Following other major cruise lines, Princess Cruises confirms participation in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) voluntary program for cruise ships operating in U.S. waters. The Carnival-owned cruise line will have to follow CDC guidelines, including having ships classed depending on vaccination status.
Princess Cruises Opts In and Follows CDC Guidelines
The CDC gave cruise lines until February 18, 2022, to choose whether to opt-in or opt-out to its voluntary COVID-19 Program for Cruise Ships. Princess Cruises has now followed other major cruise lines by choosing to participate in the program and follow the CDC guidelines.
Princess Cruises announced on Friday that it will participate through March 31, 2022. What happens from April remains to be seen. For now, Princess cruise ships will be tired as part of the CDC’s ship classification on vaccination status.
“Princess has proven cruise vacations are safe and healthy for our guests and teams,” said John Padgett, President, Princess Cruises. “Going forward, Princess is prepared to adjust operating protocols to ensure our guests have amazing vacations while always protecting the safety of our guests, team members and destinations.”
To make sure it’s in line with the CDC, Princess Cruises is will only recommend face masks on board starting on sailings departing on March 1, 2022. There may still be a requirement for a face mask at certain venues and events during a cruise. The cruise line had previously required guests to wear a face mask on board.
Pre-cruise testing is going to become relaxed as the cruise line is set to detail some changes in the coming days. Sister cruise line Carnival has already detailed that guests who are fully up to date with vaccines, such as a booster, may take their pre-cruise test within three days before departure. It’s likely Princess Cruises will be doing the same.
Princess Cruises will still continue to sail vaccinated voyages and keep everyone onboard safe by following CDC guidelines. Padgett added, “We appreciate the ongoing collaboration among multiple government agencies as well as the support of Alaska officials and other delegations.”
Princess cruise ships will still be included in the CDC’s Cruise Ship Color Status page under the “Highly Vaccinated” status. This means “ships with at least 95% passengers and 95% crew who are fully vaccinated but less than 95% of passengers and 95% of crew are up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines.”
Despite the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) recently having harsh words toward the new voluntary program, 18 cruise lines have decided to opt-in. 109 of those cruise ships are classed as “Highly Vaccinated.”