Royal Caribbean adjusts protocols for certain cruises

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Royal Caribbean International has updated its health and safety protocols for transatlantic voyages and eliminated pre-cruise testing effective March 23, 2023. This will be welcome news for cruise enthusiasts this spring as ships move to Europe for the summer sailing season.

Tests dropped before the cruise

While Royal Caribbean suspended COVID-19 ahead of the cruise Most cruises departing from the United States have required all guests to present negative test results upon embarkation for longer or more complex voyages.

These included transatlantic cruises, where cruises typically reposition as cruise ships switch between seasonal homeports. Because many different destinations had different protocols, the cruise line was careful with its policies to ensure voyages could continue without interruption.

Now, Royal Caribbean has adjusted its health and safety requirements to eliminate the need for pre-cruise testing and is notifying guests who have booked transatlantic cruises of the update.

“As of March 23, 2023, pre-cruise testing is no longer required for our transatlantic cruises.” the email states.

As protocols are subject to change at any time, guests are urged to remain in close contact with the cruise line to stay informed of potential adjustments as their departure dates approach.

Photo copyright: Melissa Mayntz

Royal Caribbean’s website has also been updated to reflect the change, as transatlantic cruises are no longer listed as requiring a pre-cruise test. Currently, only cruises visiting Colombia, cruises departing from Australia and transpacific voyages continue to require a pre-cruise test.

The next spring transatlantic cruises for the Royal Caribbean fleet are 14-night cruises Odyssey of the Seas Moved from Fort Lauderdale, Florida to Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy and a 12 day crossing jewel of the seas from Port Canaveral, Florida to Amsterdam, Netherlands. Both departures start on April 22, 2023.

More transatlantic voyages begin April 23 (explorers of the seas from Miami to Rome), April 29 (Rhapsody of the Seas from Miami to Haifa, Israel), April 30 (magic of the seas from New York to Rome) and May Day (Anthem of the Seas from New York to Southampton).

Also Read:Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship Breaks Transatlantic Crossing Record

The lifting of pre-cruise testing requirements for all six of these cruises will be a great relief for passengers. Planning a transatlantic cruise can be a challenge, and with one less task, booked guests can look forward to their voyage in a more relaxed and stress-free manner.

Vaccinations still required

Guests who booked spring 2023 transatlantic cruises with royal caribbean Please note that vaccinations are still required for all guests aged 12 and over. The last dose of the COVID-19 vaccine must have been administered at least 14 days before the day of embarkation.

Young cruise ships under the age of 12 are not required to be vaccinated, and no guests are required to receive booster vaccinations, although such updates are encouraged.

Royal Caribbean's Liberty of the Seas cruise ship
Credit: Debbie Ann Powell/Shutterstock

All travelers should also seek visas or other required documents well in advance of their departure date to ensure they have prepared all the necessary paperwork for a smooth and comfortable cruise.

Who sets guidelines?

Cruise ships must comply with the policies of the destinations they intend to visit. If a region decides to update protocols to require testing or other precautions, cruise lines sailing in that area will no doubt update their policies to comply and preserve ship routes.

In some rare cases, when a single port of call had very different policies than other destinations, it’s possible for a cruise line to simply remove that port of call from upcoming itineraries, particularly if it’s a last-minute change that guests may find difficult can perform .

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