Carnival Cruise Line updated its health and safety protocols on December 17, 2021, and sent notifications to guests detailing some changes due to the Omicron variant. This change comes as two other major cruise lines have also tightened measures to make sure guests and crew remain safe.
Carnival Cruise Line Protocol Updates
The cruise line has informed booked guests of updated protocols that are in effect on sailings from December 18, 2021, through January 31, 2022. All guests aged two and above will now be requested to wear a mask indoors and outdoors, with exceptions. The cruise line is also no longer allowing any smoking in the casino.
In a letter to guests, Carnival says, “Our Have Fun. Be Safe. protocols and procedures have proven very effective during our restart and have been developed in consultation with our medical experts, and they are designed to be adaptable as our current public health situation evolves.”
Another significant change is that Carnival now strongly suggests that guests have a booster vaccination before their cruise. Boosters have become an essential defense against the new Omicron variant, as detailed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The cruise line continued, “In preparation for your voyage, we want to update you on the COVID-19 protocols we are implementing fleet-wide for sailings through January 31, 2022, as we respond to the Omicron variant.”
What Are the Updated Protocls?
Wearing masks during a cruise has become the obvious change, especially now that Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Line have tightened their mask policies. There are also changes for the casino along with booster shots recommendations. Cruise Hive readers can check the full Have Fun. Be Safe. protocols here.
Sailings through January 31, 2022
Carnival Cruise Line requests that guests aged two and above wear masks at all times indoors except when eating or drinking or when in their staterooms. It’s recommended that guests use higher-grade masks when indoors for added protection. Masks must also be worn outdoors if in a large gathering and when social distancing cannot be maintained.
With the CDC encouraging all persons over 16 years old to have the booster vaccination, Carnival Cruise Line recommends guests have their booster at least seven days before sailing.
Even though the CDC is poised to be ending its Conditional Sailing Order in January 2022, cruise lines are still working with the organization to make sure guests and crew remain protected, and that expert advice is followed.
When it comes to the casino, smoking will no longer be allowed at any time. That’s the only change in addition to the previous rules that have already been in place for several months.
Sailings from February 1 through March 30, 2022
The updated protocols are only temporary and from February 1 through March 30, 2022, the masks indoors and outdoors will only be strongly encouraged rather than a requirement. The cruise line also says “Guests aged two and older will still have to be required to wear masks in elevators and in designated indoor entertainment venues, all retail shops, in the casino and at any indoor activity with children under 12 years.”
More than half the Carnival Cruise Line fleet is already back sailing and the aim is still for the entire U.S. fleet to be back by the end of March 2022. Even though one Carnival cruise ship has already been forced to cancel a port visit recently due to COVID-19, the cruise line’s protocols have proven to be working with thousands of guests cruising daily from multiple U.S. homeports.