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Royal Caribbean adds testing protocols for first North American cruise restart

In:
10 Jun 2021
By: 
Matt Hochberg

Guests sailing on the first Royal Caribbean cruise ship to restart sailings in North America this weekend have been informed of new testing protocols to expect.

Health protocols have been evolving for the last few weeks as the cruise industry and health officials work to ensure the requirements match the needs of what is happening now.

Two different protocols have been added over the last couple days, including a new testing rule that was announced to cruisers just two days before the first sailing.

Vaccinated guests sailing on Adventure of the Seas from Nassau, Bahamas will now have to undergo a complimentary boarding day antigen test.

The tests will be conducted during the check-in process at the British Colonial Hilton resort, which is acting as the check-in terminal for these Bahamian sailings.

Royal Caribbean says if the result is negative and you’re approved to sail, shuttles will be waiting to take you to the ship.

If the result is positive or inconclusive, a pier agent will share next steps with you. 

Prior to this change, vaccinated guests would not have been given a boarding day test.

Royal Caribbean says they added this test, "to give everyone additional peace of mind as we resume cruising and apologize for the inconvenience."

Vaccinated guests do not require any other pre-cruise testing.

Unvaccinated guests (children under the age of 16) will also get tested.

  • Unvaccinated guests 12 years and older will need to take three tests
    • SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR test within five days of arriving in The Bahamas in order to satisfy Bahamas Health Visa
    • Complimentary antigen test on boarding day
    • A final complimentary test will take place onboard on Day 5 or 6 as required for re-entry into The Bahamas. This test may also be used for entry into your home country, if needed.
  • Unvaccinated guests 2 - 11 years old will need to take two tests
    • Complimentary antigen test on boarding day
    • A final complimentary test will take place onboard on Day 5 or 6 as required for re-entry into The Bahamas. This test may also be used for entry into your home country, if needed.
  • Guests under 2 years of age will not be tested

Royal Caribbean also changed another rule related to back-to-back unvaccinated cruisers on Adventure of the Seas.

The cruise line had no restrictions on back-to-back sailings, but has added a new rule for unvaccinated cruisers on Adventure of the Seas cruises from The Bahamas.

Unvaccinated guests (children under the age of 16) will not be able to do a back-to-back sailing, although the line did provide a temporary exception for the first few sailings since the rule was added at the last minute.

Guests booked on Adventure of the Seas with back-to-back sailings on June 12, June 19, or June 26 are exempt from the rule. Thereafter, the rule goes into effect.

For the exempted sailings, unvaccinated guests will have to take a disemabarktion Covid PCR test on Day 6 of the first cruise, as well as an antigen test before re-boarding the next sailing.

Royal Caribbean will cover the costs of both tests.

RoyalCaribbeanBlog will be onboard the first two Adventure of the Seas sailings to provide full coverage of all the changes and showcase the experiences from the first sailings back!