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PCR test for Barbados question


teddy
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We were just reading the Barbados test requirements that were sent to us and this caught our eyes. 
 

In the requirements listed on the Barbados website, a nasopharyngeal pcr test is mentioned (along with an oropharyngeal) as allowable .  Is this just the same pcr test via the nose that we got at CVS to enter the Bahamas to cruise on Adventure?

To clarify, we do understand the difference between pcr and antigen tests.  

Thanks in advance for helping to educate us. 🙂


Edit: sorry for the text size differences…fat fingers/tiny phone/copy and paste don’t mesh for me  

 

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After your post, knowing I have a 12n S. Caribbean cruise booked on Celebrity Reflection leaving 12/10/21 that ports in Barbados, I quickly looked for updates on the Celebrity web site. Lo and behold, an 11/16/21 release of updated health and safety protocols listed for ports Celebrity visits in the Caribbean was located.

Yep, Barbados is one of the ports that guests cannot explore independently and instead are required to book Celebrity excursions. But wait there is one of these: ** by Barbados. In the footnotes it states that in Barbados guests can explore on their own if they booked tours that are "government approved." Fine, is the tour I just booked in Barbados "government approves"? Can I exit the cruise port terminal and pass through Barbadian immigration authorities to get to my tour guide and not show that I've had a negative PCR test within 3 days of our port call? If I want one on board Reflection, can I get one? What is the cost?

I've emailed the company (Tours by Locals) I booked a  tour with in Barbados and the tour guide to see what they know about this. I'll let everyone know. Interesting times. Remain flexible.

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I've been looking into this as well, from what I understand the usual CVS/Walgreens tests won't work since they're a nasal swab and they're self administered under supervision.

The nasopharyngeal swab is the brain tickler that's gone out of fashion in the US, started calling around to labs that do testing near me and found a couple that can do it but won't guarantee the turnaround time.  I'm planning on spending some more time tomorrow calling around to labs to see if I can'd find one locally that'll do a nasopharyngeal swab and offer a quicker turn around.

Visit Barbados partnered with two providers to do "home concierge testing" https://www.visitbarbados.org/north-america-covid-19-testing looks like it's $265 for a single test and it's slightly cheaper if you're doing multiple people at once.  This is my backup in case I can't find anything this week.

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Well, this is pretty simple. I will cancel my privately booked tour in Barbados if I need a PCR test within three days of entry to get outside the terminal and meet my tour guide. No big deal...... except my tour guide loses income and continues to struggle financially.

What's frustrating is the differences among country's entrance requirements pertaining to the pandemic. Not just in the Caribbean, although it is particularly stupid in this small region, but just about anywhere on earth that might be considered a tourist destination. This isn't hard. If you're vaccinated and can prove it your risk of spreading SARS2 to Barbadian locals is so low that the benefits to the tourist trades by allowing visitors meeting specific vaccination requirements to enter outweighs any disadvantages or risks to the local health care system even though it may by record be unable to cope safely and within its resources with a serious outbreak.

The Caribbean Islands have a health consortium that can review the data and establish uniform and sensible travel rules in the post pandemic period (where we actually are now) for it's membership. Why can I visit Tortola or Antigua virtually unrestricted but have to show proof that I'm not infected with SARS2  to visit Barbados. Insanity.

OK, done with rant ..... but it made me feel better. 

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Personally, I don't have a problem with not getting off in any Caribbean port while on a Caribbean itinerary cruise. Destinations are not the primary reason I cruise the Caribbean annd I do so frequently sometimes spur of th moment as I live about 15 minutes from Prot everglades - $10 Uber or Lyft ride. TBF to Celebrity (and probably RCL) when I took my first Caribbean cruise on Equinox the week after Edge became the first cruise ship to make a revenue sailing from Fort Lauderdale, I think there was only one port (Coz) we could explore on our own and that changed the day before we got there (could still cycle through the port stores just couldn't go out in town). The rest were ship sponsored excursions only. I booked two and they were surprisingly good - the largest one had 22 guests, the other 12. Quality guides and great tour. Besides that both of them were under $100pp - I think they were like $65.

My advise, especially if you love to cruise and have been to Caribbean ports once is to roll with it. Things change day to day. If you think exploration of a port on your own is green-lighted and you book a private tour on your own and you subsequently learn things changed and that port is now restricted, cancel the private tour (most will offer full refunds) and take a look at what the Excursions Desk is offering or stay aboard and take in a movie. 

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I heard back from both my tour guide in Barbados and the company I booked with (Tours by Locals) and the tour my guide runs is not "Government Approved." So, in most cases, it appears if you sailing Celebrity, Barbados can not be  visited on your own. Ship Excursions only.

Having said that, check with the line you are cruising with. This may not be applicable to all lines and keep checking. This is a fast moving ball game.

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We’re going to see what the protocols are for Jan before we make a decision 

The deciding factor in booking this cruise is that every day is a different port.  We are looking forward to going out and don’t want to have to do official excursions. 
 

…there’s also the intrusive (and potentially expensive) pcr test to fly into Barbados….

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On 11/18/2021 at 12:24 PM, teddy said:

Actually, if this remains the same for January, we’re going to change to a different cruise in the same time period. 

Update:  After talking about things some more, we decided to bail now.  We're not adverse to testing at all, however the requirements stated by the Barbados government along with the current need to book a shore excursion to go off the ship made us decide to cruise elsewhere in January.  Barbados isn't going anywhere.  We will try again when things aren't as cumbersome.

FWIW, we changed to the same time frame on Oasis.  We've never been on an Oasis class ship, and we've been to the ports already, so if we can't go ashore without an excursion, we will have plenty to do onboard.

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2 hours ago, teddy said:

Update:  After talking about things some more, we decided to bail now.  We're not adverse to testing at all, however the requirements stated by the Barbados government along with the current need to book a shore excursion to go off the ship made us decide to cruise elsewhere in January.  Barbados isn't going anywhere.  We will try again when things aren't as cumbersome.

FWIW, we changed to the same time frame on Oasis.  We've never been on an Oasis class ship, and we've been to the ports already, so if we can't go ashore without an excursion, we will have plenty to do onboard.

Probably for the best.  I'm considering switching to the Harmony for my December sailings now, even given the hassles of it.  They just released new protocols and you need a PCR test 3 days before boarding too.  So by coming in a day early I'll have to do the nasopharyngeal PCR test on Wednesday and a regular PCR test on Thursday, plus the antigen test before boarding.

Sure, technically I could try and just do one test on Thursday but I'm not comfortable losing a day for getting the results back.

I'm not opposed to the testing, and if it was just an antigen test 3 days before boarding I wouldn't care.

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