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Royal Caribbean extends stricter face mask protocols until January 31, 2022

04 Jan 2022
Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean's stricter face mask protocols that were added as a result of the Omicron variant will be around for at least another few weeks.

Royal Caribbean expands mask requirement to Adventure of the Seas sailings | Royal Caribbean Blog

The policy requires cruise ship passengers to wear face masks while indoors, regardless of vaccination status except while eating or drinking. 

The mask rules will remain in effect for sailings departing on or before January 31, 2022, at which point it will be reevaluated. 

This includes at venues reserved for vaccinated guests only.

Royal Caribbean first tightened the mask rules on December 17, 2021 for a period of time through January 5, 2022.

Royal Caribbean releases Alaska cruise ship protocols for August sailings | Royal Caribbean Blog

Masks are NOT required to be worn:

  • In open-air areas of the ship, unless you are in a crowded setting.
  • In the pool or any activity where they may become wet.
  • In your stateroom when you are with your traveling party.
  • While visiting our private destination, Perfect Day at CocoCay, unless you are in a crowded setting.
  • By any guest under the age of 2.

Masks ARE required to be worn:

  • While indoors in public areas of the ship, unless seated and actively eating or drinking.
  • While visiting public ports of call, where local regulations may require them.

Read moreWhat it's like to go on a cruise with Royal Caribbean's stricter mask rules

In addition to the face mask rules being extended, Royal Caribbean's ban on smoking in the casino will also be extended.

"In alignment with the expansion of the mask policy, smoking will not be permitted in the casino for all cruises departing on or before January 31, 2022."

Mask rule matches other lines

Carnival announces agreements with Port Canaveral, Miami & Galveston to restart cruises | Royal Caribbean Blog

Other cruise lines have added similar rules to combat the rise in Omicron variant Covid cases.

Carnival Cruise Line requires its passengers to use masks on all sailings until at least the end of January 2022. Carnival also banned smoking in its casinos until further notice.

Holland America matched Carnival's stricter mask rules and indoor smoking policy.

Norwegian Cruise Line also added a face mask rule for sailings through the end of January.

Passenger reaction

Coast Guard wont fine you for not wearing a mask on a cruise ship, but you will get kicked off | Royal Caribbean Blog

Cruise ship passengers have generally has mixed reactions to the stricter mask rules, usually aligning with whether they have ever supported mask wearing or not.

On the RoyalCaribbeanBlog message boards, Swar liked the fact smoking has been banned in the casino because as a non-smoker, they hope it stays around, "The casino is so much better without the smoke! I hope it is a permanent change. Not a smoker, but used to do cigars."

Oliver Max took the stricter mask rules in stride, "I leave on a cruise from Galveston on Sunday. It’s a little disappointing but I’m not going to let it ruin my vacation. I’m still going to have fun."

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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