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Question about test timing for unvaccinated children.


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If we board and sail on a Wednesday, and the PCR test must be done no more than 3 days BEFORE embarkation, what day should we get the test done? We don't want to pay ALL THE MONEY for a rapid PCR, so I need as much time as possible to allow for getting the test results back. It usually says 36-72 hours. That cuts it so close! TIA! 

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The PCR test can be done Sunday. But I’m warning you- pay for the rapid PCR. Just do it. I got PCR tests for 3 of my kids 3 days before sailing at CVS which said results within 48 hours. I got 2 back at 3:30pm AFTER I had boarded the ship and the one I needed the absolute most, for my unvaccinated 3 year old I never ever received the results for. It’s been 2.5 months. I was so stressed the day before the cruise finding very expensive rapid PCRs and wish I’d just done it that way in the first place. We’re sailing in 25 days and I don’t care that I have to spend $300 for a rapid PCR. I’m doing it. The anxiety and lack of sleep I experienced before our last cruise stressing over getting results in time was so miserable. I got the rapid PCR results in an hour. Worth every penny. 

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@Arika RoyPay. It’s worth it. We’re in Idaho, where they don’t have rapid PCR. For our Christmas cruise, we got the kids tested three days before sailing and didn’t get the results until midnight the morning of the cruise. This resulted in us having to fly without knowing for sure we would be able to sail and having to get a rush rapid PCR in our departure city the day before the cruise anyway. If given the choice, definitely pay up for the rapid PCR. 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 3/11/2022 at 5:52 AM, Arika Roy said:

Oh my goodness! What happened? Did you have to cancel? Did you have to leave your kids behind? Thank you for the input! But now I have to know the rest of the story!!! 

Sorry just saw your response. The rest of the story…We were already out of state and our cruise left on Christmas Eve. Would’ve been a miserable Christmas with not a single gift at home if we had to cancel. We waited in line for an hour for a $300 rapid pcr for the 3 year old the day before the cruise. For my other two kids I hadn’t realized I could get them antigen tests since they were vaccinated (this is when the rules were ever changing as vaccines came out for 5-11 year olds), but since it was the day before the cruise and toward the height of omicron there were of course no free rapid antigen appts at cvs etc. So I had to find a private company and I think those tests were $80 each. I was just happy they could get rapid antigens so I didn’t have to spend $900 on three rapid Pcrs. Gave ourselves a 50/50 chance of getting on the ship. Very stressful. Good news is we got to meet @Matt as he was on the same sailing and we happened to both be on the same whale watching excursion in Cabo. 

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