Another Florida-Based Cruise Line Removes Testing Requirement

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West Palm Beach-based Margaritaville At Sea will remove all testing requirements for fully vaccinated guests as of July 23. The move follows the CDC’s removal of the pre-cruise testing requirements as part of its voluntary program.

The Bahamas, the only destination the cruise line visits, removed all of its COVID-19 testing requirements in June of this year. 

The move paves the way forward to the new normal as more and more cruise lines remove or alter the testing requirements. The new procedures for Margaritaville At Sea are only for fully vaccinated guests. Those that have not been vaccinated will be required to present a negative test result. 

No More Testing Before Sailing With Margaritaville At Sea

Those wanting to sail onboard the Margaritaville At Sea Paradise cruise ship will no longer be required to present a negative test result before their cruise to the Bahamas, as long as they have proof of being fully vaccinated. 

The company announced the removal of the testing requirements in a press release today, July 22, saying it aims to make taking a cruise quicker and easier, starting with sailings on July 23.

Margaritaville at Sea Paradise Cruise Ship
Photo Credit: Port of Palm Beach

Oneil Khosa, Chief Executive Officer for Margaritaville at Sea: “With the CDC’s removal of the pre-embarkation testing requirement, we are hopeful and pleased that the travel and cruising industries are sailing towards a new normal.”

“Margaritaville at Sea’s vaccinated guests will no longer be required to undergo testing prior to boarding, making it quicker and easier than ever to escape to paradise.”

Margaritaville at Sea offers 3-day and 2-night voyages to Grand Bahama, where guests can enjoy gorgeous white-sand beaches, surrounded by crystal clear waters that stretch for miles. Now without the need to go through the stress of getting tested. 

While the news will overjoy many guests, they will need to keep in mind that this new procedure is only for those guests who have been fully vaccinated. This is both to satisfy the cruise line’s requirements, as well as the entry requirements to the Bahamas. 

Those guests who have not been fully vaccinated will still need to present a negative antigen COVID-19 test in advance of sailing, completed no more than one day before departure. The cruise line also recommends vaccinated guests continue to conduct testing in advance of departure.

Destinations and Cruise Lines Making Rapid Changes

In the last month or so, we’ve seen both cruise lines and the destinations they sail to removing, or at least altering, their requirements to sail and enter.

Cruise Ships in Nassau, Bahamas
Photo Credit: Paulharding00 / Shutterstock

One of the significant changes was the Bahamas which removed the need for a COVID-19 test and the Health Pass in June of this year. The combination of the Bahamas changing procedures, and the CDC removing the voluntary COVID-19 Cruise Ship Program, paves the way for cruise lines to stop requiring testing. 

The first major cruise line to change its policies was Virgin Voyages, which removed all testing requirements for vaccinated guests for sailings from Miami. With Margaritaville at Sea following Virgin, the wait is on for Royal Caribbean and Carnival Cruise Line to do the same, at least for Bahamas cruises.

For those that want to have a stress-free escape for a few days, Margaritaville at Sea certainly fits the bill. And while the fact that the cruise line only has one ship and the company is unlikely to affect the business of Royal and Carnival, it will certainly make them think twice. 

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