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Royal Caribbean will stop offering onboard Covid-19 tests for international passengers returning home

20 Dec 2021
Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean has updated its website to indicate it will stop offering international cruise ship passengers a Covid-19 test onboard its ships, and instead refer them to land-based test sites.

Royal Caribbean requires unvaccinated kids get a PCR test before the cruise | Royal Caribbean Blog

Up until now, Royal Caribbean offered international passengers a complimentary Covid-19 test onboard its ships so that they could satisfy their home country test requirements to return.

The new policy is posted on Royal Caribbean's website that beginning January 5, 2022, optional tests for international re-entry will no longer be offered onboard.

International guests sailing on a cruise before January 5, 2022 will still be able to schedule a Covid-19 test onboard prior to debarkation day. Details on scheduling your test will be provided once onboard. 

Instead, Royal Caribbean will provide guests with testing locations at or near the cruise terminal for passengers to complete once the cruise is over. These providers are not affiliated with the cruise line, and testing costs will vary by location.

  • At the Terminal — For your convenience, you can take a rapid PCR or antigen COVID-19 test right at the terminal upon debarking the ship and depart. Results will be emailed to you shortly after. 
  • At the Airport — Guests traveling directly to the airport can schedule their rapid PCR or antigen COVID-19 test to be taken on-site with a test provider at the airport.  
  • Local Testing Sites — If you’re staying in the area, there are various locations close to the terminal, the airport and hotels in the area where you can complete PCR or antigen COVID-19 testing.  

These options will be communicated to passengers once onboard in greater detail. 

Many countries require a negative Covid-19 test in order to return home after international travel, such as Canada.

Air Canada's new Covid testing is a good option for Canadians flying to the US for cruises | Royal Caribbean Blog

Up until now, Royal Caribbean offered such tests onboard its ships for no additional charge.

In the case of Canada, travellers must have a negative COVID-19 molecular test (PCR, RT-PCR, NAAT, RT-LAMP) result. The test must be taken a maximum of 72 hours before the departure of their last direct flight to Canada.

Matt started Royal Caribbean Blog in 2010 as a place to share his passion for all things Royal Caribbean with readers. He oversees all the writers at Royal Caribbean Blog, and writes a great deal of content on a daily basis.  He has become one of the foremost expert on a Royal Caribbean cruise.

Over the years, he has reached Pinnacle Club status with Royal Caribbean's customer loyalty program.

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