Skip to comments.Where Do the Major Three Cruise Lines Stand on Vaccine Requirements?
Posted on 06/07/2021 6:50:33 AM PDT by Capt. Tom
In the mass of news reports coming out in recent weeks, it’s easy to lose track of what cruise line requires a vaccination or which does not. The three biggest cruise lines have been busy ironing out their vaccination requirements.
Yet, Carnival Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean, and Norwegian Cruise Line all have different mandates. There are even requirements for different ships sailing in different regions of the United States and worldwide.
We shed light on what each cruise line requires and which ships do or do not require a mandatory vaccination to be able to sail onboard.
Carnival Cruise Line America’s Cruise Line President Christine Duffy has been quite vocal about not requiring vaccinations onboard the Carnival cruise ships. Instead, the cruise line wanted to focus on measures to mitigate the risk of infection onboard the ships.
However, in quite the turnaround, Christine Duffy announced this week on Good Morning America that she thinks the cruise line will be mandating vaccines for its guests onboard all ships.
Although the cruise line has decided to conduct test or simulated voyages, guests will then still need to be vaccinated. Christine Duffy said the protocols from the CDC do not allow Carnival Cruise Line to provide the guest experience that they would like to.
Christine Duffy said, “While there is a path for unvaccinated guests we really don’t think that the protocols allow us to deliver the guest experience that we want to be able to deliver. So, I think right now it looks like people will have to be vaccinated, but, again, the great news is that 50% of the adults have been vaccinated in the US.”
Carnival Cruise Line is heavily dependent on families with children cruising aboard its ships. Something that a vaccination mandate could make impossible at this point, especially for families with children younger than 12-years old. However, the cruise line is also looking into this:
“We are still hopeful that we will be able to further evolve and see these guidelines that will allow families with children under 12 who are not eligible (ed. For a vaccination). We are optimistic that we will be able to, eventually, welcome all of our families onboard.“
Duffy continued to say the cruise line is looking into the process of how guests would be able to prove they have indeed been vaccinated. Technological solutions by which guests could upload their proof of vaccination are being looked at by the cruise line; however, it could come down to guests having to show proof in the terminal before boarding.
While Carnival has already mandated vaccination proof on their voyages to Alaska onboard Carnival Miracle, it seems that the cruise line will be expanding its mandate to all ships in the fleet. Bearing in mind that the company has not yet come out with any official statements regarding a vaccination mandate onboard, nor has the website been updated to reflect the statements from Christine Duffy.
Royal Caribbean Cruise Line Royal Caribbean has been firmly in favor of sailing with vaccinated guests until last week. Royal Caribbean changed the wording on its website last week to vaccinations being ‘Strongly Recommended.’
Does this mean the cruise line is doing away with vaccines? No, not entirely.
Richard Fain, the Royal Caribbean parent company President and CEO, said this in a video message last week: “Royal Caribbean International is likely to take a somewhat different route. Like our other brands, everyone who’s eligible for a vaccine will be expected to have one. However, children under 12 can’t yet get the shot. And Royal Caribbean International carries a lot of families. Families are important to us. On these cruises, we may not reach the ninety five percent threshold, but even here the vast majority will be vaccinated.”
The company is still requiring vaccinations on its cruises to Alaska from Seattle and Bahamas cruises. All other voyages from the United States are now moved to the strongly recommended status. The company website now states the following:
For Cruises Departing from Seattle or The Bahamas guests age 16 and older departing from Seattle and Nassau, Bahamas on Serenade of the Seas, Ovation of the Seas, or Adventure of the Seas 2021 cruises must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 at the time of sailing. Starting August 1, the age requirement for vaccination changes from 16 to 12 years of age. Guests under the age of this requirement don’t need to be vaccinated and will receive a SARS-Cov-2 test before boarding.
For guests on cruises from other international ports, the cruise line still requires guests to be fully vaccinated at least 14 days before the sailing date.
Norwegian Cruise Line Norwegian Cruise Line has made things a little easier on itself. With a guest profile somewhat older than guests onboard the competition’s ships, the cruise line can mandate a vaccine quite easily.
For months now, the cruise line has said it would only set sail with 100% vaccinated guests and crew onboard its ships. The cruise line is mandating mandatory vaccinations for all onboard for all voyages through October 31, 2021, according to the website:
All guests and crew must be fully vaccinated at least two weeks before departure, in order to board. Guest vaccination requirements are currently for all sailings embarking through October 31, 2021- we will follow the science to make determinations on requirements for all other future sailings.
Norwegian Cruise Line Ship Funnel Photo Credit: ackats / Shutterstock.com
For Norwegian Cruise Line, these rules seem to be set in stone and will not change. Company President and CEO Frank Del Rio has spoken out repeatedly on the issues, even threatening to pull his ships out of Florida if the State does not allow the cruise line to make a mandate.
NCLH President and CEO Frank Del Rio: “At the end of the day, cruise ships have motors, propellers and rudders, and God forbid we can’t operate in the State of Florida for whatever reason, then there are other states that we do operate from. And we can operate from the Caribbean for ships that otherwise would’ve gone to Florida.”
As it stands, the situation is that Carnival has reverted to mandating vaccines, Royal Caribbean has reverted to not requiring them, and Norwegian Cruise Line remains on the same course. This could all change quite suddenly if Florida Governor DeSantis’ bill banning vaccine mandates is pushed through or dropped altogether.
For now, the cruise lines seem to focus on different solutions that they believe will suit them best. Which one will come out on top, and chose the correct measures we will know before the end of the month. Keep following Cruise Hive for the last updates on this crucial subj
Cruising is not going to be the same. In the last year these Cruise Lines have shot themselves in the foot repeatedly trying to placate our CDC, by putting extra burdens on themselves to please the CDC.- Tom
The CDC doesn't know what they are doing. In NYS the schools came out two days ago and said no more masks and wrote the CDC to confirm. Because the CDC never answered they had to backtrack, until they answer, and who knows what they will say. It's a circus.
Sort of like the old line “I wouldn’t want to belong to a club that would have me as a member.” First, ain’t nobody’s business and 2nd, I don’t need a shot since everybody else is now protected from the dreaded 0.04% mortality rate deadly illness. Done cruises and by the 2nd day I’m antsy and ready to do something. LOL! I’m a crappy sitter arounder.
Capt. Tom thank you as always for posting the latest news in the cruise industry.
I’ll check back to this thread later in order to weed through the usual mindless drivel comments by people who have no interest in cruises in the first place but seem to take pleasure in insulting those of us who enjoy cruising to hopefully find a few nuggets of useful insights to help me make sense of this complicated situation.
We recently returned from an American River Cruise a month ago - a week before leaving, the cruise line said we all had to be vaccinated in order to board - I hadn’t had the second shot yet and neither had my son, the rest of our group was fully vaccinated.
I expected to get a full refund at that time, we’d already been delayed a year - the cruise ship then said a negative PCR COVID test was required 48 hours before boarding (cost me $150) - and everyone was required to take a quick, 15- minute COVID test immediately before boarding.
I understand their concerns, the cruise ship industry has been hit hard, the crew on our ship kept mentioning how they were glad to get back to work after a year- and most of the passengers were elderly, including many disabled.
I appreciated that it was only 50% capacity and everything was kept spotlessly clean - I did not enjoy the strong smell of bleach on everything, though.
Not only is the CDC incompetent, our medical profession experts have diametrically opposite views on many aspects of this virus. -Tom
14 weeks and counting, after 2nd shot of Moderna vaccine.
Absolutely zero problems both for me at age 81, and my spouse, a cancer patient.
Overwhelming majority of seniors and most adults over age 40 are now vaccinated. I expect my cruise in middle September to be fully sold out.
We booked a balcony cabin for the first time just in case we get quarantined or some shyt so we are not cooped up in an inside cabin. Never had a balcony cabin on any of our 36 previous cruises. Inside cabins are so much cheaper and we rather spend time outside of cabin except to sleep & shower.
Those people always remind me of virgins who say “sex can’t be any good, it is dirty and you can catch some STD”.
Exactly. And there is always someone who chimes in with “I would never take a cruise - they are floating Petri dishes” - as if they are first person who ever thought of that joke.
Again, thanks to Capt. Tom. Clearly there are many here who enjoy cruising and appreciate these posts.
If you are fully vaccinated, that PCR covid test seems like unnecessary expense burden.
We are booked on a Caribbean cruise in middle of September but the MSC cruises gave us a full refund eligibility if we cancel 15 days before sailing. In the past it was more like 3 months to get even a partial refund.
“strong smell of bleach on everything, though.”
Wonder why they don’t use hydrogen peroxide? Maybe they WANT the odor?
I only went on one cruise. My grandparents had their 50th anniversary, and they paid for us all to go. So off we went, and I was bored, especially since it was an Alaskan cruise and most of the people were dirt old (I was 25 or so, in 03), so I went and picked on Rosie O’Donnel who was on the ship with her partner and a small girl. I blasted her for not being funny, and for ruining that kid’s life among other things. That part was fun, she had her back flattened to the wall, hands pressed to the wall, eyes as wide as they would go lol. I told her when we passed a pod of Orcas, that she should jump in and join her kind. After a few min rant, I was off. After that I didn’t see her without her stupid entourage again.
I will say the dancing girls who were on the crew of the ship treated me well heh. We all hung out a lot, I didn’t have a lady on the boat with me, unlike my cousins who were all married or well on their way.
Nowadays, you won’t get me on a ship. Even before the virus hit I was already against going.
I second that motion about thanking Capt. Tom.
His effort to keep up with the latest news on cruises, saves me lot of searching.
I’m 45, and the devil himself will go back into heaven before I get any shots.
It’s pure insanity.
Enjoy your cruising though.
Bleach is stronger than H-peroxide perhaps and probably lasts longer to kill germs, mold & viruses. But I would not enjoy bleach smell all over the place, all the time.
With a little bit of timely and gentle persuasion, I got our local Makerspace to adopt a no mask for immunized (vs no mask for vaccinated) rule.
Immunized includes people with antibodies from the jab as well as from having had and recovered from COVID.
Hey now. Mine is mindful drivel.
I will try anything for the first time LOL. But the real reason for me to get the shots was that my spouse is being treated for stage-4 cancer for 3+ years and has a compromised immune system from all those radiation and chemo treatments. Her doctor advised her to get the shots along with our daughter who works in trials for cancer treatments with newer drugs coming on-line.
Anyways with my daily exercise routine, that 1/2 cc of clear liquid in Moderna shots is no where strong enough to harm my well exercised body. I can’t even remember getting a cold for 10-15 years. I have firmly reached the conclusion that as we get old, we need not get feeble, weak or lose balance, if we exercise regularly. At age 81 I feel no weaker than at age 51.
Thank you kindly for your good wishes for our coming cruise.
I intend to post a full report with photo’s after returning.
The good news is you can finally cruise without getting norovirus.
I will live vicariously through your posts upon your return heh.
There’s an ol farmer down the way here, he’s 79 or 80, I don’t know exactly, but he’s never missed a day of farming in his life, and he’s still out doing hard labour all the time. He has a few hands, but he still does lots himself.
Another old timer near here, he’s 86 and hard at it, just welded himself up a new wagon for his half quarter half icelandic horse team. He built the frame, mounted the wheels and mounted seats, all from almost scratch. I do go babysit him from time to time though because he gets overzealous. He once tried to put a ladder against an RV and with a brush and some tar go fix a skylight. I was driving by on the way home from work and stopped and asked what on God’s earth was he thinking. I said, I don’t care if you fall off and die, but your wife will kill me if I saw this and didn’t intervene, so I ended going to do it. Perhaps it was his way to get me to do it, maybe he heard me coming, the wily basterd lol.
At any rate, you’re right about the activities, it’s important to stay active. My folks do a lot of kayaking, and hiking, which keeps them fit and going, and his brother hunts still with just a bow and no rifle for backup even on grizz (which I told him he’s insane for). Nobody says one has to be sitting on the front porch all day. Although sitting on the porch on a warm morning with some coffee isn’t all terrible either.
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