Here Are The Most Current Vaccination Requirements For The Major Cruise Lines
Keep in mind, as entry requirements to foreign countries change, the cruise lines will need to adjust their vaccination requirements. You must check your cruise lines and destination requirements right up until its time to head to the port.
These are the most up-to-date vaccination cruising requirements for the major carriers.
Finally, its important to note that all cruise lines have the same policy on this topic. Its always the passengers responsibility to know and meet all of the requirements for cruising. No refunds or credits are provided when a would-be cruiser doesnt have the proper health or ID documents to sail. Now more than ever, its imperative that travelers read all the documentation sent from the cruise line. If you dont, you could end up spending thousands of dollars for a vacation youll never take. And thats no fun at all.
Cruise Industry Still Struggles
Unlike the rest of the travel industry, the cruise industry is still struggling to fill their ships. From a ton of skewed bad press and additional regulations not seen by other sectors of the industries, people have not been as quick to return to cruising. Most companies have the majority of their fleets back in service. Yet even so, many ships are not sailing at full compacity due to staffing issues.
As the industry crawls back, I have seen the best deals for cruises this year. If you havent thought about cruising before, now is the time to grab an amazing deal. Antartica trips which typically cost over $15,000 per person, have been attractively priced between $9,000 and $12,000. Even luxury trips to the Galapagos have been highly discounted.
Those looking for something closer to home or less expensive can easily find trips to Alaska or the Caribbean and Mexico for between $500 and $900 per person. Sometimes even less if youre interested in a last-minute sailing. Many cruise lines are throwing in complimentary addon too, such as free excursions, complimentary alcohol, and specialty beverages, and upgraded specialty dining. All in hopes to make the entire experience more enjoyable and economical.
If youre looking for a vacation, for the best rates and deals. Or check out our Travel Agency website and ask for me!
Its Always The Passengers Responsibility To Know The Required Documentation For Cruising
Since the beginning of the pandemic, our helpline has been flooded with cries for help from travelers whove run afoul of the constantly changing travel requirements. Each one of these cases is worse than the last.
Whats clear is that travelers and even travel providers cant keep up with the changes. It is a difficult time to try to navigate the world during this global pandemic, and our case files prove it.
But the cruise industry has been dormant for much of the past 18 months. As a result, our team hasnt been seeing the denied-boarding-my-cruise complaints that used to be so common here. However, all that changed in the past several weeks. Maxwell has the dubious distinction of being the first, but he wont be the last. There are more distraught and confused cruise passengers showing up here each day, unfortunately.
As I read through Maxwells narrative, I knew that the cruise line required guests to be fully vaccinated. So I was curious when he said the cruise line didnt require passenger vaccinations. He was still under the impression that the cruise line had made a mistake by removing him from the Equinox.
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Regent Seven Seas Cruises
Where they sail: Regent Seven Seas offers all-inclusive luxury cruises around the globe, which include perks like free airfare, free excursions, and complimentary unlimited drinks on board. The company is also offering free multi-day land extensions before and after sailings for several cruises leaving between October 2021 and March 2022.
Who needs the vaccine: All guests and crew must be fully vaccinated at least two weeks before boarding. Guests will need to show proof of their physical vaccination card prior to boarding.
What other safety measures are in place: Beginning August 2022 pre-departure testing may not be necessary depending on the port. Currently cruises leaving from the U.S., Canada, or Greece will require a test. Staterooms will be cleaned with “intensive non-toxic microbial disinfection” each day.
Disney Unveils The Wish Its First New Cruise Ship In A Decade
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lowered its threshold for cruise ships to meet a highly vaccinated status.
On May 5, 2022, the CDC reevaluated and lowered the cruise ship vaccination status thresholds from 95 percent to 90 percent of passengers under the COVID-19 Program for Cruise Ships.
Cruise lines with ships of any vaccination classification that opted into the COVID-19 program must share the vaccination status of each vessel with the CDC.
The agency posts the information on its website along with the ships color status, which indicates the number of COVID-19 cases reported on board.
The agency also clarified its isolation cabin requirements for ships.
Negative air pressure, for example, will no longer be required for isolation cabins. But predetermined cabins for isolation purposes must be in a separate area from the rest of the cabins.
While the CDC advises passengers to be vaccinated before boarding a cruise ship, it no longer warns against taking a cruise because of the COVID-19 risk.
In late March, the health agency dropped its risk assessment of cruise travel after more than two years of warning travelers against the dangers of contracting COVID-19 on a cruise amid the pandemic.
The removal of the notice didnt mean that the agency considered the activity to be without any risk.
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Unvaccinated Adults And Vaccine Exemptions
Most major cruise lines require proof of vaccination for all passengers age 12 and up, and some require them for kids as young as 5 years old . Last week, Disney Cruise Line became the first cruise line to require passengers as young as 5 to be vaccinated for sailings starting Jan. 13.
While some cruise lines state they’ll accept medical exemptions, others do not, and it also might depend on the port. Carnival, for example, says it’ll accept some vaccine exemptions from those ages 12 and younger, as well as adults who have “” that they can’t be vaccinated — but only at their Florida, Texas, Louisiana, Maryland, South Carolina and Alabama ports until the end of March 2022. COVID-19 vaccine exemptions at Carnival’s Long Beach, California port will only be accepted for kids under age 12 and when “required by US federal law” due to religious beliefs or medical reasons.
How long will the vaccine requirement be in place for cruise passengers? That’s hard to say because it depends on the state of the pandemic at any given time. It also varies based on different rules for cruise ships or territories, and evolving guidance from the CDC.
The testing and masking requirement specifics may differ by cruise or length of sail, but everyone age 2 and older should be prepared to be tested for COVID-19 before boarding, or during the journey when applicable, regardless of vaccination status.
What Happened To The Cdc’s Covid
The CDC announced that the program ended July 18 on its website, saying in a Frequently Asked Questions section that vessels “have access to guidance and tools to manage their own COVID-19 mitigation programs.”
The agency added that though “cruising poses some risk of COVID-19 transmission, CDC will continue to publish guidance to help cruise ships continue to provide a safer and healthier environment for crew, passengers, and communities going forward.”
Ships will still report cases to the CDC, the agency said.
Earlier this year, the CDC moved to a voluntary COVID-19 program for cruise ships. Those that participated agreed to follow the agency’s recommendations on health and safety protocols like testing and vaccination.
The change comes as cruise travel is returning to normal more than two years after the pandemic brought the industry to a halt.
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During Your Cruise Self
- If you test positive while on a cruise in Canada, youre required to isolate for 10 days beginning on the day of your positive test. You may be required to complete your isolation period in a suitable place of isolation on-shore if your cruise ends in Canada.
- Your cruise ship operator will guide you in terms of your isolation requirements.
- If you test positive or are symptomatic, you wont be permitted to go on a shore excursion in Canada. Similarly, other countries may not allow you to enter for local excursions based on their laws and regulations.
What Does Celebritys Silence Mean
Now, a week later, its clear that Celebrity doesnt intend to discuss Maxwells case. I assume that this means there are parts of Maxwells experience that the cruise line doesnt want to comment on. But in the last contact with the cruise line, the representative reiterated to him that Celebrity would offer no refund or credit. And we still have no clarity as to why Celebrity allowed this couple onboard the Equinox without the required vaccination documentation.
The Celebrity website says that Proof of vaccination records will be recorded and may be reviewed for signs of fraud. So I asked Maxwell if he was certain that at check-in he told the cruise agents that he only had the first dose of Moderna and that his vaccine card only showed one dose.
I absolutely told them we only had one dose, Maxwell told me.
Unfortunately, without Celebrity weighing in, we have no way of knowing what happened here. Its a strange story, to be sure. But Ive reached the end of what our team can do for this couple.
The bottom line:If you arent planning on getting vaccinated against the coronavirus or youre only partially vaccinated, you should forget about cruising in 2021. All of the major cruise lines require passengers 12 and over to be fully vaccinated two weeks before departure at this time.
For Maxwells part, he says he will continue to fight on.
We work very hard for our money, and to have it stolen like this should be illegal. We wont give up on this.
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When Will Cruise Lines Drop Vaccination Requirements
Former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, a physician who serves as chairman of Norwegian Cruise Line’s SailSAFE Council, on March 3 spoke on the possibility of cruise lines being able to drop vaccination requirements.
I think that its likely to be a requirement that is in place through this fall and winter, Gottlieb said, according to a Cruzely report.
Im talking more about CDC and the policy environment. I think that the public-health officials — CDC — is going to want to see what the epidemiology of this disease is when it gets to a quote, unquote, normal state.”
Which Cruise Lines Accept Passengers Who Havent Been Vaccinated
A-ROSA River Cruises was the first line to relax the health measures for passengers. On June 7 the company removed the need for guests to provide proof of vaccination, recovery, or a certified negative test result before embarking on its fleet of European ships.
The line also removed the mask-wearing rule for passengers, and the requirement for rapid antigen testing before boarding the ship in May.
The only exception to the latest move will be for passengers sailing on A-ROSA ALVA on the Douro in Portugal. Due to regional regulations, passengers over the age of 12 continue to require proof of complete vaccination or recovery from Covid in order to join the cruise. Additionally, the requirement to wear face masks when moving around on the ship, and rapid antigen testing prior to boarding, remains in place.
Measures such as extended cleaning and disinfection protocols across the fleet will remain in place to ensure hygiene standards are upheld.
A spokesperson for the line said: As always, the wellbeing and health of all guests and crew members remains a top priority and the care team will continue to monitor the situation and, if necessary, will adjust and adapt the protocols accordingly if required.
Several cruise lines, including Celebrity Cruises, Cunard, Disney Cruise Line, Holland America Line and Princess Cruises, will accept unvaccinated children. There is an age limit for this, which varies from line to line and port to port.
Carnival Cruise Line Updates Protocols For Unvaccinated Passengers
Carnival Cruise Line announced updated rules and protocols for unvaccinated passengers sailing on its ships through the end of December.
The most notable changes include unvaccinated guests now being permitted to go ashore to enjoy one of Carnivals tours or independent sightseeing events. Several destinations still do not welcome unvaccinated travelers, as the cruise line revealed on its official website:
San Juan – age 12 and older will have to remain on board
Bonaire – age 12 and older will have to remain on board
Grand Cayman – age 12 and older will have to remain on board
St. Kitts – age 12 and older will have to remain on board
Tortola – age 12 and older will have to remain on board
Grand Turk – age 16 and older will have to remain on board
Cartagena, Colombia – age 18 and older will have to remain on board
The cruise line revealed certain destinations have continued to impose restrictions for unvaccinated passengers and cannot guarantee that more will not be added. All unvaccinated guests aged two and older must present a negative coronavirus test taken within 72 and 24 hours before the sailing date.
Regardless of the cruise length, antigen testing will be provided on a complimentary basis to children ages 2-4. Children ages 5-11 will be charged $60 per person and guests ages 12 and older will be charged $150 per person.
Mass Confusion About Vaccination Requirements To Cruise
Maxwell did have some screenshots of a Celebrity email that indicated that Unvaccinated passengers over age 16 would need to comply with different rules. But that information was not dated, and it also linked back to the website that said all guests over age 12 must be vaccinated.
Looking through the entire paper trail again, I noted that one week before the cruise, Maxwell had sent an email to Celebrity. In that message, he indicated that he and his fiancee only had one dose of Moderna. He asked if that would be sufficient.
That email went unanswered although the answer to that question was always on display on the Celebrity website: One dose of Moderna would not be sufficient to cruise on Aug. 1.
But why was this couple allowed to board the Equinox in the first place?
I decided to contact Celebrity to try to find out.
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Shore Excursions In Canada During The Cruise
- there is no arrival testing for passengers entering Canada for shore excursions
- you may be asked to show your ArriveCAN receipt from your initial embarkation
- you wont have to resubmit ArriveCAN
- if you arent fully vaccinated due to medical reasons, youre allowed to join a shore excursion. You must have proof of a valid medical contraindication and a valid ArriveCAN submission.
- if you arent fully vaccinated due to a sincerely-held religious belief, you arent allowed to disembark the ship in Canada except in a medical emergency.
All travellers are required to take a pre-embarkation COVID-19 test before embarking on a cruise in Canada, even if the cruise ship is not leaving Canadian waters
Travellers who are staying within Canada throughout their entire journey or who are leaving Canada and not returning dont have to complete ArriveCAN.
Cunard Luxury Cruise Line
Vaccination Requirements: Guests over the age of 16 are required to be fully vaccinated and have their booster shot a minimum of one week before sailing. Children ages 5-15 are required to be fully vaccinated but do not need a booster shot. Children ages 5-11 are eligible to apply for a vaccination exemption.
Testing Requirements: All guests 5 and older are required to take an official negative COVID-19 test before embarking.
Mask Mandates: Masks are not required on board, but are required during embarkation, disembarkation, and at certain port centers.
Destination Requirements: While Cunard does not have any regulations on who may go ashore during the sailing, all passengers are still required to comply with any and all local protocols.
For more information, please see here.
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Ncl Updates Vaccination Policy For Kids
Cruise lines are gradually easing their protocols as cruise ships return to service and COVID cases are reduced. Norwegian Cruise Line has now followed other major lines by adjusting its protocols.
Starting on sailings departing from March 1, 2022, kids under 12 will no longer have to be fully vaccinated to cruise. This opens to door for more families to enjoy a Norwegian cruise with kids. The cruise line says:
All guests age twelve and over, as well as all crew, must be fully vaccinated at least 2 weeks prior to departure in order to board. While we welcome unvaccinated children ages eleven and under onboard, it is the responsibility of the guest to be aware of any local protocols and/or travel restrictions in place at the visiting destinations at the time of sailing.
Despite unvaccinated kids under 12 being allowed to sail, the cruise line warns guests to check the protocols for any local ports and destinations as the requirements may differ.
The updated vaccination policy was announced on Thursday, but it is essential to know that sailing through February 28, 2022, still requires all guests to be fully vaccinated, no matter what age. Norwegian Cruise Line was previously set to accept unvaccinated children four years and under on US sailings from March 1, but this has now changed to under 12. It now means that the vaccination age policy aligns with sailings from non-US ports.