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August Protocols for Florida Cruises

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Is it just me or did Royal quietly add a new link for August?




For All August 2021 Departures

The protocols communicated here apply only to guests departing in August from Florida homeports. We will continue to update these protocols as public health situations evolve. Guidance for all other departure ports is still in development with federal, state and local authorities. Booked guests will be provided full details specific to their port of departure prior to sailing.



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I looked yesterday and the August Florida protocols did not have an active link so this is definitely new.

GLAD to see that they have modified the insurance requirement to remove the word "quarantine" since they had it lumped in with the medical evacuation requirement and it did not belong there.  Removing that word completely was the best thing...now the requirement is clear.

Still waiting to see what venues will be excluded.  We have decided that if the casino is still completely off limits for us we will cancel this cruise per:


Since they have further clarified that applicable FCCs will be refunded as cash, it is kind of a no-brainer for us....FCCs used to pay for this cruise are over $10K of which approximately $7500 would be refundable as cash.  While Royal cannot price us out, they most definitely CAN and DID price us in with that FCC change.

If they do NOT restrict us from the casino, we will take this cruise but if they do, we will cancel and get a full refund.

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2 hours ago, smokeybandit said:

So why wait until August? Why not change them now?

Because our favorite agency is dragging its feet updating the mask policy.  They've been hinting for weeks they will.

If Royal says "Masks up for August cruises" there will be a wave of cancelations so Royal is waiting on the CDC hoping to be able to post better protocols that won't induce mass cancelations.

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Here is the wording within CDC's January 21st order requiring the wearing of masks by people on public transportation conveyances or on the premises of transportation hubs to prevent spread of the virus that causes COVID-19. Later in the original order, cruise ships are identified as a transportation conveyance. The following is found at the long and cumbersome verbiage that is the basis of the shipboard mask mandate (indoors only) released 01/21/21:

*CDC also plans to amend the January 29, 2021, Order, as soon as practicable, to grant cruise ship operators subject to the Conditional Sailing Order with greater flexibility regarding how mask requirements are implemented on board cruise ships.  Until it can amend the Order, CDC will exercise enforcement discretion regarding mask requirements applicable to operators of, and crew and passengers on board, such cruise ships and will view cruise ship operators as in compliance with the January 29, 2021, Order provided the operators continue to follow the requirements of any technical instructions and the operations manual available on the Cruise Ship Guidance webpage. 

This order was ISSUED 6 MONTHS AGO!!! ARE THEY STILL PLANNING?  I would assume that RCL management knows the CDC is about to release the promised update that will allow cruise ship operators some flexibility to determine when and where masks need to be worn. 

What might reasonably happen is that the CDC will say something like on sailings with X% of vaccinated passengers, no one needs to wear masks at all indoors. If all we were dealing with was all vaxed guests, then it would follow and be consistent with CDC's latest mask guidance for vaccinated people - you don't need to mask. I believe that is the protocol for sailings out of everywhere else from US ports except FL.  The few FL sailings that have occurred so far are hitting 93%-99% vaxed. No mask wearing in a 70% vaccinated crowd is reasonable and consistent with the CDC's guidance so far. I'd guess that will be the number that the CDC sets ..... it's an easy bar to get over and everyone sailing from FL ports will be happy.    

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To further understand the two sides of the issue - mask up or don't - have a look at what amounts to a pretty significant shift - and one I think is long over due and needs also to come from the BIDEN administration - in the UK's official position on COVID ......"we are going to have to live with the virus." Boris Johnson is saying we're going to remove most COVID mitigation measures and restrictions on July 19th with an update to that plan on the 12th.

As is typical here in the US, Conservative MPs in GB have been urging Johnson to do this while Labor MPs are calling it reckless. I can make a case for both mask-up or don't. There are facts that support both positions. Right now, the UK is dealing with an increase in new cases due to the Deltas but not an increase in hospitalizations or deaths. That is what vaccines promised to do and are delivering. They never promised to reduce transmission or mild illness although they seem to do a pretty good job at that too.

Johnson went on to say in this announcement that we can't just keep closing everything down when cases rise. Its too costly on many levels. We have to keep reopening British society and life and deal with the virus spread as best we can. And don't believe for a minute he doesn't have some solid facts to support that position. That the virus is peaking - running out of spike protein places to mutate - means it will recede on it's own with some help from vaccines and our own human immune systems capacity to learn about and fight the virus over time. That's exactly what happened with the Spanish Flu and then there were no vaccines. That has a happened with every pandemic or endemic causing virus in history going back to the Bubonic Plague in the 1300s. 


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On 7/5/2021 at 8:50 PM, JeffB said:

This order was ISSUED 6 MONTHS AGO!!! ARE THEY STILL PLANNING?  I would assume that RCL management knows the CDC is about to release the promised update that will allow cruise ship operators some flexibility to determine when and where masks need to be worn. 

I believe that the CDC is always still planning. Seems they can never do anything quickly. If they really looked at the science, like they say they do, it would not take them so long to make decisions. 

Also, the resort that our daughter works at no longer requires guests or employees to wear masks. This was not a decision that was made by the CDC because they have been against the cruising industry from the start. 

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27 minutes ago, smokeybandit said:

I'd like to know what makes RC's excursions safer than independent shore excursions. Not to be that guy, but it has a feel of taking advantage of the moment to ensure more people book theirs.

I tend to agree, but, not everyone that goes off a ship does a formal tour. These people could be going to bars, restaurants, or other close-quarter indoor areas where they could come into contact with Covid.

I think that's the issue, more than someone going to Mr. Sanchos.

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2 hours ago, twangster said:

Noticed this is now on the August FL page:


I wonder how they will monitor people going back to port. My excursion in Nassau lets you stay at Atlantis longer if you want to and you can catch a cab back. I wonder if unvaccinated people will be allowed to do that still? This will be very interesting to see play out as there are more cruises departing.

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