What If I Have A Certificate Of Recovery
Some countries issue “certificates of recovery” if someone has been infected with COVID-19 and recovered, issuing a certificate that proves a positive COVID-19 test and recovery, instead of vaccination as someone’s proof of immunity. The European Union’s Digital COVID Certificate, for example, includes certification of recovery from COVID-19.
For guests departing outside of the US who are cruising with Royal Caribbean, they may present a certificate of recovery. If you’re not in the US and have a certificate of recovery, contact your desired cruise line before purchasing the cruise.
The US doesn’t issue certificates of recovery at this time, so telling the cruise line you already had COVID-19 won’t get you a vaccine exemption.
Sailing Disney Without The Vaccine
While most cruise lines allow kids under 12 to sail unvaccinated, Disney known for being a family focused line requires kids aged 5 and older to be vaccinated in order to sail.
Currently, Disney Cruise Line continues to require all vaccine-eligible Guests to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, as defined by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , at the time of sailing. This is a requirement for all Guests ages 5 and older.
There is no exemption policy mentioned for children or adults.
Bonus: Going Going Gone Rates
A wonderful tool meant for travel agents to spot great deals has returned.
Before the pandemic the Going, Going, Gone weekly flyer was a staple at Royal Caribbean that would list especially good rates for last minute cruises to book.
The flyer usually gets updated weekly on Monday afternoon or Tuesday morning.
You’ll have to act fast if you want in on these days because by weeks end, most of the deals are gone.
You can find the flyer always at this address.
More cruise advice
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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 we’re transitioning to the point where everyone will be able to vacation with us while always working with our destination partners to meet their regulations.”
Cruise Lines That Dont Require Covid Vaccines
Do you have to be vaccinated to go on a cruise? The short answer is it depends.
The long answer is that vaccine requirements vary by cruise line, cruise ship, and departure port/destination. Currently, due to the rise of the Omicron variant and new restrictions by ports of call, the majority of U.S.-based cruise ships are allowing unvaccinated travelers onboard only if they are too young to be vaccinated or have medical or religious exemptions.
Many U.S.-based cruise lines restarted cruises with mainly vaccinated guests, and the vaccination requirement remains in place for these lines. Some lines have even begun requiring children be vaccinated, such as Disney Cruise Line. Royal Caribbean, on the other hand, allows unvaccinated kids on their ships. However, lines that planned to welcome unvaccinated adults have had to get stricter about vaccine requirements to adhere to new government policies.
Heres the current list of cruise lines that do not require Covid vaccines to sail, for travelers who cannot or choose not to get the shot.
February 17, 2022
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The #1 Way To Avoid A Denied Cruise Vaccination Exemption
Things may be getting more efficient for cruise lines as they get back into the swing of things, but there a super easy, safe and 100% free way to ensure youll be allowed on any cruise line around the world GET VACCINATED!
Both the Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective at protecting people against getting really sick and ending up in the hospital. The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday 27th of July that the Pfizer vaccine in particular offered effective rates of 88% against the new Delta variant thats currently running rampant all over the world. Not only will you be protecting yourself against the virus, but youll be helping protect the rest of us as well by mitigating the spread.
Have you been denied a cruise vaccine exemption? Let us know in the comments!
Unvaccinated Guests Return To Cruising
Starting September 3, 2022, Norwegian Cruise Line Parent company is adjusting the required pre-cruise testing and vaccination protocols for all cruises, with the new guidelines taking effect September 3, 2022. The new guidelines effect NCL, Oceania Cruises, and Regent Seven Seas. Under the new rules, Unvaccinated passengers ages 12 and older must still present a medically supervised negative PCR or antigen test taken no more than 72 hours before sailing. Children under 12 will not have to present negative Covid-19 tests, regardless of vaccination status. Do note, that some countries still require covid-19 testing for sailing. If this is the case, you still need a negative test or be vaccinated. Be sure to double check or work with a travel agent to ensure youre meeting the requirements of the cruise you are considering.
Some cruise lines are still limiting the number of unvaccinated guests onboard. Its important to note if the cruise line has a limit of unvaccinated guests. Especially if you are unvaccinated. The industry is still recovering and working under a patchwork of regulations. Below are the current requirements, as August 9, 2022 by cruise line.
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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.
Asking Celebrity If This Partially Vaccinated Couple Will Receive A Cruise Credit
Hello Celebrity friends!
Were working on a case over here in which a Celebrity customer, Joshua Maxwell, appears to have misunderstood the vaccine requirements for cruising at this time. They showed up at the dock on Aug. 1 with a negative COVID test and a vaccine card with just the first dose of Moderna. For some reason, they were allowed to board the Equinox and settle into their cabin. They even went to dinner and then returned to their cabin before security came and told them they had to leave immediately. Security escorted them off the ship, and the cruise sailed without them.
The couple said Celebrity informed them that they will not receive a refund nor future cruise credit. Apparently, this couple was planning on getting married during this cruise, so its particularly troubling for them. Is it true that theyve forfeited even a cruise credit? I note that they sent an email to Celebrity on Jul. 25 asking for clarification of the vaccine rule. But the email went unanswered. It seems that if Celebrity had answered them at that time, they could have canceled and received a future cruise credit.
Well be publishing an article about this couples experience, so we want to make sure weve got the details clear. Is there any way for this couple to receive a future credit? Thank you!
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Carnival Cruise Lines Covid Requirements
Carnival allows unvaccinated guests to return to sailing. All unvaccinated guests ages 2 and older are required to receive a lab-administered PCR or antigen test up to 3 days before sailing. The following voyages require guests, age 12 and older, to be fully vaccinated. In addition, all guests, age 18 and older, who are more than 6 months past the last dose of their initial vaccine series must be boosted in order to sail:
- Carnival Pride® and Carnival Celebration Europe All 2022 departures
- Carnival Splendor® 23-day Carnival Journey September 6, 2022
- Carnival Spirit® 16-day Carnival Journey September 20, 2022
Other cruises have limited space for vaccine exempt guests through December 2022. Vaccine exemptions are limited to a small number of guests who are over age 5. Each sailing is unvaxxed capacity-controlled based on the total number of vaccinated guests projected to be on board. Children under five are not required to apply for a vaccine exemption. However, they must still follow requirements for unvaccinated guests, including pre-cruise and onboard testing. Requests are not guaranteed and will be processed after the booking is paid in full, in sailing date order, and once we have finalized the estimated vaccinated guest count.
Vaccinated passengers still must present a medically supervised negative covid antigen or rapid pcr test before sailing.
Find an update to carnival covid-19 requirements here.
Youre Not Fully Vaccinated And You Must Leave The Cruise Immediately
Maxwell says that as they were relaxing after dinner, there was a knock on their cabin door. It was now just 10 minutes before the scheduled departure of the Equinox.
A woman who spoke broken English said something about a COVID test, Maxwell recalled. We werent sure what she wanted, but I showed her our negative COVID test results, and she left.
The couple barely had time to ponder the exchange before a more forceful knock hit the door.
This time, Maxwell couldnt believe his eyes.
Now there were five or six big guys in security outfits standing there. The group leader said we had to leave the cruise immediately because we werent fully vaccinated. At that point, these security guards began treating us like common criminals. The news devastated my fiancee. She was crying.
He told us that we had five minutes to get our things and get off the ship. Then he said that the police were waiting for us outside as if we had broken the law. They just used this as a scare tactic to get us off the boat faster.
Maxwell says he tried to reason with the officers, explaining that they had successfully gone through all security checkpoints.
It was clear from the demeanor of the officer that there would be no negotiating. The couples fate was sealed.
Hastily, they tossed all their belongings back in their bags, and the burly guards quickly escorted them off the ship.
And soon, the stunned and devastated couple were standing on the dock, watching the Equinox sail away without them.
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The Cruise Line Is Also Making Vaccines Mandatory In Only Some Ports
Royal Caribbean will require unvaccinated guests on cruises out of Florida to obtain insurance that would cover them if they tested positive for the coronavirus while on board.
Starting August 1, unvaccinated guests 12 and older will have to show proof of an insurance policy with coverage of at least $25,000 per person for medical expenses and $50,000 per person for expenses for things like COVID-19-related quarantine and medical evacuation, according to the company.
The policy will apply to sailings through Dec. 31, but bookings made between March 19, 2021, and June 28, 2021, will be exempt.
The decision comes after a pair of unvaccinated teenagers tested positive for the virus on the company’s Adventure of the Seas ship and two other people were infected on the Celebrity Millennium earlier this month, Reuters reported. The cruise company took care of expenses in those cases.
The cruise line, which previously made vaccines optional on most cruises, will now require the jab except on sailings departing from Florida.
Florida’s Gov. Ron DeSantis has banned the concept of vaccine passports in the state.
For cruises leaving from Florida , the company said any guest 16 or older who chooses not to show proof of vaccination “will be considered unvaccinated and must adhere to additional health protocols and undergo COVID-19 testing.” On Aug. 1, that drops to 12 and older. These tests will be at the guest’s expense.
Sailing Princess Without The Vaccine*
Princess is among the most lenient when it comes to sailing unvaccinated. They offer the ability to apply for an exemption for any reason . However, it is currently limited to 10% of passengers and on a first-come, first-served basis:
We manage an exemption process for guests who are not vaccinated regardless of the reason, subject to the regulations of the ports we visit. Exemptions are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Children under 5 years old are not required to apply for an exemption but must still follow all other requirements for unvaccinated guests. Exemptions can be obtained by calling 1-800-PRINCESS.
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Applying For Vaccine Exemptions
If youre part of a group that is typically required to sail with the vaccine then youll likely have to apply for an exemption. After all, if cruise lines want to stay above a certain threshold of vaccinated passengers, then they need to know who is sailing without the shot.
Applying for an exemption isnt hard. For some its an online form that you fill out. Others require you to call the cruise line. But just because you apply for an exemption doesnt automatically mean you qualify. It is possible that you could be denied.
Since some cruise lines operate on a first-come, first-served basis, its a good idea to book and contact the line early if you plan to apply for an exemption.
Do I Need To Worry Whether Ports On My Itinerary Have Extra Covid
For the most part, no. Many cruise lines warn in their travel documentation that guests are responsible for complying with all local health and safety requirements which may include additional pre-embarkation testing at the terminal, as Norwegian puts it in its documentation.
However, lines will typically tell you in advance if there are specific COVID-19 requirements in ports that could affect your trip.
Generally, if a port on your itinerary requires passengers to show proof of a COVID-19 vaccine or a negative COVID-19 test, the line will make that a condition of your sailing. In cases where a negative COVID-19 test is required to enter a certain port or port country, lines will likely test you on board before arriving at that port, often for free.
Note that lines do make clear that its your responsibility to figure out what COVID-19 vaccine or testing documentation you need to pass through countries by air or land on the way to your cruise.
As Norwegian puts it, the line recommends for all guests to follow, and where possible, sign up for notifications from their local government on international travel regulations that may prevent, restrict, or require additional documentation when traveling to another country for embarkation or during their cruise.
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Many Cruise Lines Have Rolled Back Testing Rules
Royal Caribbean Group, parent company of Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity, also rolled back its testing requirements this month, following the end of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s COVID-19 Program for Cruise Ships. The company requires vaccinated passengers to take a test only on sailings six nights or longer, but testing is still required for unvaccinated passengers on all sailings.
Many other cruise line operators and brands made similar protocol changes, including Carnival Cruise Line and MSC Cruises.
First-time cruisers:3 things to know before stepping foot on the ship
Book A Cruise During Off
Every region of the world that a cruise ship sails has peak and off-peak times, so if you can take a cruise during the less popular times you will find some of the best cruise deals out the season.
Off-season cruises are when there are less people able or willing to go on a cruise. Usually this is at the very beginning or very end of when ships begin sailing in a region, such as Europe or Alaska.
In the Caribbean, where the cruise season is year-round, the off-peak cruise times are usually opposite the school calendar. When school is in session, there are less families that can cruise.
Just like a 6am flight, there is less demand for these departures and that means lower prices to be found.
Besides bad timing, less than perfect weather can be a factor for why there is less demand for certain sailings.
In Alaska, the very beginning and end of the season is when it is coldest. May and September typically are when Alaska cruise prices dip to their lowest.
In the Caribbean, hurricane season greatly impacts people’s desire to book a cruise. This means lower prices for a Caribbean cruise in September or October. You’ll also find great prices in January and early February, when school is back in session.
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