Carnival Cruise Line Changes Protocols Due to Destination Requirements

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Carnival Cruise Line has made some changes to its protocols that will go into effect from August 28, 2021, due to the requirements at destinations. The impact will be on a small percentage of guests as at least 95% of passengers will already be fully vaccinated.

Carnival Cruise Line Protocols Changes

On Sunday evening, the cruise line announced an update to its Have Fun. Be Safe protocols due to the fluid situation and ensuring guests remain safe. Carnival Cruise Line is currently sailing with at least 95% percent of its guests fully vaccinated as per guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The 5% are guests that receive an exemption to cruise including those under 12 years old and certain adults who are unable to get vaccinated.

Also Read: Which Carnival Cruise Ships Have Resumed Operations?

The cruise line is making a small adjustment starting from August 28 that impacts the small number of guests within that 5%. Carnival Cruise Line says, “only children under 12 and adults with a medical condition that prohibits their vaccination are exempt from vaccination requirements to sail.”

Carnival Cruise Line Protocols Update
Carnival Cruise Line Protocols Update (Carnival Website)

Guests will have to bring the relevant documentation during check-in, including a birth certificate or passport for those under 12 years old and a letter from a medical provider stating why guests cannot be vaccinated.

The update applies to all sailings from the Atlantic and Gulf homeports and will remain in place through October 2021.

So this impacts those adults who were within the 5% and received an exemption to sail but now don’t have a medical reason for not being fully vaccinated. Carnival says, “Unfortunately, all other vaccine exemptions previously granted for upcoming sailings cannot be fulfilled due to these new limitations.”

Those who already received their exemption from Carnival through October or those who have applied to be exempt from the vaccine requirements have been informed about the changes.

Why is Carnival Making the Update?

One of the main reasons for the change is due to the Government of the Bahamas, which issued an emergency order. Effective September 3, 2021, cruise lines entering any port in the Bahamas, including private islands, must follow new vaccine requirements.

Cruise Ships Docked in Nassau, Bahamas
Photo Credit: Ruth Peterkin /

Cruise lines, including Carnival, have to confirm that all guests 12 and over are fully vaccinated, with exemptions only for those who have a medical reason. It’s not just the Bahamas, St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands has also implemented a similar requirement. This seems to be a trend across the Caribbean to ensure their residents remain protected from the spreading Delta variant.

Carnival Cruise Line heavily operates in the Caribbean and the Bahamas, so the cruise line has little choice but to comply. In the update sent out to impacted guests, the cruise line expects the new requirement from the Bahamas to remain for some time, resulting in the change to Carnival Cruise Line protocols.

The cruise line continues to alter its protocols due to the fluid situation. Recently, the cruise line made a change by introducing a new testing requirement for full-vaccinated guests and guidelines on wearing a face mask indoors while on board. All crew members on board are fully vaccinated.

So far, eight Carnival vessels have resumed operations with the Carnival Panorama as recently as August 22 out of Long Beach, California. The cruise line will soon be announcing which ships will be resuming beyond October, and the phased-in return continues.

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