Royal Caribbean Vaccine Requirement Update
The cruise line has announced a further easing of its protocols by dropping the vaccine requirements on select sailings from September 5, 2022. This easing applies to certain departures out of Los Angeles in California, Galveston in Texas, New Orleans in Louisiana, and cruises in Europe.
Royal Caribbean said in a letter to travel agents, Here at Royal Caribbean, you can trust we will continue to prioritize the health and safety of our guests, crew, and the communities we visit. We continue to work with our destination partners to evolve our protocols and align with the broader travel industry, as we transition to the point that everyone can vacation with us.
This now means that regardless of vaccination status, guests can cruise on the select sailings, as long as they meet any testing requirements.
For cruises out of Galveston and New Orleans that visit Grand Cayman, only passengers that show a valid vaccination record can go ashore. When it comes to the select European cruises, unvaccinated guests will have to take a test onboard to be allowed ashore in Greece or Spain.
Guests will still need to follow the pre-cruise testing requirements. For departures five nights or less out of Los Angeles and Galveston, unvaccinated guests aged 2 and over must show a negative test result to sail. Vaccinated guests, regardless of age, no longer need to test for the shorter sailings.
Upgraded Medical Facilities & Expert Care
Theres nothing more important than your health and safety. Thats why weve made our high-quality onboard medical care stronger than ever, with more doctors and nurses on each ship and state-of-the-art equipment enhancements. And in the event of a suspected case of COVID-19, were fully prepared with sound care plans, including rapid testing onboard.
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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.”
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Royal Caribbean Changes Its Vaccine Requirement
During much of the pandemic era, since cruising from U.S. ports returned in July 2021, all passengers ages 12 and over had to prove they had been fully vaccinated at least two weeks before sailing. Now, the cruise line has made a pretty major change and President Michael Bayley shared the news on social, which was first reported by the Royal Caribbean Blog .
“Unvaccinated guests will be required to take one test within 3 days of departure. We will also continue to operate highly vaccinated cruises with a vaccinated population greater than society and which continues to exempt kids 12 and under and we will welcome unvaccinated guests over 12 and guests with a certificate of recovery within 90 days to travel keeping in mind our ships will typically sail with with 80 percent plus vaccinated guests onboard,” he shared.
That’s a lower threshold than the 90% vaccinated Virgin will sail with, but Royal Caribbean has always had around 90% vaccinated on its ships because it allows kids under the age of 12 to not be vaccinated. Bayley did not share how the cruise line would allot the slots for unvaccinated passengers.
The cruise line has dropped all pre-cruise testing for sailings less than 6 nights. In all cases, the protocols may vary on a particular sailing if the destination has different rules than the cruise line. It’s also possible that destinations could choose to not allow unvaccinated passengers off the ship or require all visitors to wear masks in some situations.
Getting Ready To Cruise From Vancouver
Here are the latest protocols for our guests sailing Vancouver, British Columbia. Protocols are subject to change and we are committed to keeping you informed if they do. Whenever possible we will provide prior notice for any changes. Just the same, we’ll let you know if any requirements are reduced or eliminated.
Guests traveling into Canada from another country should be sure to look into any requirements your own home country may have for exiting or re-entering its borders.
All Royal Caribbean guests age 12 and older must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 with the final dose administered at least 14 days before sailing.
Children age 11 and under do not require COVID-19 vaccination to cruise but if your kids are vaccinated, they can follow the test guidance for vaccinated guests.
Each guests regimen must include at least two doses of vaccine unless the guest received the single dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
A Certificate of Recovery is not acceptable in lieu of full vaccination.
All crew onboard the ship and at our private destinations are fully vaccinated and receive a booster dose as they become eligible.
All Guests: Required Pre-Cruise Testing
Before arriving on boarding day, youll need to take a COVID-19 test on your own, at your own expense, to meet boarding requirements in line with U.S. CDC guidance.
Have questions about which tests are accepted?Read Our Detailed FAQ On Accepted Tests
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Royal Caribbean Updates To Testing Protocols
Starting with August 8, 2022 departures, these updates include:
- Requiring testing for unvaccinated guests on all sailings, and for vaccinated guests on sailings that are six nights or longer.
- Maintaining a high percentage of fully vaccinated guests onboard all sailings, far above the general population.
- All crew will continue to be fully vaccinated and boosted when eligible, and tested regularly.
These updates also applied to sister brand, Celebrity Cruises.
Cruises Departing From Ports Outside Of The Us
For cruises departing from ports outside of the U.S., Royal Caribbean will accept guests who are vaccinated with a mixed regimen consisting of 2 shots of the following manufacturer combinations: Pfizer and Moderna, or AstraZeneca with either Pfizer or Moderna.
The doses must be separated by at least 28 days and not more than 42 days for mixes of Pfizer and Moderna, and separated by at least 4 weeks and not more than 12 weeks for combinations of AstraZeneca with Pfizer or Moderna.
Mixed vaccines may not be accepted at all ports of call. Guests who are vaccinated with a mixed series may not be allowed to go ashore at these ports, or may need to undergo additional testing if they wish to go ashore.
The full policy has been posted on Royal Caribbean’s website.
The practice of mixing vaccines is common in countries like Canada or Germany, where those governments have been openly advocating this approach for months.
The updated policy would have resulted in many Canadian cruise fans potentially unable to sail.
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Cruise Lines Covid Protocols Are Working
Covid has not gone anywhere, but the cruise industry has been very successful at controlling the impact of the virus. Bayley noted that the CDC shares some information with him about the “millions” of people who have sailed from U.S. ports over the past 12 months.
“And the number of people who died from COVID who’d sailed on ships over the past year was two,” the Royal Caribbean Blog reported. “Two is terrible. But against the context of everything we’ve seen, that’s it’s truly been a remarkable success.”
Vaccine requirements remain a touchy issue as some people have chosen not to be vaccinated and that means they cannot cruise. That seems unlikely to change anytime soon given the destinations Royal Caribbean visits and the CDC information which shows that the current protocols are working.
Royal Caribbean Updates Vaccination Protocol For Us And European Cruises
Date: Aug 11 2022
MIAMI Royal Caribbean has updated its vaccination policy to allow all travellers, regardless of vaccination status, to board select itineraries starting next month.
Effective Sept. 5, 2022, all travellers, even those who are unvaccinated against COVID-19, can cruise on the following itineraries, as long as they meet any testing requirements to board:
- Cruises from Los Angeles, California
- Cruises from Galveston, Texas
- Cruises from New Orleans, Louisiana
- Cruises from a European homeport
Up until now, unvaccinated guests only under the age of 12, have been allowed on Royal Caribbean ships.
Vaccination requirements remain in place until further notice for any homeport not mentioned above. Missing from the list are cruises that visit destinations in The Bahamas and Eastern Caribbean.
We are working with local governments in the Eastern Caribbean to align our vaccination requirements for more itineraries, says Royal Caribbean. We want to ensure a great experience going ashore at these ports, for guests of any vaccination status, while meeting local health regulations. Well have more info in the coming days.
Testing requirements vary by port of departure and vaccination status. For a full list of testing requirements, click here. Last month, Royal Caribbean updated its testing requirement for vaccinated guests, allowing those departing the U.S. on sailings five nights or less to no longer have to test for COVID-19 prior to embarkation.
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Royal Caribbean Closer To Dropping Vaccine Requirement
- Publish date: Aug 5, 2022 11:35 AM EDT
Since the Centers for Disease Control stopped tracking covid on cruise ships, the cruise lines have been quickly shedding their pandemic-era protocols .
Masks are now fully optional on Royal Caribbean International – Get Royal Caribbean Group Report, Carnival Cruise Lines – Get Carnival Corporation Report, Norwegian Cruise Line – Get Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. Report, and every other major cruise line that sails from ports in the United States.
Pre-cruise testing has also largely been dropped, at least for shorter cruises, and a lot of covid-related rules have been dropped by a variety of cruise destinations. There are exceptions — Canada and Bermuda still have stricter rules in place — and that forces the cruise lines to follow those protocols on sailings that hit those destinations.
In addition, Royal Caribbean, Carnival, and Norwegian have still maintained strict rules for crew members. All staff working onboard must be vaccinated, tested regularly, and masks remain a requirement in public areas. In addition, crew members continue to face other restrictions both onboard and in their ability to get off the ship when in port.
That’s a policy that may get even looser very soon.
Other Cruise Lines Recent Updates To Testing And Vaccination Protocols
Other brands like Carnival Cruises and MSC Cruises followed suit with very similar updates to their testing protocols as Royal Caribbean.
However, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings , parent company of Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, and Regent Seven Seas cruises, was the first to update its vaccination requirements in addition to testing requirements.
On August 8th, NCLH announced revisions to its SailSAFE health and safety protocols which further align the Company to the broader travel, leisure, and hospitality industry worldwide.
Vaccinated guests aged 12 and over will no longer have any pre-cruise COVID-19 related protocols. Further, unvaccinated guests may embark with a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours prior to departure, subject to local regulations.
The Company does note that requirements may differ for guests traveling on voyages departing from or visiting destinations with specific local regulations, including but not limited to Canada, Greece, and Bermuda.
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Carnival Royal Caribbean And Princess Cruises Are Easing Their Vaccination Policies
Carnival Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean, and Princess Cruises have changed their COVID-19-related protocols, becoming the latest cruise lines to simplify vaccine requirements or streamline testing rules.
Starting Sept. 6, Carnival Cruise Line unvaccinated travelers will no longer need to obtain a vaccine exemption to board cruises that last less than 16 nights, according to the company. These travelers will still need to apply for an exemption on cruises to Australia and longer voyages.
Unvaccinated travelers will have to show proof of a negative PCR or antigen test taken within three days of embarkation.
Additionally, Carnival will no longer require pre-embarkation testing on cruises that are less than 16 nights for vaccinated passengers who provide proof of their vaccination status. Travelers who sail to Canada, Bermuda, Greece, Australia, or on longer cruises will still have to get tested to board.
The rule change comes just days after Carnival dropped pre-embarkation testing for vaccinated passengers on cruises that are five days or less and months after the company lifted mask requirements in March.
Royal Caribbean will also ease vaccine requirements starting Sept. 5 for cruises departing from Los Angeles, Galveston, New Orleans, and any European homeport, according to the company. Testing rules vary by destination, but Royal Caribbean has eliminated testing for vaccinated passengers on sailings that depart from the U.S. that are 5 nights or shorter.
Royal Caribbean Removes Testing Requirements
Guests sailing onboard one of the Royal Caribbean ships, including Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, and Silversea, will not be required to present a negative test result starting August 8.
The requirement will initially be removed for vaccinated guests sailing on cruises less than six days in length. Guests that have not been vaccinated and all guests sailing on cruises six days in length and longer will still need to provide proof of a negative test.
With the majority of cruises for Royal Caribbean International shorter than six days, the new requirement will significantly impact the pre-cruise preparation for guests.
The change in policy is a direct result of the CDC ending the COVID-19 Program for Cruise Ships, according to Royal Caribbean Group CEO Jason Liberty:
Since our return to service last year, we have seen more than 3 million guests enjoy cruise vacations responsibly, under an evolving operating environment,
Last week, the CDC ended its COVID-19 Program for Cruise Ships. Based on this change, 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.
Removing the testing requirements will mean a massive boost for Royal Caribbean. Many people are postponing their cruise plans due to the hassle of testing two days before a voyage.
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Royal Caribbean To Drop Vaccine Requirement On Select Cruises
Royal Caribbean drops the vaccine requirement from select U.S. homeports on departures from September 5, 2022.
Royal Caribbean released a further update to its protocols on Wednesday, which will go into effect in September 2022. The cruise line will drop the vaccine requirement on select sailings from the U.S. and Europe. Its another step to normality and follows other recently relaxed requirements.
New Covid Policy Changes
The major change is in testing for passengers sailing from the U.S. August 8 – August 14th, 2022.
Fully vaccinated guests will only have to show a test result at boarding if the sailing is 6 nights or longer.
Unvaccinated children will still need to show a test result to board all sailings, regardless of length. However, they will not need to test again at the terminal.
Guests will now have the same test standard, regardless of vaccination status: You can show a negative test result from a supervised PCR or antigen test taken within the 3 days before your boarding day.
Previously, unvaccinated children were required to only take a PCR test. Moreover, vaccinated guests had to get their test done within 2 days of sailing. This new change gives vaccinated guests more time to get a test completed and unvaccinated kids the choice to take a rapid antigen test instead.
Required testing for all guests, regardless of vaccination status, must be completed using a PCR or antigen test that is supervised by a healthcare professional or a home test kit that is conducted under live video supervision.
Tests must be arranged on your own and are at your own expense.
Guests confirmed on U.S. sailings departing on or before August 7, 2022, should adhere to protocols previously communicated.
For those guests booked after August 14, 2022, please await the specific protocol details from the cruise line related to those sailings.
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Royal Caribbean To Change Testing Policy On Shorter Cruises
Royal Caribbean to remove the testing requirement for vaccinated passengers on shorter cruises less than six nights.
In thesecond quarter earnings report released on July 28, Royal Caribbean Group CEO Jason Liberty said the company plans to remove testing requirements for vaccinated guests by August 8 for all of its cruise brands on shorter sailings.
The company is possibly considering removing vaccinations as a requirement to cruise as well, transitioning to the point where everyone will be able to vacation onboard the Royal Caribbean cruise ships. Liberty did not mention dates for when this could come into effect, while worldwide requirements now do not allow the cruise company to make this step.
Celebrity Cruises Will Allow Unvaccinated Too
Celebrity Cruises will also allow unvaccinated cruisers onboard.
Beginning September 5th, 2022, all travelers, regardless of vaccination status, can now cruise on the following Celebrity Cruises sailings as long as they meet any testing requirements to board:
- All sailings departing from the UK and Europe
- All sailings departing from Los Angeles to Mexican Riviera
All other sailings , the old restrictions still apply.
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