Carnival Offering Limited Affordable Testing Before Short Cruises

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Carnival Cruise Line has released additional details about its new pilot program for in-terminal, affordable, pre-cruise COVID-19 testing. At this time, the program is only available for three vessels, and only for embarkation dates through April 30, 2022.

This pilot program was first announced in late January, but additional details have only recently become available.

Limited Testing Available

According to Carnival’s Return to Service FAQs, the more affordable, day-of-embarkation test options – for $10 per passenger – are available only for guests on 3- and 4- day cruises on Carnival Radiance, Carnival Liberty, and Carnival Conquest sailings departing through April 2022.

Guests must pre-register for these antigen tests via a link emailed prior to their sailing. The non-refundable $10 charge will be assessed to each guest’s Sail & Sign account.

Cruise Testing

These tests are only available for vaccinated guests, as unvaccinated passengers must use the nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT) test type, which is not administered at the terminal.

While the program is currently only available for short sailings on these three vessels, the email sent to guests encouraging them to register does state “This program is being offered on a trial basis and if successful, will be expanded for future sailings.”

Carnival also requests, “Since capacity is limited, we kindly ask this option be used only by those guests who have been unsuccessful in making other testing arrangements.”

Testing for Other Cruises

While these $10 tests are only available for short cruises on Carnival Radiance, Carnival Liberty, and Carnival Conquest, Carnival Cruise Line has also arranged in-terminal testing for additional ships departing out of Baltimore, Galveston, Long Beach, New Orleans, Miami, Port Canaveral, and Tampa.

Testing at these locations also requires pre-registration, and the cost is $100 per passenger. Payment is non-refundable and is collected at the time of registration. Credit and debit cards are accepted.

These are also antigen tests and are therefore limited to vaccinated passengers, and test availability is on a capacity-controlled basis. These tests are only available for sailings departing through February 28, 2022.

Carnival Cruise Ships in Miami
Photo Credit: pisaphotography /

All Carnival guests may also make their own arrangements for pre-cruise testing, but should take care that the test type is accepted for cruising. Fully vaccinated guests may use either an antigen or NAAT test, while unvaccinated guests must provide NAAT test results. Rapid tests are acceptable for both types, but guests should check Carnival’s website for the full list of acceptable test types.

Pricing and turnaround time for other test arrangements will vary based on provider, test administrator, local testing demands, test supplies, and other factors.

Fully vaccinated guests can also use self tests that are monitored by telehealth supervision. Abbott BinaxNOW COVID-19 Ag Card Home Tests and Radeas Inspire Diagnostics At-Home Health Tests are acceptable.

Documentation Required for Boarding

Regardless of the type of pre-cruise test guests take or where they take it, proper documentation must be presented at embarkation or guests will not be allowed to board their cruise. Acceptable documentation includes the laboratory test record, digital certificate, or healthcare record.

The test results must show the passenger’s first and last name, date of birth, type of test (NAAT or antigen), date and time the sample was taken, negative/not detected test result, and testing site or healthcare provider details. Handwritten test results are not acceptable.

Read Also: Carnival Cruise Line Updates its Protocols for the Casino

Guests may be invited via email to participate in the VeriFLY secure app, allowing testing results to be uploaded digitally before arriving at the terminal to smooth the embarkation process. The program is currently only available on select Mardi Gras sailings, but is being tested for implementation on additional sailings and ships in the future.

Guests who do not provide documentation and are denied boarding will not be eligible for any refund or other compensation.

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