Royal Caribbean Updates Requirements for Transatlantic Sailings

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With the summer cruise season about to end in Europe, Royal Caribbean International has updated its protocols for eight different transatlantic crossings in the next two months. This includes information on vaccination requirements and pre-cruise testing, and other guidelines.

Updates for Transatlantic Sailings

As protocols for different cruise itineraries, embarkation ports, and destinations have been shifting rapidly in the past few weeks, guests booked on the upcoming transatlantic crossings from Europe to North America will be relieved to finally have updated guidance for their cruise travel.

Royal Caribbean International has been reaching out to booked guests to communicate these requirements, and the cruise line’s Healthy Sail Center informational page has also been updated with the latest protocols, but the cruise line does note that “protocols are subject to change and we are committed to keeping you informed if they do.

Voyager of the Seas Cruise Ship
Photo Credit: StudioPortoSabbia / Shutterstock

The affected voyages are the following:

  • September 4 – Voyager of the Seas from Copenhagen, Denmark to Boston, Massachusetts (14 nights)
  • October 17 – Anthem of the Seas from Southampton, England to Cape Liberty, New Jersey (12 nights)
  • October 25 – Jewel of the Seas from Barcelona, Spain to Orlando, Florida (12 nights)
  • October 30 – Wonder of the Seas from Barcelona, Spain to Orlando, Florida (14 nights)
  • October 31 – Odyssey of the Seas from Rome, Italy to Fort Lauderdale, Florida (13 nights)
  • November 4 – Vision of the Seas from Barcelona, Spain to Fort Lauderdale, Florida (12 nights)
  • November 5 – Brilliance of the Seas from Rome, Italy to Tampa, Florida (15 nights)
  • November 8 – Rhapsody of the Seas from Barcelona, Spain to Bridgetown, Barbados (12 nights)

Vaccination Requirements

According to the updated protocols, all guests ages 5 and older are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 prior to embarkation. The final dose of the primary vaccine series must be administered at least 14 days before sailing.

Only the following types of vaccines are acceptable for sailing on these voyages: Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, AstraZeneca, and Nuvaxovid.

Docked Royal Caribbean Cruise Ships
Photo Credit: Miguel Zagran / Shutterstock

For guests to be considered “up-to-date” on their vaccinations, either the final dose of the primary series or the most recent booster shot must be no more than 270 days (9 months) before sailing. This will permit greater flexibility with the timing of pre-cruise testing, but guests should note that booster shots – while recommended – are not required for these cruises.

The cruise line will not accept a “Certificate of Recovery” in place of full vaccination for any transatlantic sailing at this time. Guests under the age of 5 are permitted to sail, regardless of vaccination status.

Testing Requirements

All guests for these sailings must submit a negative result from a pre-cruise COVID-19 test. Guests who are fully vaccinated and up-to-date on their vaccination, including the booster shot when their primary vaccine series was completed more than 9 months before sailing, may take a supervised PCR or antigen test up to three days before boarding.

Odyssey of the Seas in Fort Lauderdale
Photo Courtesy: Royal Caribbean

Guests who are fully vaccinated but do not meet the up-to-date requirement may take a supervised PCR test no more than three days before sailing. If those guests opt for an antigen test, however, that test must be taken no more than 24 hours before sailing.

Unvaccinated guests do not need to take two tests, but must be sure their tests are administered within the appropriate time frame prior to embarkation to be valid.

No unsupervised self-test will be accepted for any pre-cruise testing, regardless of vaccination status or the timing of the test.

Other Protocols

All guests onboard transatlantic sailings are also required to complete a pre-cruise health status questionnaire.

Furthermore, guests aboard the Anthem of the Seas transatlantic sailing must also upload their documentation to the ArriveCan app prior to embarkation, due to the ship’s scheduled call in Halifax, Nova Scotia, on October 25.

All crew members onboard each Royal Caribbean ship are fully vaccinated, and receive booster shots as eligible.

Masks remain option on board all vessels, though different ports of call may have mask requirements. Guests must comply with local guidelines where applicable.

As with all guidelines during this ever-evolving situation, protocols and requirements are subject to change.

Royal Caribbean will seek to stay in touch with guests booked on upcoming sailings, and all prospective passengers should ensure their contact information is updated to receive the latest notifications.

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