Following a swirl of rumors online about policies guests can expect once cruising resumes, Royal Caribbean spoke briefly to travel agents about the issue of guests needing a doctor's note in order cruise.
Royal Caribbean Senior Vice President of Sales and Trade Support & Service Vicki Freed spoke at the beginning of her webinar by addressing the need for a letter from a doctor for guests who are 70 years old or older, or have a pre-existing chronic medical condition.
"We found out that CLIA (Cruise Lines International Association) did actually change this requirement on April 3rd. So a health form is no longer required for those travelers ages 70 plus, nor are there restrictions for those guests with underlying health conditions."
"In our current environment, everything can change at a moment's notice, so this is very fluid. But as of today, there are no requirements for doctor's notes."
"We are working on our return to service protocols, and they may look very different in the next couple weeks or months. Until that's finalized, we can't say for sure this is never going to happen, but we will keep you informed."
Ms. Freed's comment comes less than a day after a few travel agents spotted an updated list of boarding & health protocols, which was quickly taken down after being prematurely posted.
The post sent ripples through social media as guests and travel advisors began to wonder if these policies would indeed enter into practice.
Prior to Royal Caribbean suspending global sailings in March, the cruise line issued a notice it would deny boarding to any person age 70 or older, unless the guest provides written verification from a qualified treating physician that certifies the person has no severe, chronic medical condition and is fit to travel.
"According to CLIA," Ms. Freed reiterated later in the call, "a health form is no longer required for those travelers ages 70 plus, nor are there restrictions for those guests with underlying health conditions."