The CDC’s program for cruise ships hasn’t been in effect since July 18, 2022. However, the CDC still offers guidance on COVID-19 management and mitigation for the cruise line industry. And most of the cruise lines are just now updating their rules on travel and vaccination. Carnival Princess Cruises are updating their COVID-19 protocols and guidelines to make it easier for passengers to board short cruises, requiring only select popular destinations. Princess also changed their pre-travel testing requirements, so they are less complicated.Read More »
Princess Cruises Updated Cruise Guidelines
These new guidelines apply to all departures except Canadian, Australian, and Grecian ports, as government regulations override the cruise line policy.
• Guests on voyages exceeding fourteen nights are not required to get tested before departure.
• There is an exception for full Panama Canal transits and other special itineraries.
• If you’re an unvaccinated cruiser, you must provide a negative self-test result taken within three days of embarking.
• Kids under five don’t require pre-cruise testing.
• Guests traveling for sixteen days or more must take a supervised test before the ship sets sail.
For additional information on the Carnival Princess Cruise Line regulations for COVID-19, call 1-800-CARNIVAL or visit www.carnival.com.
Princess is proactive by updating its guidelines to reflect the cruise line’s commitment to safety and hygiene.
“Princess Cruises has updated guidelines to help everyone access a Princess vacation,” said John Padgett, President of Princess Cruises. “In addition to good service and unmatched value, every Princess cruise offers its guests a one-of-a-kind experience.”
Royal Caribbean, however, has some pretty strict rules for travel.
The Princess Carnival guidelines for Covid now seem like a breeze compared to Royal Caribbean’s regulations. Most of the stricter regulations come from travel to other countries.
Covid Rules for North America Cruises – Cruises That Require Vaccination
Royal Caribbean requires all guests to be tested for COVID-19, the last dose of which must be fourteen days before departure. Royal Caribbean has asked their guests to disclose this information ahead of time through the Royal Caribbean app or on their website.
Vaccination is voluntary. However, children of all ages may be asked to submit documentation on their vaccinations. A Certificate of Recovery or other equivalent form is not sufficient for guests that can be vaccinated.
Bermuda Travel Guidelines
As with any cruise, complete the required vaccine series before heading out. Unfortunately, Bermuda does not recognize Novovax or Covaxin, so cruisers with those vaccines will not be permitted on the land.
If the ship doesn’t visit Canada or Bermuda, COVID-19 vaccination is not required for sailings departing from U.S. home ports.
Royal Caribbean recommends that all guests meet the recommended vaccinations for their destination and take a final dose fourteen days before sailing.
It’s recommended that you bring your vaccination information as some businesses will ask to see it before they let you in. In addition, unvaccinated individuals must get a negative vaccination test result within three days of boarding day.
Royal Caribbean Covid rules for trips to and from Australia
All Royal Caribbean passengers cruising to Australia will be required to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination, and 11-year-olds are not exempt from this requirement. It is recommended for all travelers.
With COVID-19, the Australian Federal State Government requires that all passengers are vaccinated. Unvaccinated children aged 11 and under and those with a valid exemption can travel on cruise lines to specific destinations though there is a limit on how many people can travel.
The Covid Rules for European Ports
COVID-19 vaccination is not a requirement for sailings departing from European home ports.
Some ports require guests to register for vaccines before going ashore, and those not up to date may need further testing to visit specific ports.
With these cruises, documentation of vaccinations isn’t a requirement to board, but people will need to declare their vaccination status at the terminal. Therefore, they recommend bringing your vaccination records (or a negative COVID-19 result three days before embarkation).
Royal Caribbean Covid Departing from Europe
It’s essential to check your vaccine records and be sure you’re fully up to date on standard travel vaccinations. Royal Caribbean’s policy is to not allow visitors under the age of 5 to travel from Europe to the United States unless vaccinated appropriately.
The European Medicines Agency (EMA), has its own rules for travel by cruise that Royal Caribbean follows.
For instance, Italy doesn’t recognize these four vaccines, Sinopharm, Sinovac, COVAXIN, Covovax, and CoviShield, as fully vaccinated and may require additional testing for ports of entry.
Cautious is Probably Good for the Cruise Line Industry
Health concerns for cruise lines were the cause of a lot of negative press in the early days of Covid. Most of us probably remember the ship with ill passengers stuck off the coast for days, but don’t necessarily remember which cruise line. So as an industry, the cautious approach to adhering to Covid policies and slowly updating them is in part to bolster public opinion that all cruises are safe again.
Quick policy changes aren’t exactly in the hands of an industry that caters to an international community, with each country having different standards. Vaccination and travel documentation requirements vary so widely from country to country right now, so, no matter which cruise line you’re going with, find out the specific requirements. Your cruise line choice is basically going to boil down to your comfort level and feeling of safety.
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