Royal Caribbean has released another update on its protocols for cruises departing the U.S. that will go into effect from August 8, 2022. The cruise line provides details on the changes, including the previously reported easing on testing for shorter sailings, information on kids, and the testing window before departure.
Royal Caribbean Protocols from August 8
Since the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) ended its COVID-19 Program for U.S. Based Cruise Ships on July 18, 2022, cruise lines have started to ease their protocols and align the industry with other travel sectors.
The Royal Caribbean communicated to travel agents, “While continuing to prioritize the health and safety of our guests, crew, and the communities we visit, we are excited to begin transitioning to a point that more closely aligns with other travel and hospitality sectors. With that, we are pleased to announce the easing of test requirements for most U.S. itineraries.”
Royal Caribbean is among several major cruise lines that have already announced changes, and now it has released the details on its website for cruises departing the U.S. from August 8, 2022.
Guests that are fully vaccinated no longer have to provide a test result on sailings that are less than six nights long. However, if the cruise includes Canada or Bermuda, testing pre-cruise testing will remain in place due to the requirements in those countries. Testing will still be required for all guests on cruises six nights or longer.
Testing has been streamlined with guests by showing a negative result from a supervised PCR or antigen test taken three days before departure.
When it comes to unvaccinated kids, they will still have to show a negative test result to board the vessel, no matter the length of the cruise. However, there will no longer be the need for an additional test at the terminal.
It is important to know that the current protocols remain in place for cruises that include Canada or Bermuda. It’s also the same for guests booked for a cruise that departs on or before August 7, 2022.
More Changes to Come
Royal Caribbean has hinted that more changes are to come, and further easing of the protocols is expected. In a communication to travel agents, the cruise line notes that the updated protocols are through August 14, 2022, and after that date, further details are to be released.
Royal Caribbean said, “For those clients booked after August 14, 2022, please await the specific protocol details from us related to those sailings.”
The cruise line is starting to transition to allowing more unvaccinated passengers to sail, which will be a gradual process. Royal Caribbean President Michael Bayley recently said, “We will also continue to operate highly vaccinated cruises with a vaccinated population greater than society. This continues to exempt kids 12 and under.
Bayley continued, We will also welcome unvaccinated guests over 12 and guests with a certificate of recovery within 90 days to travel keeping in mind our ships will typically sail with 80 percent plus vaccinated guests onboard.”
Some sailings depend on the destinations, such as Canada and Bermuda, that do still require testing no matter the length. Still, unlike Carnival Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean does not require the testing on shorter sailings that include the Bahamas. Booked guests can check all the vaccination requirements depending on the departure port right here.