines worldwide agreed on a new emergency-drill policy requiring mandatory muster for embarking passengers prior to departure from port. CLIA, the European Cruise Council and the Passenger Shipping Association put forward the new policy with the support of their member cruise lines. The new policy takes effect immediately. According to a CLIA statement, on rare occasions when passengers arrive after the muster has been completed, they will be promptly provided with individual or group safety briefings that meet the requirements for musters applicable under the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea. The formal policy is designed to help ensure that any mandatory musters or briefings are conducted for the benefit of all newly embarked passengers at the earliest practical opportunity. The change in policy follows the Jan. 13 Costa Concordia accident in Italy, where 16 died and 16 more are missing. The cruise industry announced in Jan. 27 that it would undertake a Cruise Industry Operational Safety Review, including a “comprehensive assessment of the critical human factors and operational aspects of maritime safety.” For cruise news and updates, follow Donna Tunney on Twitter @dttravelweekly.