Dear valued Travel Partners
Cruising is officially back in the U.S. and we couldn’t be more excited! Our very first Royal Caribbean International cruise departing from a U.S. homeport sets sail in just a few days onboard Freedom of the Seas® and we can’t wait to welcome our loyal guests back.
As they continue to ramp up and prepare each ship for their return, we wanted to share the health & safety requirements you can expect onboard Freedom of the Seas, Odyssey of the SeasSM, Allure of the Seas®, Symphony of the Seas® and Mariner of the Seas® when sailing this August.
We will continue to update these protocols as public health situations evolve. Guidance for all other departure ports is still in development with federal, state and local authorities.
Should you have clients departing from a Florida homeport this August, please review this message carefully to assist in their preparation.
We strongly recommend all guests 12 years and older be fully vaccinated. To be considered fully vaccinated, the final dose of the vaccine must be completed at least 14 days before sailing.
At check-in, guests will be asked to provide documentation of their vaccination, such as the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card. Those who are 12 years and older and do not have or are unable to provide documentation will be considered unvaccinated. Our unvaccinated guests must undergo additional COVID-19 testing at their own expense, provide proof of a valid insurance policy with sufficient medical coverage for needs related to a positive COVID-19 test result, and follow the health protocols described below, which are based on guidance from the CDC.
If a guest does not wish to undergo or pay for additional testing, or adhere to these health and safety protocols, we are happy to provide them with a refund. We believe that in the coming months, restrictions and requirements will be more accommodating as public health circumstances evolve.
All crew onboard our ships will be fully vaccinated.
For cruises departing from Florida homeports from August 1 through December 31, 2021, as a condition of boarding, each unvaccinated guest 12 and older must provide proof of a valid insurance policy that has a minimum of
(a) $25,000 per person in medical expense coverage and
(b) $50,000 per person for quarantine and medical evacuation related to a positive COVID-19 test result.
The insurance policy must name the unvaccinated guest as the policy holder or beneficiary, and may be purchased from a travel insurance company of the guest’s choosing or through the Royal Caribbean Travel Protection Program, which includes the requisite coverage.
This policy applies to sailings from August 1 through December 31, 2021, and all bookings — except bookings made between March 19, 2021 and June 28, 2021.
- Vaccinated guests do not have any testing requirements.
COVID-19 Testing for Unvaccinated Guests
As a requirement to sail with us, all unvaccinated guests age two and older must undergo multiple COVID-19 tests. Testing at the terminal prior to embarkation and onboard before disembarking will be conducted by licensed and accredited third-party testing providers we have contracted. Our unvaccinated guests must register for this test and agree to the third-party testing provider terms and conditions. Registration details will be sent via email in advance.
For unvaccinated guests 12 years and older, the total charge from the third-party testing vendor for these tests is $136 USD per guest on sailings of 6 nights or less, and $178 USD per guest on sailings of 7 nights or more. This amount will be applied to the guest’s onboard expense account. Royal Caribbean will pay the testing vendor(s) on the guest’s behalf and will not retain any part of the testing costs. For guests age 2 to 11 years old, we will cover the cost of any required testing.
The testing required of our unvaccinated guests is described below.
- Pre-Cruise: Unvaccinated guests 12 years of age and older will need to undergo a PCR test administered by an accredited laboratory of the guest’s choice and taken within three days of sailing. We will require documentation of a negative result for this test prior to embarkation. All costs for this test are the unvaccinated guest’s responsibility.
- At the Terminal: Unvaccinated guests 2 years of age and older are required to undergo a PCR test when checking in at the terminal, which will be administered by one of our testing vendors. Registration details will be sent via email in advance.
- Mid-Cruise (For Sailings 7 Nights or longer): Unvaccinated guests 2 years of age and older will be required to undergo additional antigen testing onboard, mid-cruise. Guests will be notified onboard about how to register for this test.
- Prior to Disembarking: While onboard, unvaccinated guests 2 years of age and older will be required to undergo antigen testing within 24 hours of disembarking at the end of the voyage. This test will be conducted the day before the cruise ends by one of our testing vendors. Guests will be notified onboard about how to register for this test.
These tests will be complimentary for guests ages 2-11 years. Guests under 2 years of age will not be tested.
*Please note that health protocols are expected to change over time. Guidance for other ports and sailings is still in development with federal, state, and local authorities. As the number of positive cases decline, more people are vaccinated, and different regions update their requirements – we’ll continue to share our updated protocols.
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