Royal Caribbean International (RCL) – Get the report from the Royal Caribbean Group and Carnival Cruise Lines have survived the pandemic.
When both companies returned to sailing in July 2021 after being shut down in North America for more than a year, they realized that market conditions would change regularly.
As a result, both companies stepped up their communication with customers as covid protocols and itineraries were constantly changing. When a customer booked a cruise, they knew that the rules could be changed, their stops could be canceled or changed, and sometimes the trip could be canceled completely.
Neither Royal Caribbean nor Carnival (CCL) – Get Carnival Corporation Report controls its own destiny. Both are dependent on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States and the authorities in their port stop when they sail.
This means that the rules for each sailing may vary. One country may require masks while a ship is in port, while another country will not allow unvaccinated children on land.
Now Carnival has had to revise its covid rules for certain sailings and Royal Caribbean has canceled plans for one of its ships in Europe next summer. The reasons behind the movements are very different, but both companies remain flexible as the pandemic drags on and tensions in parts of the world remain high.
Carnival changes one key Covid rule
Both Royal Caribbean and Carnival still require all guests aged 12 or over to provide proof of vaccination before boarding. All passengers must also show a negative covid test, except, in some cases, for passengers who provide a so-called proof-of-recovery document.
This proof of recovery document will no longer be an alternative to carnival sailings to Bermuda.
“In a message sent to travel partners, Carnival Cruise Line has confirmed that a” recovery document “from covid-19 will NOT be acceptable instead of a negative precruise covid-19 test for sailings to Bermuda,” Cruisehive reported.
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“This means that all passengers, regardless of vaccination status or whether they have recently recovered from the illness, must present a negative test result within the relevant pre-cruise window.”
Both Carnival and Royal Caribbean require that before passengers board, they must present negative covid tests taken no more than two days before departure.
These rules are adjusted for Carnival’s Bermuda sailings. Fully vaccinated guests can take a PCR test within 72 hours of boarding a Bermuda, or an antigen test within 48 hours of sailing. Fully vaccinated, in this case, includes a first booster shot.
These are the first Carnival or Royal Caribbean cruises that require a booster shot for a passenger to be considered fully vaccinated.
Royal Caribbean cancels Serenade’s European holiday
Serenade of the Seas, a smaller Radiance class ship in the Royal Caribbean fleet, was scheduled to sail from Copenhagen and Stockholm between May and September 2023.
It has changed plans. The ships’ summer in Europe has been canceled due to global unrest.
“In view of the growing uncertainty about the situation in Ukraine and the possibility of calling at St. Petersburg, Russia, the cruise line has decided to keep the Serenade of the Seas in the United States,” Cruisehive reported.
The cruise line now plans to keep the ship in Florida, but has not said which port it will sail from. Tampa, Florida, would make the most sense, since that’s where Serenade will be its home port much of the year before.
Two transatlantic crossings have also been canceled for Serenade. Passengers booked on these are offered a number of different transatlantic sailings.
Guests booked on some of the canceled trips will have the opportunity to move to various European sailings.