It’s been 16 long months for the major cruise lines, however, many companies are finally ramping up their operations, including Royal Caribbean, which received clearance to do cruises with ticketed passengers next month.
Now, as consumers begin to book crossings, the protocols and procedures for the post-COVID-19 world are becoming more real and clearer.
For Royal, the cruise line now indicates that vaccination requirements “will vary depending on departure from port and according to age group.”
“We are continually adding, monitoring and adjusting information on immunization requirements as public health conditions change. Reserved customers will be informed of the latest requirements for their port of departure before leaving, ”the Royal website read.
For now, Royal is requiring vaccines for guests departing from Seattle, Washington; Galveston, Texas; and Nassau, Bahamas. This requirement is currently in place for customers 16 years of age and older, and will increase to 12 years and older as of August 1.
Royal is also demanding that passengers aged 18 and over on cruises departing from Limassol, Cyprus be fully vaccinated.
The rest of Royal’s crossings, which all depart from Florida, have different requirements. The return of Freedom of the Seas in July, for example, will sail with the “highly recommended” vaccination.
“We will ask, but not require, that fully vaccinated guests provide vaccination documents before boarding (eg, a vaccination card from the US CDC),” Royal said.
What are the requirements for unvaccinated guests?
Royal said it will take into consideration any guest who are unable to show proof of vaccination when boarding an ‘unvaccinated’ guest. These guests will navigate with different rules and regulations on board and ashore.
“A guest who cannot provide vaccination documents will be considered unvaccinated and will have to adhere to additional health protocols and undergo COVID-19 test. Unvaccinated customers 12 years of age and older will be responsible for covering the costs associated with these tests, ”says Royal policy.
“Since the majority of our guests will be vaccinated, there will be places and events reserved for vaccinated guests only. We will do our best to create opportunities for all customers to enjoy their time with us. Please note that your SeaPass card will be required to access lounges, shows and restaurants, so keep it handy at all times during your cruise.
To be considered fully vaccinated, passengers must receive their last dose of vaccine 14 days before departure and provide documents such as the COVID-19 vaccination card from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.
All unvaccinated guests aged 12 and over must also have an insurance policy worth $ 25,000 per person for medical coverage and $ 50,000 per person for quarantine and medical evacuation.
Here is the policy according to Royal;
“Each unvaccinated guest aged 12 and over must provide proof of a valid insurance policy that has a minimum of (a) $ 25,000 per person in medical coverage and (b) $ 50,000 per person for quarantine and medical evacuation linked to a positive COVID-19 test result.
The insurance policy must name the unvaccinated guest as the policy owner or beneficiary, and may be purchased with a travel insurance company of the guest’s choice or through the Royal Caribbean Travel program. Protection, which includes the required coverage.
Will masks still be needed?
On all crossings, Royal said there will be some sort of face mask requirement for guests. Rules differ for unvaccinated and vaccinated guests on these Florida crossings. Here is the rule for passengers vaccinated on crossings from Florida:
“Vaccinated guests are required to wear masks indoors unless they are actively sitting and eating or drinking. Masks will not be required for vaccinated guests in venues (bars, lounges, restaurants and entertainment) or at events reserved for vaccinated guests, or in your cabin with your group of travelers. ”
And for the unvaccinated:
“Unvaccinated guests are required to wear masks indoors unless they are actively seated and eating or drinking. Masks are not required in your cabin when you are with your traveling party. Likewise, masks are not required outdoors, except in a crowded setting. ”
On vaccinated cruises, including cruises departing from Nassau, vaccinated passengers “do not need to wear a face covering on board the ship or on Perfect Day at CocoCay.” Unvaccinated guests should wear them “in all indoor public spaces aboard the ship, unless they are actively seated and eating or drinking.