With so much going on regarding resuming operations in July and August, Carnival Cruise Line has sent a follow-up update to impacted guests. The update, which is in the form of a letter sent out via email, lets guests know that further details will come next week on health protocols and the vaccine exemption, which has become confusing for many.
Follow Up from Carnival
Since the cruise line released its plan on cruise ships resuming operations in August and the ongoing situation on health protocols, impacted guests have now received a follow-up letter to the update that was previously sent out on June 7 from president and CEO Christine Duffy.
The letter covers some important things for the upcoming cruises, starting with the final payment date extended to Monday, June 21, 2021. This will allow guests to wait and see how issues with Florida lawsuit against the CDC plays out as a decision is expected in the week and allow Carnival to work through its restart process and procedures.
The letter says, ”We are excited about our summer restart and I wanted to follow up on our email from late Thursday about our plans to operate your cruise. Things are moving quickly, and in our desire to share information with you in timely fashion, we know that there are gaps to fill in. First, as we work through this restart process and our operations for August, we are extending final payment on your sailing to Monday, June 21.”
Carnival has already announced that sailings in July will be for fully vaccinated guests only and that covers the Carnival Vista and Breeze out of Galveston, Carnival Miracle out of Seattle, and Carnival Horizon out of PortMiami.
Those same ships will also operate vaccinated sailing through August along with the additionally added ships of Mardi Gras out of Port Canaveral, Carnival Sunrise out of Miami, and Carnival panorama out of Long Beach.
Specific health protocols have already been released for sailings out of Texas for Carnival Vista and Breeze along with cruises to Alaska out of Seattle with the Carnival Miracle.
The letter mentions that further details will be released in the week to come regarding the exemption process to accommodate the 5% of passengers who will not be vaccinated as per the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Conditional Sailing Order guidelines. Carnival is working through this procedure, and guests will know more soon.
The letter from Duffy says, ”As we operate to meet the CDC guidelines, there is an exemption process to accommodate a small number of guests who are unable or ineligible to be vaccinated (children under 12 and other exceptions as required by federal law).”
”The current standard to meet the CDC’s criteria for a fully vaccinated cruise – under which guests can sail without a mask and other restrictions – is that at least 95 percent of all guests on board are fully vaccinated. In addition, our crew will be fully vaccinated.”
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The follow-up update continues to mention the vaccine exemption and that further information will be sent to guests in the week once the details are finalized. In addition, Carnival Cruise Line makes it clear that a minimal number of passengers won’t be fully vaccinated, and they will use mainly those who are 12 years old or under.
The cruise line says it wont be able to process guest exemptions until it knows who will be sailing. This means the cruise line must wait until all guests have made their final payments which then lets Carnival know how many guests will actually be cruising:
”We will be sending details next week about this exemption process, and additional protocols as they are finalized. It’s important to note that the number of exemptions will be a very small subset, will largely be children under 12, and it will be less than 5 percent of guests to account for no shows and other operational matters.”
”And, we cannot begin to process these exemptions until after all final payments are received and we have certainty on the total number of guests on board – so that we can determine the number of exemptions. But we are committed to moving as quickly as possible.”
It all sounds complicated and confusing, but this is a nice update to let guests sailing in August know what’s actually going on. The situation is evolving as Carnival works through the requirements, which are part of the CDC’s Conditional Sailing Order. Carnival is going down the route of 95% fully vaccinated passengers and all fully vaccinated crew members for July and August sailings only at the moment.