Royal Caribbean details protocols for crossings to the United States until November 2021
As expected, Royal Caribbean released its health and safety guidelines for November following the extension of the conditional veil order of the CDC.
The cruise line has posted several updates on its website for crossings within the United States only, with the exception of Puerto Rico. Royal Caribbean has been keen to provide updates to its health guidelines covering short periods; therefore, the new protocols only apply to November 2021.
While most of the requirements remain the same as in previous months, Royal Caribbean has included some restrictions on Caribbean ports. On several high-profile islands, the cruise line requires customers to book excursions to get ashore.
Royal Caribbean Bubbles Tours
While most health requirements remain the same for passengers boarding a Royal Caribbean ship, a new measure will no doubt disappoint many cruise passengers. Cruises that sail to St. Lucia, Barbados, St. Kitts or Antigua will have increased measures in place for guests wishing to explore ashore.
Also read: IDEAL Things to Do in Antigua
Passengers will not be allowed to venture off the ship on their own and will need to book a shore excursion on board if they wish to see any of the destinations. However, Royal Caribbean’s measure appears to be in direct contradiction to the newly implemented guidelines in Antigua.
The Antigua Observer announced just a few days ago that the cruise ship bubble would be abolished immediately:
Minister of Information Melford Nicholas: “Late in the evening, the Minister of Tourism indicated that he had been informed by the cruise industry that they were now ready to end the bubble environment in which they were operating at the start and resumption of cruises. to Antigua and other ports through the Caribbean, and so over the next few days with the arrival of these ships, merchants and sellers in the St John’s area, particularly Heritage Quay and Redcliffe Quay, can expect to an increase in clientele in the cruise industry.
Nonetheless, it seems unlikely that Royal Caribbean will change the protocols again for November.
What other protocols will be in place?
As we mentioned earlier, most of the on-board protocols remain the same; with no significant change in cases in the United States, we will likely see the following guidelines in the coming period.
Immunizations are mandatory for all clients aged 12 and over. While a decision is expected from the FDA on vaccinating children aged five and over in the next 24 hours, a mandatory policy on this will not be in place in the coming weeks.
Children aged 2 to 11 must show proof of a negative PCR test upon boarding; this test cannot be performed on the day of boarding. There will be an additional free PCR test for this age group on the day of boarding.
Also Read: Royal Caribbean Updates Protocols To Allow Mixed Vaccinations
In November, a Royal Caribbean ship, Sea explorer, will begin departures from San Juan, Puerto Rico. For these cruises, passengers can expect the same protocols as crossings from the United States, with a few notable exceptions, which relate to entry requirements into Puerto Rico.
Anyone over the age of two who is not fully vaccinated against COVID-19 with Moderna, Pfizer or Janssen vaccines must provide proof of a negative molecular or antigenic test for COVID-19 performed within 72 hours of arrival in Puerto Rico.
Test results must be presented at Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport in San Juan. All guests are also required to complete a travel declaration. All protocols for Royal Caribbean departures can be viewed here.
The current guidelines will be in effect in November 2021; health guidelines for cruises after that will be announced at a later date as the situation continues to develop.