Carnival Follows Royal Caribbean in Dropping a Key Covid Rule

Cruise line passengers have gotten a lot of good news recently.

As the cruise industry continues to recover from the effects of the covid pandemic, more and more passengers are returning to ships to get a break from their regular routines. 

To a large extent, the process has gone well, but there have been some frustrating carryovers from the worst of the pandemic. 

For instance, there has been ongoing confusion over mask rules in different parts of ships depending on the vaccination status of passengers. 

While that’s largely resolved, until recently the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention still required close tracking of covid cases on ships.  

Royal Caribbean International  (RCL) – Get Royal Caribbean Group Report, Carnival Cruises  (CCL) – Get Carnival Corporation Report, and Norwegian Cruise Line  (NCLH) – Get Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. Report required all passengers ages 12 and older to be vaccinated and everyone of any age boarding their ships to provide a negative covid test taken no more than two days before sailing.

That’s been changing, however, as the CDC lifts more requirements on the industry. 

Last week, Royal Caribbean said it was dropping the testing requirement for vaccinated passengers on voyages of six days or less. 

The move came after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stopped tracking of covid cases on board cruise ships and after Virgin Voyages became the first cruise line to drop pre-cruise covid testing.

Royal Caribbean Group owns Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, Silversea, Tui Cruises, and Hapag Lloyd Cruises.

Norwegian Drops Test Requirement

Norwegian Cruise Line has told passengers that beginning Aug. 1, 2022, vaccinated guests sailing on a cruise originating from any port except a U.S. port, Canadian port, or Piraeus, Greece are exempt from all pre-cruise covid testing requirements.

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. owns Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas.

Carnival Makes its Move

Now, Carnival is following suit. 

In a letter to customers the cruise line said that after Aug. 4, it will no longer require “pre-cruise testing for fully vaccinated guests booked on cruises with itineraries 5 days or less.”

It said pre-cruise testing for itineraries longer than that can be conducted up to three days before departure. 

The company said that regardless of cruise length, all unvaccinated travelers  2 and older, must still “provide proof of a negative result of a lab-administered or supervised self-administered antigen covid test taken within three (3) days before embarkation.”

It said more changes in its protocols will be announced shortly, while cautioning that “all changes are subject to any requirements of destinations on the itinerary.”

Carnival Corp. owns Carnival Cruise Line, Aida Cruises, Costa Cruises, Cunard, Holland America Line, P&O Cruises, P&O Australia, Princess, and Seabourn. 

Covid restrictions, vaccination requirements, health protocols and travel guidelines may vary between cruise lines.

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