You may or may not know that if you want to travel on a cruise ship, you must to pay for a mandatory vaccination to get your ship’s passport stamped. The three major cruise lines have different policies regarding the vaccines required. Carnival Cruise Lines requires its passengers to be vaccinated for Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, and Typhoid before being allowed on board. Royal Caribbean requires its passengers to be vaccinated for the same three diseases. However, the relaxation of rules for Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines doesn’t apply to its fleet of ships, which are required to have the same vaccinations.
If you’re planning a cruise, question whether you’ll have to delay your trip due to a last-minute illness. If you’re lucky, the cruise line will waive the inoculation requirement for measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR), but many lines will require the varicella (chicken pox) inoculations, too. This could be a problem for parents of infants, who may need to delay their trip to ensure that their child receives the vaccine.
A few weeks ago, The Hartford Courant ran an article asking if cruise lines are being skittish about parents who refuse to have their kids vaccinated. [Full disclosure: the author of the article, Rina B. Kurland, specifically asked me to participate in the discussion.] I thought it would be a good idea to try and answer this question for you, the reader.. Read more about carnival cruise covid vaccine requirements and let us know what you think.
The majority of cruise lines are already operating or will be shortly; however, the criteria for vaccines vary by cruise company.
The differences can be confusing, ranging from 100 percent vaccinated sailings to the 95 percent rule, differences between sailings in different states and countries, Canadian guests who have been vaccinated with two different technologies, testing requirements, and even additional insurance costs for those who have not been vaccinated.
We examine the requirements for passengers sailing from Florida, outside of Florida, and on cruises to the Mediterranean, the United Kingdom, and the Caribbean with the three biggest cruise lines.
Carnival Cruise Lines is a cruise line that specializes in
Many people were shocked to learn that Carnival Cruise Line had introduced a vaccine requirement aboard its ships a few months ago. But, so far, the company’s strategies are working, and passengers have praised the company’s abilities to restore cruises to a more typical level. Despite the vaccination requirement, passengers who have not been vaccinated are still permitted to travel, but there are certain restrictions.
Carnival Cruise Line provided this image.
Highlights of the Vaccine Requirement:
- Carnival mandates that all guests be vaccinated, and will only sail if at least 95% of the passengers are. This covers sailings from Florida and all of the company’s other homeports.
- Carnival passengers who do not have evidence of vaccination will not be permitted to board and will not be refunded.
- Guests who have not been vaccinated may seek an exception; however, Carnival has said that these exemptions are only for children and adolescents who are not vaccine eligible. Canadian visitors who have been completely vaccinated but not in a manner recognized by the CDC via combination vaccination injections, as well as those who are unable to be immunized due to medical or other reasons, may be exempted. Other exceptions have been found, but they are few and far between.
- Those who have not been vaccinated will be subjected to a number of additional requirements, including pre-trip testing and onboard testing, which will add an additional $150 to the voyage fee.
- Every unvaccinated passenger aged 12 or older must provide evidence of travel insurance that covers at least $10,000 in medical costs and $30,000 in “emergency medical evacuation and without COVID-19 limitations” by July 31.
Despite the fact that the procedures seem severe and are intended particularly at keeping unvaccinated passengers off the ships, they really provide passengers a lot of freedom aboard. Guests who have been vaccinated are not required to wear masks within the ships, nor are they restricted in their mobility or subjected to any social distancing measures.
In reality, by enclosing passengers in a bubble of vaccinated and carefully vetted people, Carnival is restoring cruising to its previous standards.
Royal Caribbean Cruise Line is a cruise line owned by Royal Caribbean International.
Royal Caribbean’s strategy differs from that of its major rival. The cruise company has chosen to embark on “test trips,” making cruises from the United States available to both vaccinated and unvaccinated passengers. In addition, the cruise line guarantees that it is exempt from the 95 percent requirement.
Having said that, the reality is a little different. Royal Caribbean has made it plain that just because people are able to travel without being vaccinated does not mean the cruise company would make it easy for them. Furthermore, this regulation only applies to cruises departing from the United States; for cruises departing from other countries, the cruise company has other requirements.
Royal Caribbean is the photographer for this image.
Highlights of the Vaccine Requirement:
- Guests on cruises departing from Florida are not required to provide evidence of immunization. Royal Caribbean Florida cruise passengers aged 12 and above will be required to provide evidence of travel insurance beginning August 1 if they choose not to do so. A minimum of $25,000 in medical cost coverage is required, as well as $50,000 for “quarantine and medical evacuation linked to a positive COVID-19 test result” per individual.
- In addition to insurance fees, unvaccinated cruisers and visitors who refuse to provide evidence of vaccination must pay for COVID-19 tests, which cost $136 or $178 depending on the length of the trip.
- Certain sections of Royal Caribbean’s ships are open to all passengers, while others are closed to those who have not been vaccinated. The Pub, the Diamond Club, the Casino and Casino Bar, and other venues aboard the Serenade of the Seas, for example, are not accessible if you are not completely vaccinated. On each ship, see the Royal Caribbean website for a full list of venues available or closed to unvaccinated passengers.
- For cruises departing from the United States, passengers who have received two separate vaccines, such as Moderna and AstraZeneca, are not considered completely immunized. For cruises departing from countries other than the United States, they are completely immunized.
- All passengers on cruises departing from the United Kingdom and sailing in the Mediterranean must be properly vaccinated.
- Guests on cruises departing from Singapore are subject to Singapore government regulations, which include an extensive testing requirement but no vaccination restrictions. Only Singapore citizens are eligible for these cruises.
Norwegian Cruise Line is a cruise line based in Norway.
Norwegian Cruise Line has made its position on vaccination requirements quite clear. No matter where the ship sets sail, all passengers and crew members must be properly vaccinated.
Photo credit: Shutterstock.com/Ovidiu Curic
According to the company’s website, “all passengers and staff must be properly vaccinated at least two weeks prior to departure to embark.” Vaccination regulations for guests are presently in effect for all sailings departing until October 31, 2023; we will make decisions based on science for all future sailings.
It’s unclear if the cruise company will be able to meet this criterion for trips departing from Florida. The state of Florida and Norwegian Cruise Line are involved in a court battle over vaccination requirements. For the time being, the cruise line stands firm in its rules, and will likely apply them to all other homeports, such as Seattle or voyages in Europe, the United Kingdom, and the Caribbean.
The cruise industry is a massive industry, operating in all regions of the world and selling their product to consumers who are looking for a relaxing vacation or even a family holiday. Cruise lines such as Carnival, Holland America and Royal Caribbean have been operating in the industry for a number of years and have built up a reputation for providing cruises which help tourists to enjoy their vacation. However, the industry has been criticized for the lack of regulations and requirements which they hold in regards to the health of their customers.. Read more about carnival cruise vaccination requirements and let us know what you think.
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