Royal Caribbean sets rules for unvaccinated cruises

PORT CANAVERAL, Florida – The return of cruises from Port Canaveral and Florida in general is fast approaching for Royal Caribbean.

But as the ships prepare to leave port with passengers again, those who are not vaccinated will find the voyage much more arduous compared to their vaccinated counterparts – at least for those traveling from Florida.

What you need to know

  • The rules for cruises apply from August 1st to December 31st, 2021.
  • The new guidelines are in response to Florida’s vaccination law
  • Those who do not wish to adhere to these new guidelines can request a refund
  • The new stricter rules do not apply to vaccinated passengers

Late Monday, Royal Caribbean updated its guidelines for cruises departing the Sunshine State and noted its guidelines for cruises departing before and after August 1st.

Freedom of the Seas received its Conditional Sailing Certificate after successfully completing its simulated voyage earlier this month, Royal Caribbean President and Chief Executive Officer Michael Bayley announced on Facebook on Tuesday.

The ship with the aptly named name will hold its first high-turnover cruise on the holiday weekend for Independence Day from July 2nd to 5th. It will depart from Miami and visit Nassau, Bahamas, as well as CocoCay, Royal Caribbean’s private island.

The ship, with its fully vaccinated crew, will be the first Royal Caribbean International cruise line to set sail from the United States since the industry was shut down by the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020.

Rules before August 1st

Guests are strongly advised to get vaccinated. To be considered fully vaccinated, the last doses must be given at least 14 days before departure.

All unvaccinated guests must have additional COVID-19 tests performed at their own expense, costing $ 136 per guest. Passengers aged 16 and over require proof of a negative PCR test that was carried out “no more than three days before departure”.

At the terminal, all unvaccinated guests aged 2 and over require a terminal PCR test from a provider approved by Royal Caribbean. An antigen test is required before disembarking at the end of the voyage, which is done the day before the end of the cruise.

The tests are free for people aged 2-15 years. Anyone who does not pay for and choose to undergo these tests can get a refund for their cruise.

Vaccinated guests have no testing requirements. .

For a full list of requirements for Freedom of the Seas travel from Miami, please visit the Royal Caribbean website.

Rules after August 1st

From August 1st, the vaccination requirements will apply to all passengers 12 years and older.

At this point, unvaccinated guests 12 years of age or older are required to provide evidence of an insurance policy with a minimum of $ 25,000 per person to cover medical expenses for all cruises departing from Florida ports through December 31, 2021.

You must also have a policy of US $ 50,000 per person “for quarantine and medical evacuation related to a positive COVID-19 test result”. These policies “must name the unvaccinated guest as the policyholder or beneficiary”.

The pre-cruise tests (ages 12+) and at the terminal (ages 2+) are also required after August 1st. Royal Caribbean also stated that unvaccinated passengers 2 years old and over would require a test during cruises for trips lasting seven nights or more.

The test is free for guests between the ages of 2 and 11.

For a full list of requirements for all Florida home departures, please visit the Royal Caribbean website.

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