What About Other Destinations
It is important to note that this change is only applicable to sailings in the Caribbean, and does not impact sailings in Europe, Alaska, or other destinations.
Caribbean sailings including popular ports such as The Bahamas, Grand Cayman, Jamaica, Grand Turk, and Cozumel are very busy during the summer season, particularly in June and July when schools are on vacation and more families are cruising.
American Queen Steamboat Company
Who Needs to Be Vaccinated: All passengers, no exceptions, need to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
Are Any Unvaccinated Passengers Able to Sail? No.
Is A Pre-Arrival COVID-19 Test Required? All passengers will undergo a complimentary COVID-19 test during the pre-cruise hotel stay prior to embarkation.
Is A Pierside, Pre-Embarkation COVID-19 Test Required? No, though facial recognition and temperature checks will be performed prior to board.
Masks and Physical Distancing Requirements: Masks are not required.
Crew Vaccinated?: Yes — American Queen is even vaccinating its shoreside employees.
Paradigm Shift In Policy
Allowing unvaccinated guests back on at least some ships is a major shift in policy from the last two years.
Cruise lines have restricted their ships to only allow adults that are fully vaccinated onboard since sailings restarted in late 2020.
When Royal Caribbean resumed cruises in summer 2021, vaccine requirements were in place and remained so until now.
Royal Caribbean Group CEO Jason Liberty spoke about the change during an earnings call with investors a few weeks ago and said the change is a move to be more like other forms of leisure travel, such as theme parks, casinos, or air travel.
We are continuing to adapt our protocols to align more closely with how the rest of society and other travel and leisure businesses are operating.
This means that were transitioning to the point where everyone will be able to vacation with us while always working with our destination partners to meet their regulations.
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Protocols Continue To Evolve
Dropping the doctors note requirement for unvaccinated guests is a small step toward returning to pre-pandemic cruising protocols, but it is in line with other small changes occurring throughout the cruising word and travel industry in general.
Small changes are also coming within cruise travel. Celebrity Cruises has dropped its vaccination requirement for passengers under 18 years old on European sailings, easing family travel for Mediterranean and other European cruises this summer.
Viking has ended its pre-cruise testing requirement if destination ports do not require the tests. While this only impacts a small number of cruises on two vessels at the moment, it does pave the way for future changes to be implemented.
Princess Cruises is also poised to restart sailing in Australia for the first time in more than two years, following P& O Australias successful restart down under at the end of May. While COVID-19 protocols remain firmly in place for those voyages, reopening the region to eager travelers is another move toward pre-pandemic cruise travel.
All of these are encouraging steps, but travelers should always remain vigilant and informed about changing protocols, which may be adapted at any time as situations change in different regions and ports of call.
Sailing Celebrity Without The Vaccine
Celebrity currently says that it operates cruises with crew and guest vaccination rates approaching 100%.
For cruises from the U.S., the cruise line currently requires that All guests who are eligible to be vaccinated must be fully vaccinated with all initial doses administered at least 14 days prior to sailing. As of May 5, 2022, this will include all guests 12 years of age and older on all Celebrity Cruises sailings.
So kids under 12 do not need to be vaccinated, however, adults do need to have the shot.
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Entry Requirements For The United States:
US visa waiver program
German, Austrian and Swiss residents take part in the visa waiver program and are allowed to stay in the United States for tourism, business or transit for up to 90 days without obtaining a visa, if they:
- are in possession of a valid passport
- are travelling on an approved carrier if arriving by air or sea
- can produce a return or onward ticket whicht must be valid for a maximum period of 90 days from the first entry to the United States
- have received an authorization to travel through the Electronic System for Travel Authorization
It is also allowed to arrive from Canada or Mexixo via land ports of entry. In this case, return or onward tickets and Esta authorization are not required.
Meeeting the requirements of the visa waiver programm does not necessarily guarantee admission into the United States since the final decision is taken by an immigration officer.
Passengers who do not meet the requirements or who want to travel to the United States for other purposes not allowed on a visitor visa have to apply for a visa, for example if they:
- want to work in the United States
- want to study in the United States
- take part in an exchange program
- take part in a research project
- want to marry and live in the United States
- travel to the United States by not approved carriers
- didn´t get an Esta authorization
The visa must be applied for at the respective U.S. embassy or consulate.
Important information for cruises to Cuba:
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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Cruise Without The Vaccine: Lines You Can Sail Without The Shot
Can you cruise without having a vaccine?
While it is far easier and safer to simply get the shot to sail, if youre one of the holdouts, then there is some good news. Yes, there are ways you can take a cruise, even if you are unvaccinated.
The catch? Its more difficult to sail without the shot and space for unvaccinated passengers is limited. So if you want to sail a particular cruise line or a specific trip, its possible that you might not be able to do so. When you are vaccinated, you can cruise any line at any time.
Even so, if youre wanting to take a cruise but dont want to be vaccinated, there are ways to get on the ship. Weve covered how you can sail for all the cruise lines below
In This Article…
One Final Note About Cruising Unvaccinated
As a reminder, with the CDC lifting its voluntary program, its possible that rules around vaccine requirements could ease in the coming weeks and months. That means if you dont have the shot, then you might have more options to sail in the future.
That said, by far the easiest and healthiest way to take a cruise right now is to simply be vaccinated. It offers you the ability to sail any line at any time, without having to go through an exemption process.
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Sailing Virgin Voyages Without The Vaccine*
Until recently, Virgin Voyages had a simple policy. As an adults-only cruise line, Virgin required everyone on the ship to be vaccinated. Now that policy has changed to 90% of passengers, allowing 10% of those onboard to sail unvaccinated with an exemption.
Passengers can call the cruise line at 954-488-2955 to ask about sailing without having the shot. There is no mention of needing a reason to be eligible for an exemption.
Carnival Cruise Line Removes Pre
MIAMI, Aug. 12, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Carnival Cruise Line today announced protocol updates that meet public health goals but recognize the evolving nature of COVID-19. With these changes, America’s Cruise Line is making it easier for more guests to sail with simplified vaccination and testing guidelines, including no testing for vaccinated guests on sailings less than 16 nights, and eliminating the exemption request process for unvaccinated guests, who will only need to show a negative test result at embarkation. All new guidelines are effective for cruises departing on Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2022 or later, and include:
Vaccinated guests must continue to provide evidence of their vaccination status prior to embarkation. Pre-cruise testing is no longer required, except for cruises to Canada, Bermuda, Greece and Australia , and on voyages 16 nights or longer.
Unvaccinated guests are welcome to sail and are no longer required to apply for a vaccine exemption, except for cruises in Australia or on voyages 16 nights and longer.
Unvaccinated guests or those who do not provide proof of vaccination must present the results of a negative PCR or antigen test taken within three days of embarkation.
All policies are subject to local destination regulations.
Note: Guests under the age of five years are exempt from vaccination and testing requirements from the United States and under the age of 12 from Australia.
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How Requirements Could Change In The Future
One final thing to know is that requirements could change in the future.
Up until July 2022, cruise lines followed the CDCs voluntary program for Covid protocols on cruise ships. However, the health agency ended that program, giving cruise lines more leeway on how to implement rules around things like testing and vaccines.
As the world has learned to live alongside the virus and it appears less severe, restrictions have eased around the world and on cruise ships. It is possible that vaccine mandates put in place could ease as well. For example, Virgin Voyages recently went from requiring all passengers to have the vaccine to 90%.
You should look to your specific cruise line for the latest details on their policy. We expect that over time cruise lines will move toward being more relaxed on vaccine requirements. At this time, however, the vast majority of passengers must have the shot.
Below weve listed policies for major cruise lines. While all cruise lines offer the ability for younger kids to sail without the vaccine, those with an asterisk indicate cruise lines with exemptions for adults.
Previously Granted Exemptions Are No Longer Valid
Exemptions that Carnival had previously granted under the old regulations have been withdrawn. This means that guests above 12 years of age, who cannot provide proof of a medical condition that makes vaccination impossible, will not be able to cruise.
Carnival Cruise Line says as part of its FAQ section on the Have. Fun Be Safe protocols,Unfortunately, all other vaccine exemptions previously granted for upcoming sailings cannot be fulfilled due to these new limitations. If you have already received an exemption approval for anyone in your party that does not meet the requirements of these two categories , that exemption is no longer valid.
This policy is for all sailings from Florida, Texas, Louisiana, and Maryland until December 31, 2021. While exceptions will be available for kids under 12 years old, this will be minimal.
Carnival says that exemptions for children and adults are not guaranteed and are capacity-controlled based on the total number of vaccinated guests projected to be on board. With the huge number of kids sailing over the holiday period, it seems unlikely many spots will be available.
Some cruises operate under slightly different protocols. This is for Carnival Prides sailing on October 31, 2021, from Baltimore Carnival Glory sailing on November 28, 2021, from New Orleans and Carnival Miracle sailing on November 28, 2021, from Long Beach, California.
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Sailing Royal Caribbean Without The Vaccine
For cruises departing the United States, Royal Caribbean says that all guests 12 and older must have the shot.
All Royal Caribbean guests age 12 and older must present proof of full COVID-19 vaccination with the final dose of their vaccine administered at least 14 days before sailing. Kids age 11 or younger who have been vaccinated may present proof of full vaccination and follow the protocols for vaccinated guests. While we do not require kids 11 or younger than to be vaccinated, many are and it is highly likely destinations will begin to require guests age 5 and older to be vaccinated.
There is no mention of adults being able to sail with an exemption to having the shot.
Can I Go On A Cruise If I’m Not Vaccinated
The requirements depend on the cruise line. Here’s what to know about setting sail without a COVID-19 vaccination.
Jessica is a Wellness News Writer who wants to help people stay informed about their health. She’s from the Midwest, studied investigative reporting at the Missouri School of Journalism and is now based in NYC.
Like many businesses attempting to regain shape as we close out year two of a global pandemic, cruise lines have started setting sail again — with some strict health measures in place. That’s because cruise ships, with their tight quarters, buffet-style living and international travel, can be a breeding ground for the coronavirus.
As is true for most travel restrictions these days, your ability to book a cruise may depend on your vaccination status. If you chose not to get a COVID-19 vaccine, can you still go on your favorite cruise vacation?
If you’re an adult in the US, the answer is probably not, unless you’re one of the few people with a medical or religious exemption .
Before you book — and especially if you’re looking at cruises months ahead — it’s important to consider the spread of COVID-19 in countries or ports where your ship will stop, and that’s regardless of your vaccination status. It’s also important to consider who’s coming with you. Children as young as age 5 are now able to get vaccinated, so your ability to cruise may depend on whether you’ve chosen to get your child vaccinated.
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I Have A Medical Exemption From Having A Covid
If you will not be fully vaccinated due to a medical exemption you need to inform us at the time of booking. There is a limit on the number of guests who are not fully vaccinated that can travel on each cruise departure, and if you do not inform us, you may not be able to travel. Log into Cruise Control or contact our Customer Service team 13 24 94 / 0800 780 716 to advise us.
Proof of Medical Exemption for Australian guests
If you reside within Australia, you are required to have your medical contraindication recorded in the Australian Immunisation Register. This enables you to access a COVID-19 Digital Certificate or an International COVID-19 Vaccination Certificate which is required to be used as proof of your vaccination status for your cruise.
For Australian departures which visit an international port, an International COVID-19 Vaccination Certificate is required.
For any temporary medical exemptions, the exemption must be valid for the entire duration of your cruise, and the ‘valid to’ date on the vaccination status must fall after the date you are due to disembark your cruise. **If your medical exemption is temporary, you must also provide us with a letter from your medical practitioner stating that medical contraindication is not due to previous COVID-19 infection.**
Proof of Medical Exemption for guests who reside outside of Australia