Carnival Cruise Line Provides Update on Back-to-Back Cruises

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Carnival Cruise Line has provided an update on the procedures that back-to-back and side-to-side guests will need to follow under the current health regulations and those that go into effect on August 28.

There has been considerable confusion about what requirements guests need to follow if they stay on board for two or more cruises, embark on another Carnival ship when their previous cruise ends, or embark on a cruise within 2-7 days after disembarking their last cruise. Carnival Cruise Line’s Brand Ambassador provided clarification.

Back to Back Guests Will Need To Test

Much of the confusion on how Carnival is organizing guests on multiple cruises had to do with the cruise line’s testing requirements for all guests. Testing should be done a minimum of 72 hours before the cruises, and proof needs to be shown in the terminal; this presented back-to-back guests with a potential problem. John Heald, the Carnival Cruise Line Brand Ambassador, went into detail about what guests need to do.

Guests who sail on back-to-back cruises do not have to worry too much. The cruise line will do a simple Antigen test before the second voyage starts. Guests on back-to-back cruises but onboard a different Carnival cruise ship (also called side-to-side) within one day of disembarking their first ship have to inform onboard Guest Services in advance.

These guests will then receive the required pre-travel COVID-19 test before they disembark. Guests must present their negative test results upon arrival at the cruise terminal for their next voyage.

Carnival Cruise Ships
Photo Credit: Marc Mayntz

Side-to-side guests traveling on a different Carnival ship within 2-7 days of disembarking their last ship only need to show proof of their previous cruise at check-in, and they can then receive the required pre-travel COVID-19 test at the cruise terminal.

Carnival Cruise Line is offering the tests on a complimentary basis for all vaccinated guests. Unvaccinated guests will be charged 150 dollars for testing and reporting, although there shouldn’t be too many of those now. Carnival is implementing the 100% vaccination mandate onboard on August 28 due to a new policy in place in the Bahamas.

More Updates on International Travel and Booster Shots

John Heald, who has been at the front of answering guest questions every day throughout the pandemic, also explained more on international travel and booster shots, something the cruise line is getting an increasing amount of questions on.

Guests who have traveled internationally within 14 days of sailing will need to bring the required pre-cruise COVID-19 test on embarkation day. This means they will need to do a test in the US or bring their test result if the test and embarkation are within 72 hours of each other.

COVID-19 Vaccine

Although the cruise line requires all guests to be fully vaccinated, a booster shot is not mandated by Carnival. A two-shot vaccine with the last shot administered 14 days prior or a one-shot J&J vaccine suffices as full vaccination.

Also Read: Which Carnival Cruise Ships Have Resumed Operations?

Guests who had previously received a vaccine exemption are out of luck, though, as of August 28, “only children under 12 and adults with a medical condition that prohibits their vaccination are exempt from vaccination requirements to sail.”

This does spell bad news for all Canadian guests who have received mixed vaccinations; the CDC currently does not recognize these people as fully vaccinated. Even if these guests received an exemption prior, they will now not be allowed onboard.

Carnival Cruise Line has resumed operations with eight vessels so far. Carnival Panorama was the last one to start out of Long Beach, California. More ships will be announced soon, giving guests more and more opportunities to do back-to-back and side-to-side cruises.

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