Carnival Cruise Line sends out a pre-cruise update to guests detailing the changes to protocols, a warning that there could be COVID cases on board and that specific ports of call may deny or limit a vessel.
Carnival Pre-Cruise Update
With the growing concern of Omicron on cruises and at ports, Carnival Cruise Line has started to send a pre-cruise update to guests, letting them know all the latest changes and the current situation. It comes as some cruise ships, including the Carnival Freedom, recently refused entry to some Caribbean ports due to positive cases on board.
Carnival reminds guests of the updated mask policy currently in effect, with masks required indoors at all times except when drinking and eating and when in the stateroom. Masks are also required outdoors when social distancing is not possible and when in large gatherings.
Even though there was an update to the mask policy on December 17, there was another update on December 23. Carnival also advises guests to have higher graded masks, such as the surgical or KN95.
Warning on On Board Cases and Denied at Ports
The cruise line warns guests that it’s now possible there could be COVID cases on board despite having protocols in place due to the Omicron variant.
The letter says, “But even with these measures and other stringent COVID-19 protocols we have in place, it is possible we will have some positive cases during your cruise given the prevalence of the Omicron Variant. Should that happen, we are prepared to actively manage the situation, protect guest and crew health, and operate your cruise.”
You can read the full letter below:
The cruise ports are trying to protect citizens and those on board, resulting in some destinations recently denying ships, such as Carnival Freedom at Bonaire and Aruba and Carnival Panorama at Cabo San Lucas. It’s been the same case with Royal Caribbean with Odyssey of the Seas and Explorer of the Seas, both recently denied at ports.
Carnival says in the letter, “We are working closely with local health authorities in all ports on your cruise itinerary. Unfortunately, the rapid spread of the Omicron Variant may shape how they view even a small number of cases, even when they are being managed with our rigorous protocols.”
The letter continues with, “We want you to know that we may encounter a decision by local authorities at a destination to limit or deny the ship from entering the port. Some destinations have limited medical resources and are focused on managing their own local response to the variant.“
“Should it be necessary to cancel a port, we will do our best to find an alternative destination. However, if we are unsuccessful in doing so, there will be no compensation for a missed port, beyond a refund of any pre-purchased Carnival shore excursions.”
The cruise line clarifies that these situations could continue to be an issue with cases on board and ships being denied or limited. If a Carnival cruise ship is denied and there is no alternative port, guests are told not to expect any compensation, such as onboard credit.
It’s always crucial for guests to check the very latest Have Fun. Be Safe. protocols on the Carnival website as Omicron is forcing changes not just with the cruise lines but also at ports. Carnival continues to push forward with its phased-in return to service plans despite the concerns. The entire US fleet is set to be back sailing by the end of March 2022.