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Royal Caribbean will require pre-cruise Covid test for 3 & 4 night cruises

05 Aug 2021
Matt Hochberg

A few days after announcing a Covid test would be required for cruises five nights or longer, Royal Caribbean has extended that policy to include 3 and 4 night sailings.

Starting on August 12, 2021, on 3 & 4 night sailings, all guests ages 2 and up, regardless of vaccine status, will need to provide a negative PCR or antigen test for Covid-19 during check-in.

The test must be taken no more than three days prior to sailing and must be arranged by each guest at their own expense with an accredited test provider, such as a drugstore chain or diagnostic lab.

Including 3 and 4 night sailings matches what many other cruise lines are adding similar protocols.

According to a statement by Royal Caribbean in an email sent to guests, this extra precaution was added, "to give you added peace of mind."

The cruise line says passengers booked on a sailing in August who do not wish to follow these protocols can get a refund or be moved to a cruise in the future.

Going forward, all sailings (of any length), all guests 2 and older, regardless of vaccination status, will need to undergo a Covid-19 test (PCR or antigen) administered by an accredited laboratory of the guest's choice and taken no more than three days prior to sailing. 

Read moreWhen you should take a Covid test before your Royal Caribbean cruise?

This requirement applies even to fully vaccinated guests, there is no exemption.

The results can be printed out, or can be presented on your phone, such as the email result from your test provider. Costs associated with this test are the guests' responsibility.

Royal Caribbean announced a Covid test would be required by vaccinated passengers for sailings at least 5 nights or longer last week, but that policy excluded 3 and 4 night sailings.

Other cruise lines announced similar policies this week, including Carnival Cruise Line, Princess Cruises, and Holland America Line.