Carnival Cruise Line has contacted guests booked on the upcoming April 24 transatlantic sailing of Carnival Pride about updated health and safety protocols for their 14-night voyage. This includes new end-of-cruise testing requirements for returning to the United States, as well as reminders about booster shots and other protocols.
Test Required Before Returning to the U.S.
The biggest update is the need for all guests flying back to the United States at the end of the cruise to present a negative test result within 24 hours of their flight’s departure from Barcelona. Guests were contacted via email about this new requirement, and brand ambassador John Heald has emphasized the protocol in a Facebook post.
“Every guest, regardless of where they are from, must have a negative Covid test to return into the United States at the end of the cruise,” Heald said. “This needs to be done 24 hours before.”
Guests who have at-home test kits and bring them aboard the ship will be able to use the internet onboard and do the test on the last day of the cruise. Both rapid PCR and antigen testing is also available at the Barcelona airport, and guests are responsible for the cost of the testing.
The airport testing center is located in Terminal 1 of Barcelona-El Prat Airport, and opens at 6 a.m. Test fees range from €30-100 ($33-108 USD) per person if appointments are pre-booked, and from €50-150 ($54-162 USD) per person for walk-ins.
Heald emphasizes that European protocols are very fluid and may change, and Carnival Cruise Line will do everything possible to keep guests updated about the requirements for their cruise.
“We promise to keep you informed and give you plenty of time to arrange everything,” Heald said. “Things are getting easier and better every day and as things change we will of course keep you informed.”
The Spirit-class Carnival Pride is departing for this transatlantic crossing from Tampa, Florida, on Sunday, April 24. The 14-night sailing will include stops in Bermuda and the Azores, as well as Malaga and Valencia in Spain before arriving in Barcelona on Sunday, May 8.
Booster and Pre-Cruise Testing Reminders
In addition to the new requirement for post-cruise testing, the cruise line is reminding guests that COVID-19 booster shots are required for all passengers who are more than 6 months past the last dose of their initial vaccine series. Guests were informed of this requirement earlier.
Though this cruise sets sail in just four days, there is still time for guests to get booster shots. There is no delay between the time when a booster is administered and an individual is considered up-to-date on vaccinations.
Guests must also register for pre-cruise COVID-19 antigen testing at the Port of Tampa. These tests will be paid for by Carnival Cruise Line, but are required for all passengers.
Fluid Situation and Requirements May Change
The most important reminder not only for guests on this transatlantic sailing but for guests on all European sailings this summer is that the overall situation is very fluid and requirements may change at any time.
At this point, the cruise line is not providing firm guidelines for sailings later in the summer, as it is highly likely that requirements will change – perhaps several times – before those cruises set sail.
“The rest of the European season is still very fluid and there is no point of sending out information that could possibly change,” Heald said. “Should the [post-cruise] testing be required for the rest of the European season I will help you through all of that once that decision is final.”
The 88,500-gross-ton Carnival Pride is the only Carnival cruise ship sailing in Europe this summer. In addition to the April 24 transatlantic crossing that will reposition the vessel to the Mediterranean, the ship will be offering a range of European itineraries, including round-trip sailings from Barcelona, Spain in May; Dover (London), United Kingdom in July and August; and Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy in September and October.