Norwegian Cruise Line updates its vaccination policy, which is part of its protocols to keep guests and crew safe. The cruise line has already updated its website allowing unvaccinated guests under 12 to cruise.
NCL Updates Vaccination Policy for Kids
Cruise lines are gradually easing their protocols as cruise ships return to service and COVID cases are reduced. Norwegian Cruise Line has now followed other major lines by adjusting its protocols.
Starting on sailings departing from March 1, 2022, kids under 12 will no longer have to be fully vaccinated to cruise. This opens to door for more families to enjoy a Norwegian cruise with kids. The cruise line says:
“All guests age twelve and over, as well as all crew, must be fully vaccinated at least 2 weeks prior to departure in order to board. While we welcome unvaccinated children ages eleven and under onboard, it is the responsibility of the guest to be aware of any local protocols and/or travel restrictions in place at the visiting destinations at the time of sailing.”
Despite unvaccinated kids under 12 being allowed to sail, the cruise line warns guests to check the protocols for any local ports and destinations as the requirements may differ.
The updated vaccination policy was announced on Thursday, but it is essential to know that sailing through February 28, 2022, still requires all guests to be fully vaccinated, no matter what age. Norwegian Cruise Line was previously set to accept unvaccinated children four years and under on US sailings from March 1, but this has now changed to under 12. It now means that the vaccination age policy aligns with sailings from non-US ports.
More Protocol Changes from March 1
As part of the changes that will go into effect on sailings from March 1, guests will have to show proof of a negative test result taken within two days before departure. In a communication sent to booked guests, the cruise line does say that for guests unable to provide a negative test result, an antigen test will be available at the terminal.
For guests under 12 on sailings from US ports, additional testing at embarkation and disembarkation may be required as part of the CDC’s Voluntary COVID-19 Program for Cruise Ships Operating in US Waters. NCL has confirmed that it will cover the cost of the additional testing for non-vaccinated guests under 12.
As Cruise Hive already reported in early February, Norwegian Cruise Line is easing its tighter mask policy. However, there has now been a slight adjustment with guests aged 12 and over not required to wear a face mask. Previously the policy for sailings from March 1 was for guests aged five and over. The stricter mask policy is currently in effect through February 28, 2022.
This news comes following relaxed protocols from other major cruise lines. Carnival Cruise Line and Norwegian Cruise Line have already announced relaxed face mask policies, and multiple cruise lines have decided to participate in the CDC’s voluntary program for cruise ships that operate in U.S. waters, resulting in adjusted policies.