Royal Caribbean extends protocols for sailings in North America and Europe
Health and safety protocols in place onboard Royal Caribbean cruise ships sailing from US homeports have been extended throughout the summer. The protocols were due to expire on June 30, but the cruise line opted to give guests a clear idea of what to expect on summer cruises this year.
Protocols for sailing from the United States will now be in place until September 30. At the same time, Royal Caribbean has also extended protocols for European cruises, which will now be in place until June 30.
Extended cruise protocols
Royal Caribbean will continue to maintain COVID-19 prevention measures onboard its ships through summer 2022. The company will not be implementing any changes; COVID-19 protocols have proven to be an effective countermeasure to prevent major outbreaks on board Royal Caribbean cruise ships.
While many cruise passengers wait for the day when the measures expire, that day is certainly not here yet.
As a signatory of the CDC Voluntary COVID-19 Program for cruise ships, Royal Caribbean is required to follow procedures established by the CDC. It seems unlikely that the government agency will soon authorize an end to these measures.
Royal Caribbean notified customers of the extension in an email, stating the following: “We are contacting you to inform you of an extension to our existing health and safety protocols for departures in North America and Europe. Our North American protocols will be extended for departures no later than September 30, 2022.”
“Please note that the only notable adjustment to our previous health and safety requirements include updates to terminal testing for departures from Italy, with full details provided below. The rest of our protocols remain unchanged. and is simply extended beyond a larger browser window.
Departures from Royal Caribbean in the United States
Royal Caribbean has been operating successfully from US homeports for nearly a year now. The company has encountered very few issues regarding COVID-19 cases on board and has successfully prevented any significant outbreaks from occurring on board its vessels. This is partly due to the strict measures in place.
All passengers aged 12 and over must be fully vaccinated 14 days prior to departure. Younger passengers who have been fully vaccinated can follow the rules for vaccinated guests.
Guests two years and older must also present proof of a negative covid-19 test result. For vaccinated passengers aged 12 and over, this test must be taken within 48 hours of departure.
Unvaccinated passengers must show proof of a negative PCR test taken no later than three days before departure, but this test cannot be taken on the day of boarding.
On board, passengers are not required to wear a mask, although Royal Caribbean recommends its use, while all unvaccinated passengers must wear a mask.
During shore and port shore excursions, passengers should follow local guidelines in place, including the option of mandatory mask use on shore and a bubble ride to descend ashore.
European protocols are also extended
With the European cruise season well underway, Royal Caribbean has also decided to extend the current protocols for European navigations until June 30, 2022, with a slight modification added to the Italian requirements.
There will no longer be in-terminal testing requirements for cruises departing from Italian ports, including Civitavecchia and Ravenna (Venice).
Royal Caribbean has six ships scheduled to depart from Italian ports, including shine of the Seas, Explorer of the seas, Odyssey of the seas, wonder of the seasRhapsody of the seas, and Symphony of the Seas.
Requirements include an up-to-date vaccination mandate for all guests aged 12 and over. To be considered current, guests must have received all doses of their vaccine series and their booster if the second vaccine was given more than 270 days (9 months) ago.
As noted, passengers will no longer be tested at the terminal, but will still be required to provide negative test results taken no later than two days before boarding day if fully immunized. Passengers considered unvaccinated must present a negative result for a PCR or antigen test performed no later than one day before the day of embarkation.
Passengers not vaccinated by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) or whose vaccinations are not up to date will need to undergo additional testing when departing from Italy. This onboard test will be at the guest’s expense at $55 per test. This test will be free for unvaccinated customers aged 6-11 who need to be tested.