Just after the CDC stopped tracking Covid cases on cruise ships, several major cruise lines have announced major changes in passenger requirements for cruising.
Royal Caribbean announced that starting August 8, 2022, vaccinated guests sailing on cruises of six nights or less no longer have to have a negative Covid test. In addition, according to Royal Caribbean Blog, unvaccinated guests will also be welcome to sail after providing a negative Covid test three days prior to sailing. This is BIG NEWS! More details will be announced next week.
Carnival Cruise Line
Carnival announced that after August 4, 2022, fully vaccinated guests sailing on cruises five nights or less will no longer have to have a negative Covid test before boarding. Guests on cruises longer than five days and guests who are not vaccinated (on an exception basis) must show a negative Covid test three days prior to sailing (previous requirement was two days).
Norwegian Cruise Line
Norwegian Cruise Line announced it is dropping pre-cruise testing requirements for all cruises except ones departing from the U.S., Canada and Greece. So, this announcement does not affect cruises leaving from Florida and Texas.
Virgin Voyages was the first U.S. cruise line to remove pre-cruise testing requirements last week.
I have mixed thoughts on these ever-changing requirements. Of course, eventually, the world must go back to “normal” now that we have vaccines and treatments for Covid and the variants are not as dangerous as the initial virus. Admittedly, it’s an added stress to get a pre-cruise Covid test that will provide on-time results for embarkation.
On the other hand, while I know that pre-cruise testing didn’t prevent all Covid cases from sneaking on board, I feel that it at least kept some cases off the ship. But now with no pre-cruise testing, will we run into loads of crew members getting sick, shows canceled and understaffed restaurants? That’s what happened during Omicron (even though pre-cruise testing was still required at that time).
I love cruising, and I hope it doesn’t turn back into a @#$% show.
What do you think? Sound off in the comments.
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