Carnival Cruise Line has been working on making testing easier for its guests by introducing on-site testing at the terminal. However, the cruise line has decided not to move forward with this option due to the logistics involved.
Testing at the Terminal is Not Happening
Earlier this month, it was announced by the cruise line that it was working on a way to introduce pre-cruise testing at the terminals to make it easier for guests. Unfortunately, this plan has not worked out, and the Carnival won’t be moving forward with its plan due to the logistics.
In a letter sent to guests on September 15 from Carnival Cruise Line President Christine Duffy, she said, “While we had previously raised the possibility of more on-site testing at our terminals, the logistics of making this service widely available to a large number of guests does not make this a viable option.”
The communication included alternative suggestions to help guests get their pre-cruise test completed. Carnival Cruise Line has also provided similar details within its Return to Service FAQs. This has become more important than ever with new requirements recently implemented on September 13 for testing to be done within two days before departure as per CDC guidelines.
As we’ve already reported, the cruise line now accepts self-administered telehealth COVID-19 test results for vaccinated guests. The CDC has approved this for cruises, and one option suggested by Carnival is for guests to order their home test through the Optum store.
The home test must have Emergency Use Authorization from the FDA, and a certified telehealth representative must monitor the process. The results are then provided within 15 minutes using the NAVICA app when using the Abbott BinaxNOW COVID-19 Ag Card test.
There has recently been some confusion with the test expiry dates. Currently, the Optum store says for the Abbott BinaxNOW test, “Due to nationwide test supply shortages, the test you receive may expire by December 15, 2021.
Carnival Corporation has also been working on making the situation easier across all of its U.S. brands, including Carnival Cruise Line.
The company has agreed with Quest Diagnostics to provide access to a pre-cruise test. Guests can schedule testing at more than 1,500 locations, including patient service centers, and select Walmart and other retail pharmacy locations.
If guests choose to take the route through Quest Diagnostics, they have to make an appointment, and the results will come back typically within 48 hours via email or mobile.
It is slowly getting easier as more guests plan to take a cruise vacation now that multiple Carnival ships are back sailing. In fact, the cruise line is moving forward swiftly with its planned restart with Carnival Glory and Carnival Dream, both resuming operations on September 19.