Florida recently instituted a rule banning businesses from requiring customers to show proof of vaccination before receiving services, and that includes the ability to board a cruise ship departing from the state. But that doesn’t mean restrictions won’t take place once onboard and away from Florida’s laws.
Royal Caribbean has established plenty of rules for unvaccinated passengers aboard the Freedom of the Seas cruise that leaves from Miami on July 2.
Unvaccinated passengers will be required to carry travel insurance to cover the possibility they could contract COVID-19 while sailing. In addition, several areas of the ships will be off-limits to unvaccinated passengers. Open-air decks, pools, and activities are open to all, but the restrictions come in enclosed areas of the ship.
“If you’ve cruised with us before, you will notice some changes onboard Freedom of the Seas,” the cruise company noted on its website. “Royal Caribbean, like all cruise companies sailing from U.S. ports, is guided by CDC regulations which currently govern many aspects of our operations.”
Of the five pools on the ship, unvaccinated guests will not be allowed at the Solarium Pool or Solarium Bar. They will also be banned from the casino, the casino bar, the spa, art auctions, and have limited access to the fitness center.
Almost all dining areas are open to everyone, although unvaccinated passengers are not allowed at Chef’s Table or Izumi Hibachi and Sushi. For the main dining room, they are only allowed on Deck 4.
Four of the 15 bars are also off-limits, as are the ‘70s party in Studio B, Hush! Silent Party, and Red Party. Viewing of the Royal Theater show is limited to Deck 4, and the Studio B ice-skating show is open only at select times.
The ship will be stopping in the Bahamas, and vaccinated passengers will be able to explore Nassau freely. Unvaccinated passengers can only go on guided tours.
Royal Caribbean officials expect the majority of its passengers will be vaccinated, but are putting the restrictions in place as a safety measure for everyone, including the crew.
“Ideally everyone onboard would be vaccinated, but in practice, there have to be some exceptions,” CEO Richard Fain said in early June.
The rules only apply to ships sailing out of Florida. Royal Caribbean sailings this summer from ports in Texas, Washington, the Bahamas, and Cyprus require proof of vaccination to board.