Pre-cruise testing remains one of the most critical items to be crossed off the list before you can go on a cruise; it’s good to see that Carnival Cruise Line remains on top of things by constantly evolving and making the requirements a little easier to achieve.
The cruise line provided updates to testing availability over the holiday season, the possibility of extending the cruise line’s testing at embarkation program, and updates to the testing for back-to-back cruises.
While the CDC’s pre-cruise testing requirements may not be to everyone’s liking, there is no denying that the various protocols that have been implemented have helped the cruise industry start up again. That being said, being tested two days before the cruise starts is not the most straightforward procedure to fulfill, especially when driving to the embarkation port.
This month, Carnival Cruise Line set up a test where guests can be tested at the embarkation port before boarding. Although the tests come at a rather steep $100 per person/ per test, guests are guaranteed to have their results within 30 minutes.
According to Carnival’s brand ambassador John Heald, the cruise line is now thinking about at least extending the testing at embarkation through the holiday season:
“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.”
So while nothing is certain yet, many will be happy to hear if the cruise line does extend the on-site testing through December. One thing that will be available through the holiday season is the home-test procedure.
Home-Testing And Back-to-Back Cruises
Back in September of this year, Carnival Cruise Line introduced home-test kits for guests that would be embarking on a cruise. The introductions came shortly after the CDC made pre-cruise testing mandatory.
Guests can order the kit and complete the questionnaire on the website, after which eMed will send the test kit to their homes. An eMed Certified Guide will join guests via video connection and guide them through the process. Once the test is complete, the test result will be emailed to them, which comes with a certified digital certificate.
The question was, of course, whether these home tests would still be available over the holiday season. With Christmas and New Year, many businesses close down for a few days. However, guests do not have to worry about this for the home test kits. The eMed specialists are available 24-7 throughout November and December.
John Heald: “I was just informed that the Covid self-test we are recommending would be open and fully operational during the Thanksgiving and Christmas and holiday season. They have informed the beards that they will be ready to handle all of the demand during these busy times.”
Last but not least, Carnival Cruise Line also announced they would be offering complimentary tests for all back-to-back and side-to-side cruises. This includes cruises where guests get off one Carnival ship and go on another Carnival ship within seven days, and cruises where guests remain on the same ship for two- or more voyages in a row.
The testing requirements that Carnival Cruise Line, and all other cruise lines, mandate from guests will remain in place for the foreseeable future and at least through March 2022, as Carnival announced only recently. At the same time, it seems unlikely the CDC will be changing its requirements soon.