Celebrity Cruises has extended its pre-cruise testing mandate. The company changed the dates this week from February 28 to March 31. The cruise line also states that the testing requirements could remain in place throughout the entire year.
Guests booked on cruises in March received a letter from the cruise line, which informed them of the available options for testing.
Celebrity Cruises Extends Testing Mandate
For all sailings departing the U.S. through March 31, 2022, guests are required to present a negative COVID-19 test on embarkation day before embarking on the vessel.
The cruise line extended the mandate from February 28 to March 31 this week. Last week, the cruise line already updated its mask policies onboard.
Guests booked onboard one of the Celebrity Cruises ships sailing from the United States received a letter from the cruise line informing them of the changes. The ships involved include Celebrity Apex, Celebrity Constellation, Celebrity Edge, Celebrity Equinox, Celebrity Millennium, Celebrity Reflection, Celebrity Silhouette, and Celebrity Summit.
The letter from the cruise line states the following:
“For sailings departing the U.S. through March 31, 2022, all vaccinated guests are required to present a negative COVID-19 test at the time of embarkation. This test may be taken as either as an Antigen or PCR test, conducted within two days of boarding the ship. Each guest is responsible for making their own arrangements with an accredited testing provider as well as covering all associated costs.”
Although some cruise lines have been making moves to make testing more manageable, and in some cases free of charge, Celebrity Cruises has not yet taken this route, and costs involved with testing remain with the passengers.
Which Tests Are Accepted?
With the vast amount of testing currently available, it can be challenging to figure out which tests are accepted so you can board your cruise ship. Celebrity Cruises did explain this to guests in the letter.
Vaccinated guests must complete a PCR or Antigen test no more than two days before the start of their cruise and boarding the ship. Tests can be done through the regular testing centers or two convenient home tests that Celebrity has set up:
- Monitored Self-Test Kit – Abbott BinaxNOW™ COVID-19 Ag Card: This home test lets you do the test under video supervision from a certified guide. The results will be available to you 15 minutes later. Guests can order the tests online.
- Concierge Testing Service: Celebrity has also set up a concierge testing service where a qualified medical technician comes to your home, office, or hotel to perform the test. These results do take about 48 hours, cutting it close to the time guests have to board the ship.
Unvaccinated children ages 2-11 years old must bring a negative PCR test conducted within three days of boarding.
There will be an additional Antigen test at the terminal before embarkation and on the day before disembarkation. The PCR test and the Antigen test at the terminal cannot be taken on the same day, as that can affect the accuracy of the tests.
Although we’ve seen several countries step away from COVID-19 measures and start to treat the virus as the common flu, such as the UK and Denmark, it will likely be a long time before we see the same happening in the cruise industry. Especially when we talk about testing before sailing.
The CDC released new measures for cruise ships to adhere to only last week. The new protocols are voluntary, but they still received strong criticism from industry insiders and provided little hope to a less strict environment onboard cruise ships.