As authorities in Canada confirmed the removal of pandemic-related travel restrictions, Royal Caribbean has made several changes to its COVID-19 requirements for cruises from the country. The new protocols will be going into effect on October 1.
This means that those sailing onboard Ovation of the Seas tomorrow, September 30, will still need to comply with the old protocols, while anyone sailing onboard Radiance of the Seas in October can enjoy the more relaxed measures.
Guests sailing onboard Quantum of the Seas will also enjoy more relaxed measures, but, due to the length of their cruise, testing will still be required for all.
Royal Caribbean Updates Canada Cruise Protocols
Following the decision from the Canadian government to remove all travel restrictions earlier this week, Royal Caribbean has responded quickly with a new set of measures guests will need to comply with. In effect, most conditions have been removed for the coming two cruises in October.
As the new protocols only go into effect on October 1, guests sailing onboard Ovation of the Seas on September 30 will still need to comply with the old measures.
Guests sailing onboard Radiance of the Seas on October 15, and Quantum of the Seas on October 3, can enjoy the more relaxed measures. Although, even between these two last cruise ships, there are differences in protocols.
The Canadian Government announced that anyone traveling to Canada would no longer be required to be vaccinated; it has removed the need for entering health data in the ArriveCan app, removed the need for submitting ore-cruise or pre-arrival test results, and more.
For guests cruising onboard Royal Caribbean specifically, it means that the vaccination mandate has gone, with Royal now only highly recommending a vaccine. Taking proof of vaccination with you when you cruise is still a good idea, as local authorities or businesses in some destinations require it for entrance.
Those that are required to test post-October 1, regardless of vaccination status, can use any type of PCR or antigen COVID-19 test. It can be professionally proctored at your doctor or drugstore, or it can be a test you administer to yourself at home without supervision.
Three Ships, Three Different Types of Protocols
Between September 30 and October 15, three Royal Caribbean cruise ships will sail from Vancouver, British Columbia. However, due to the way Royal Caribbean has set up the new protocols, there are different measures in place for each voyage.
Starting October 1, for cruises of nine days or less, such as the cruise Radiance of the Seas is sailing on October 15 to Los Angeles, only those guests who have not been fully vaccinated are required to show proof of a negative test result. This test must be taken within the three days before boarding day, regardless of the duration of their cruise.
However, for cruises of 10 days and longer, fully vaccinated guests age five and up must also bring a negative test result for an antigen or PCR test taken within the three days before boarding day. As Quantum Of The Seas of the Seas is sailing a 10-night Hawaii Cruise on Monday, October 3, all guests must show proof of a negative test.
And for guests sailing onboard Ovation of the Seas on September 30 to Hawaii, all guests must still comply with the old measures, such as the vaccine mandate, testing requirements for all, and completing the ArriveCan app requirements.
While these protocols are certainly confusing for guests sailing onboard these three ships, there are many positive points to be taken from the Canadian government’s move and the relaxation of measures by Royal Caribbean.
Canada has been one of the few countries that have been extremely strict about travel, particularly cruises. It even implemented a complete cruise ban during the pandemic, which was only lifted when many countries had returned to a relative normal.
The new measures pave the way for cruises to return to normal again next year, which will be good news for Canada, but also places such as Hawaii and Alaska, as many ships call on or sail from Canada on cruises to these destinations.