Guests sailing from New York City now and through the coming weeks to Bermuda onboard Norwegian Breakaway will need to complete one more hurdle before they can board a cruise. The cruise line released new protocols this month, including more testing and registering to the Bermuda tourism authority at a cost.
Remember that these protocols have been established as a requirement from Bermuda, not from Norwegian Cruise Line.
PCR Testing 96 Hours Prior to Departure
Bermuda requires all guests entering the country by cruise ship to take a COVID-19 PCR test within 96-hours before their cruise. This test is on top of the other testing that Norwegian Cruise Line already requires and a letter has already been sent out with the details to travel agents and guests.
Once guests have taken the PCR test, they should register on the Bermuda Tourism website. The negative test result from the PCR test should be uploaded to the Bermuda Tourism website within 72 hours before sailing.
That’s not all though. When guests register, they are also required to pay $75 for each person in their travel party. Therefore, a family of four traveling together onboard Norwegian Breakaway will be required to pay an additional $300 to the Bermuda authorities.
Once registration and payments have been made, the submissions will be assessed. Once successful, guests will be issued a travel authority number, which passengers must present at the terminal before boarding.
Once guests arrive in the terminal, they will also get an Antigen test and be required to undergo a further PCR swab test inside the terminal as part of the Bermuda pre-arrival requirements. The results will then be processed by an outside lab the following day, and the results will be sent to the ship.
Guests are encouraged to register with the Norwegian Cruise Line testing partner Eurofins before the cruise starts to speed up the COVID testing process inside the terminal. Norwegian also warns guests to come to the Manhattan Cruise Terminal at their scheduled time to avoid being turned away. They should bring their proof of vaccination, the Bermuda travel authorization, and passports.
Different Destinations, Different Rules
The new protocols outlined by NCL are another example of how cruise lines have been heavily affected by the considerable variations in travel and entry requirements that are in place worldwide.
A few weeks ago, the Bahamas and USVI changed their protocols which prompted most cruise lines to switch to do fully vaccinated cruises only, barring some limited exceptions. The UK has had a ban on international cruises until recently, and the many changes inside the United States coming from the CDC have been well documented.
So far, Norwegian Cruise Line had managed not to change, or make only minor changes, to their onboard policies due to their 100% vaccination requirement that has always been part of the cruise line’s protocols.
At the very least, it means that guests can enjoy their vacation with relative peace of mind. With 100% of the guests fully vaccinated at least two weeks before the cruise’s start and tested three times, the chances of catching COVID-19 become relatively negligible.
The 3,963-passenger Norwegian Breakaway restarted operations from New York on September 26 and was the first in the fleet to resume from the Big Apple. In-store for the guests is a cruise where all outlets are open fully, no social distancing is necessary, masks are not required, and all buffets, restaurants, and bars are open as usual.
Also Read: IDEAL Things to Do in Bermuda
The new protocols are only for the six cruises the vessel is sailing to Bermuda. After that the vessel will be repositioning to New Orleans on November 7, From New Orleans, the ship will sail on an itinerary calling in Cozumel, Belize, Roatan in Honduras, and Costa Maya, Mexico which will operate under the normal Norwegian Cruise Line health and safety procedures in place at that time.