In a major update to its protocols for sailings in September 2022, Carnival Cruise Line removes the pre-cruise testing requirement for vaccinated guests, with some limitations for some destinations. The Miami-based cruise line will also welcome all unvaccinated guests to sail.
Carnival Cruise Line Drops Requirements
It has been a long-awaited day for multiple Carnival-owned cruise brands, including Carnival Cruise Line, which will drop requirements on sailings.
Starting from departures on September 6, 2022, vaccinated guests no longer have to undergo a pre-cruise test to sail. However, guests will still need to show proof that they are fully vaccinated.
“Our ships have been sailing very full all summer, but there is still room for more of our loyal guests, and these guidelines will make it a simpler process, and make cruising accessible for those who were not able to meet the protocols we were required to follow for much of the past 14 months,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line.
Carnival is also making a major change to its vaccine requirements, which will open up cruises to more guests. Unvaccinated guests will be allowed to cruise and no longer be required to show proof of vaccination before a cruise. However, this does not apply to sailings in Australia or on voyages 16 nights and longer.
Unvaccinated guests or those who choose not to show vaccination proof will still need a negative PCR or antigen test result taken within three days before departure. It’s also important to know that policies do depend on the destinations that ships visit, and further changes could be coming.
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Duffy added, “We’ve got lots happening, with Carnival Luminosa and Carnival Celebration joining our fleet this November and more to come in 2023. Whatever the ship, homeport or itinerary that works for you, our great onboard team is ready to deliver a fun vacation – something we all look forward to even more nowadays!”
Carnival also says that for those guests that do have a pending vaccine exemption application and waiting for a response, that booking is confirmed as long as the cruise is departing on or after September 6 and does not visit Canada, Bermuda, Australia, or if the voyage is 16 nights or longer.
The cruise line is communicating further details on the changes to booked guests and travel agents. The Have Fun. Be Safe protocols are also not updated as of this time. Duffy said, “We appreciate the patience of our guests and travel advisor partners as we update all materials, but the end result is a very positive one for all who are looking forward to cruising with us.”
Why Are Protocols Easing?
Since the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) ended its cruise ship program, the cruise lines that operated from the U.S. have been able to take back control of their own protocols.
Carnival Cruise Line has been sailing safely since the summer of 2021, when it restarted operations following the industry-wide suspension.
With requirements being removed across other travel industries and even the CDC recently removing even more specific guidance, the time has come to gradually start making it easier for guests to sail.
This news follows sister line Princess Cruises, which has also announced the removal of the vaccine and testing requirements, with some limitations depending on destinations. P&O Cruises and Cunard in the UK also announced the easing of pre-cruise testing.
Further changes could be coming as there are still some limitations on select sailings due to the requirements at certain destinations.