Are you planning on a cruise in December onboard a Carnival Cruise ship? You’re in luck as Carnival has now officially expanded the pre-cruise testing option for vaccinated guests through December 31, 2021.
Since November 5, 2021, the option has been in place and has proven to be a reliable and welcome alternative for guests who have been unable to secure a test result in time for their cruise.
Since mid-November, Carnival has been contemplating expanding the beneficial terminal testing option through the holiday season when Carnival Brand Ambassador John Heald reported on the procedures.
At the time, Heald said: “Now the question being asked is: will we extend this to December and through the Christmas Holidays? I do not know for certain if we will but I would think we would certainly consider doing so and I will share that information with you asap.”
As of today, Carnival confirms the tests will remain in place at least through December. During the busy holiday season, there is general uncertainty if testing operators will be open for business. Carnival’s choice to keep the testing option available for this period at least will be welcomed by the cruise line’s guests.
Terminal Testing Not an Option for Everyone
Carnival says the testing facilities at the terminal should not be used as a standard option for everyone. Instead, the testing at the terminal should be used when guests have exhausted all other options and cannot secure a test result in time for their voyage.
John Heald said: “Please use these home port testing centers only if you have exhausted all other ways to get tested such as tests by your local pharmacy, monitored home tests etc. This will be more affordable plus most importantly it will give you peace of mind knowing you already have your negative result 48 hours before your fun starts.”
To use the test at the terminal, guests will need to book a slot ahead of time. The $100 charge per person will be automatically added to the passenger’s onboard Sail & Sign account. If guests do book a test and fail to show up for their appointment, they won’t be refunded, and the charge will still be applied to their onboard accounts.
Other options for guests include scheduling testing with Quest Diagnostics at one of the 1,500 locations in the United States, including Walmart and other pharmacies that are usually free.
Guests can also opt to do testing at home. This is an option that the cruise line first introduced back in September of this year. During the Abbot BinaxNOW COVID-19 home test, guests are medically supervised by a trained medical professional, ensuring the test is done correctly and is valid.
The terminal testing is available for cruises from all U.S. homeports that Carnival cruise ships operate from. Guests must make an appointment to be tested at the terminal. Bookings for Galveston, Baltimore, New Orleans, and Long Beach can be made through DOCGO. Guests departing from Miami, Port Canaveral, and Tampa can book through Rapid Cruise Testing.
Whether the cruise line will continue the terminal testing option through the New Year is not known at this time. The option has been extended mainly with an eye on the busy holiday period and possible delays and difficulties with obtaining results—something that will likely not be an issue in January and the future.