Royal Caribbean International announced earlier this week that all guests will need to be vaccinated for cruises that depart from U.S. ports — except Florida.
A new state law in Florida that goes into effect July 1 prohibits businesses from verifying individuals’ COVID-19 vaccination status.
Royal Caribbean has chosen not to risk a $5,000 fine per violation of the state law and is “strongly recommending” that all passengers from Florida set sail fully vaccinated.
Sailings from other U.S. ports will require guests to show proof of vaccination status.
Royal Caribbean Spells Out Vaccine Policies
In a statement released earlier this week, Royal Caribbean clearly spelled out its vaccine policies, which are in line with current local regulations.
Here’s what they had to say about sailings from ports based in the United States:
- Cruises from Florida: “It is strongly recommended that guests set sail fully vaccinated, if they are eligible. Those who are unvaccinated or unable to verify vaccination will be required to undergo testing and follow other protocols at their own expense. These expenses are still being finalized.”
- Cruises from Seattle: “Guests who are 16 years of age or older must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and those 12 or older as of Aug. 1.”
- Cruises from Texas: “Guests who are 12 years of age or older must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.”
Regarding sailings from international ports, here are the policies:
- Cruises from The Bahamas: “Guests who are 16 years of age or older must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and those 12 or older as of Aug. 1.”
- Cruises from the United Kingdom: “Sailing UK residents above the age of 18 must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and those under the age of 18 are required to receive negative test results.”
- Cruises from Cyprus, Spain, and Italy: “Guests above the age of 18 who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and those under the age of 18 with negative test results can sail.”
- Cruises from Singapore: “Sailing Singapore guests are not required to be vaccinated but must follow the protocols outlined by the Singapore government.”
Royal Caribbean Cancels Cruises Due To COVID-19 Among Crew
Meanwhile, Michael Bayley, the president and CEO of Royal Caribbean, announced on Facebook late Tuesday night that the inaugural sailing of the Odyssey of the Seas from Fort Lauderdale on July 3 has been postponed since eight crew members tested positive for COVID-19 during routine testing.
All Odyssey of the Seas crew members were vaccinated on June 4. “The positive cases were identified after the vaccination was given and before they were fully effective,” said Bayley.
Other Cruise Lines’ Vaccination Policies
While Royal Caribbean isn’t requiring vaccines for Florida port sailings, Carnival Cruise Line — at least as of this writing — will require vaccines for its sailings from Port Canaveral and Miami later this summer.
Norwegian Cruise Line says, “All guests and crew must be fully vaccinated, at least 2 weeks prior to 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.”