Carnival Cruise Line Will Follow CDC If Booster Shot Is Required

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Carnival Cruise Line sends a letter to booked guests regarding the booster shot possibly becoming a requirement and that it could be an essential factor for future sailings with the cruise line.

Carnival Cruise Line Update on Boosters

The cruise line has updated guests on its plans to operate vaccinated sailings, including the possibility of the booster shot becoming a requirement. Carnival Cruise Line continues to follow CDC guidelines to ensure guests and crew remain safe, despite the Conditional Sailing Order ending on January 15, 2022.

In a letter sent to guests, Carnival said that it still plans to operate vaccinated sailings, and guests will still need to show proof that they are fully vaccinated at least 14 days before departure. Pre-cruises testing is still required for vaccinated guests within two days before the sailing date.

Carnival Breeze Cruise Ship
Photo Credit: Turn_Mug /

The CDC and even Carnival’s own Have Fun. Be Safe. protocols, strongly recommend that guests get a booster shot when eligible. On upcoming sailings, it’s possible that the booster shot could become a requirement rather than a recommendation, and the cruise line is letting guests know.

Carnival said in the letter, “The CDC has strongly recommended that individuals obtain a COVID-19 booster vaccination, when eligible. Should the CDC definition of fully vaccinated evolve to require the booster shot, our policy will adapt accordingly.”

Even though a letter updates guests about the booster becoming part of being fully vaccinated, Carnival’s website is also now advising the same. With the booster becoming an important part of ensuring everyone remains protected, it could also be essential in ports of call.

Carnival continues to say, “It is also always possible that certain destinations could define a fully vaccinated guest as one who is current with a booster shot. Consequently, we also strongly encourage all guests who are eligible to get their booster vaccine at least seven days before boarding as this may become a condition for travel without prior notice.”

Carnival Crew Vaccination
Photo Courtesy: Carnival Cruise Line

So far, none of the cruise destinations have made this a requirement, but during the last few weeks, ports have refused entry to cruise ships that have had small numbers of COVID-19 cases onboard. The last thing the industry needs is further port cancellations due to guests not having the booster shot.

Carnival Cruise Line will still continue to allow some unvaccinated passengers as part of its vaccine exemption process on sailings through December 31, 2022. The exemption is not guaranteed, and it depends on the capacity of each sailing.

This update to guests follows a major update released on January 21, 2022, with Carnival remaining committed to the CDC guidelines and keeping its protocols in place for the foreseeable future.

In addition to the possibility of guests needing a booster shot to be fully vaccinated, the cruise line has been working on expanding pre-cruise terminal testing for vaccinated guests for short three- and four-day itineraries.

There is also a pilot program running with the VeriFLY solution, allowing guests to upload their vaccination status and testing details before their cruise, resulting in a much faster check-in process. The program has already proved to be a success on Mardi Gras’ January 22 departure from Port Canaveral.

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