Great news! Royal Caribbean is back in the water! We are your resource for the most up to date information around vaccination & testing requirements, whether you will need a mask, taking shore excursions, and health & safety measurements taken by the cruise line.
Do I need a vaccine to travel on a Royal Caribbean cruise?
U.S. Departures from Seattle, Washington; Galveston Texas; Bayonne, New Jersey; and Nassau, Bahamas
The following departures require all age appropriate guest to be vaccinated and provide a negative COVID-19 Test administered 3 days prior to the sail date.
- All guests age 2 years and older, regardless of vaccine status, are required to complete a COVID-19 test no more than 3 days prior to the sail date and present proof of negative results at the terminal upon check-in.
- It is the guest's responsibility to arrange the test at their expense.
- The type of pre-arrival COVID-19 test administered is flexible in that either an antigen or PCR test is accepted. Guests must arrange this test at their own expense.
For Cruises Departing From Florida
The vaccine protocol communicated here applies to cruises departing Florida on or after September 1 2021.
- All Royal Caribbean guests age 12 and older departing from Florida homeports must present proof of COVID-19 vaccination with the final dose of their vaccine administered at least 14 days before sailing.
- This is a requirement of The Bahamas and St. Thomas governments for a cruise ship to enter their waters, and is currently planned to remain in effect until November 1, 2021, at which point the policy may be updated.
- Guests under the age of this requirement don't need to be vaccinated and will complete COVID-19 testing requirements depending on the length and departure port of their sailing.
Pre-Cruise Testing Requirements (per CDC): Effective September 13, 2021, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention has revised the pre-cruise COVID-19 testing requirements for all cruises departing U.S. ports.
- Vaccinated guests must present a negative PCR or Antigen test result taken no more than 2 days prior to sailing in order to board.
- Unvaccinated guests (kids ages 2-11 years) are required to take a PCR test for COVID-19 when checking-in at the terminal. This test is complimentary and is in addition to the pre-arrival test requirement.
- Unvaccinated guests (kids ages 2-11 years) are required to take an antigen test onboard within 24-hours before the cruise ends, for sailings 5-nights or longer.
- No testing required for guests under age 2.
New! Telehealth At-Home Test Kits for Vaccinated Guests Only! IMPORTANT: Supervised telehealth home tests are NOT accepted for any unvaccinated guest, per CDC guidance.
- Royal Caribbean is working on a new telehealth testing solution to assist fully vaccinated guests in fulfilling pre-cruise testing requirements.
- Starting Wednesday, Royal Caribbean will launch a site that allows guests to purchase at-home test kits in packs of 2 or 3.
- The kit includes live video supervision through eMed Telehealth.
- When the guest is ready to test (during the required pre-cruise window), they simply sign on to eMed for a virtual visit with their Certified Guide. After taking the test, the guest will have results reported in 15 mins. The test kits ship to all U.S. states and Puerto Rico in two business days or less (Will advise as developments occur for shipment capabilities to Canada).
- As per the latest CDC guidance, only fully vaccinated guests are approved for medically supervised telehealth testing to meet pre-cruise requirements, and that includes this new option.
Travel Insurance Requirement for Unvaccinated Guests - Florida Based Ships As a condition of boarding, each unvaccinated guest 12 years and older departing from a Florida homeport on a Royal Caribbean International cruise must provide proof of a valid insurance policy that has a minimum of (a) $25,000 per person in medical expense coverage and (b) $50,000 coverage for emergency medical evacuation and no COVID-19 exclusions.
For Cruises Departing from Rome, Italy onboard Harmony of the Seas:
Due to changes in country protocols and new travel guidelines, guests onboard upcoming Harmony of the Seas sailings may experience the following:
- Itinerary Modification: Impact to sailings departing August 15 – October 24, 2021.
- Shore Excursion Requirements: Regardless of vaccination status, all guests wishing to debark in an Italian port of call will be required to book a local tour through Royal Caribbean.
- Travel Restrictions: For guests sailing on Harmony 8/15, 8/22, & 8/29 who have transited, travelled to, or reside in the following countries are not permitted to visit Italy without quarantining for several days: Brazil, Mexico, Kuwait, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom. For this reason, guests travelling from these countries are unable to sail on Harmony’s first few sailings. Compensation options are available for those impacted.
Itinerary Modification for France port
- After reviewing France’s protocols for guests travelling via cruise ship, we’ve decided to remove our stop in Provence (Marseilles), France and replace it with a cruising day.
- To help offset some of the time lost, we’ve added 4 extra hours to our stop in Palma De Mallorca, Spain so we can watch the sunset at this truly unique destination.
- Any pre-paid Royal Caribbean International shore excursions booked for Provence (Marseilles), France will automatically be refunded to the original form of payment.
For Cruises Departing From Limassol, Cyprus
- At this time, we are requiring guests 18 years and older to be fully vaccinated at least 14 days before sailing for COVID-19, along with all crew members onboard for Jewel of the Seas from Cyprus. Vaccination requirements may vary by port. Communication will be sent to all booked guests within 30 days before setting sail, to share the latest requirements for each departure port.
- If a guest younger than the age requirement is fully vaccinated, they should bring their original vaccination record card to board and should follow all vaccinated guest protocols while boarding and throughout their vacation.
For Cruises Departing From Other International Ports
- Vaccination and travel documentation requirements vary by homeport and country of departure.
- Booked guests will be advised of specific requirements via email before setting sail.
What COVID-19 Vaccine is accepted?
Sailings departing from the US: The U.S. CDC has clarified their position regarding mixed vaccinations and provided updated guidance to Royal Caribbean. Currently, the CDC does not recognize any mixed combination of COVID-19 vaccines as fully vaccinated. To be recognized as fully vaccinated, guests must complete a vaccine series with products from the same manufacturer with the last dose administered at least 14 days before their sail date.
Sailings departing outside of the US: For cruises departing from ports outside of the U.S., we will accept guests who are vaccinated with a mixed regimen consisting of 2 shots of the following manufacturer combinations: Pfizer and Moderna, or AstraZeneca with either Pfizer or Moderna. The doses must be separated by at least 28 days and not more than 42 days for mixes of Pfizer and Moderna, and separated by at least 4 weeks and not more than 12 weeks for combinations of AstraZeneca with Pfizer or Moderna. Mixed vaccines may not be accepted at all ports of call. Guests who are vaccinated with a mixed series may not be allowed to go ashore at these ports, or may need to undergo additional testing if they wish to go ashore.
What proof of Vaccine do I need to provide?
In order to present proof of vaccination for our cruises, the guest must show eligible documentation on boarding day at the terminal in the form of the vaccination record issued by either (1) the country’s health authority that administered the vaccination (e.g., U.S. CDC's Vaccination Record Card) (2) electronic vaccination records where country policy requires the use of electronic documentation via app or health agency site (e.g. UK NHS App, NHS Certificate, Israel Green Pass, EU Digital COVID Certificate), or (3) a letter from the guest's medical provider that administered the vaccination, which meets the following criteria:
- The Proof of Vaccination must include the name of the vaccinated person matching the registered cruise guest with date of birth (DoB), the dates of the completed vaccination cycle, the administering physical or medical services provider, and the manufacturer of the vaccine issued.
- The full vaccination cycle must be completed at least 14 days before your sail date (e.g., received the second dose in a two-dose series such as Pfizer or Moderna or a single dose of J&J).
- The vaccine is recognized and approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (U.S. FDA) and/or the World Health Organization (WHO).
NOTE: Royal Caribbean will accept a laminated original vaccine card from your country’s health authority as acceptable proof of vaccination, providing it meets all the aforementioned criteria.
We do not collect vaccination cards or store proof of vaccination. Those cruise lines that have vaccine requirements to cruise will likely ask for proof at the time of boarding.
- Theaters and activity venues will offer spaced seating with options for everyone and for vaccinated guests only. Be sure to make show reservations once onboard using the Royal Caribbean app.
- Spa services, except those offered in treatment rooms, are available to everyone and the Fitness Center will be open to everyone at designated times. The Casino will be open to vaccinated guests only.
- Youth spaces will be open to all children and teens.
- The Fitness Center will have dedicated operating hours for everyone, as well as hours reserved for vaccinated guests only.
- The Casino will be open to vaccinated guests only.
Please note that these guidelines are subject to change.
Do I need to wear a mask?
- Vaccinated guests are required to wear masks indoors unless seated and actively eating or drinking.
- Masks won't be required for vaccinated guests when in venues (bars, lounges, restaurants and entertainment) or at events designated for vaccinated guests only, or while in your stateroom when you are with your traveling party.
- Masks are not required outdoors unless in a crowded setting.
- When visiting public ports of call, please follow local regulations.
- Unvaccinated guests are required to wear masks indoors unless seated and actively eating or drinking.
- Masks are not required while in your stateroom when you are with your traveling party. Likewise, masks are not required outdoors unless in a crowded setting.
- When visiting public ports of call, please follow local regulations.
- Guests under the age of 2 years do not need to wear a mask.
Things to know:
- Your mask should be at least two layers of tight weave fabric with loops that fit over your ears in accordance with health guidelines.
- The mask should fit your face closely and cover your nose and mouth but allow you to breathe easily.
- Note that neck gaiters, open chin bandanas and scarves, and face masks with valves do not meet health authority guidelines and will not be permitted.
Can I get off the ship at port?
According to the CDC's Conditional Sailing Order cruise ship operators, at their discretion, may advise passengers and crew that — if they are fully vaccinated — they may engage in self-guided or independent exploration during port stops, if they wear a mask while indoors. The cruise ship operator is additionally advised that foreign jurisdictions may have their own requirements.
Things to know:
- All guests, regardless of vaccination status, wishing to debark in our Italian ports of call will be required to book a local tour through Royal Caribbean International.
- For guests sailing on HM 08/15/2021, HM 08/22/2021, HM 08/29/2021 departing from Barcelona only:
- To help assist with booking tours, we will be providing a 20% discount on select tours for our Italian destinations.
- To receive the discount, please reserve once onboard.
- At ports of call, fully vaccinated parties have the choice of booking a shore excursion or visiting freely.
- Parties that wish to go ashore and include any unvaccinated guests, including parents traveling with unvaccinated children, must book a shore excursion that is provided by an independent local tour operator that has agreed to comply with recommended health protocols.
- Vaccinated parents wishing to go ashore freely can visit our youth facilities once onboard to learn about drop off program hours and availability, and reserve time for their child on the day they wish to go in port.
These restrictions are under the control of local government and are subject to change without advance notice, so we encourage guests to come prepared for potential mask requirements ashore.
Health & Safety on the Ship
As we return to sea, your health and safety remains our top priority. We’ve partnered with expert medical and scientific minds to guide us in the development of comprehensive protocols to protect you and the ones you love. And we're working with local health authorities in our homeport countries to ensure our guests meet current inbound travel requirements. We’re continually evaluating these protocols and will make updates as public health standards evolve.
Buffets will be open to everyone for breakfast and lunch, and the food will be served by our crew. My Time Dining will not be available to parties that include unvaccinated guests.
Things to know:
- In the event a guest or crew member tests positive while we’re sailing, Royal Caribbean has partnered with local authorities to develop transport protocols to get you home safely.
- The Main Dining Room, which spans two decks, will have one deck for everyone, which includes parties with both vaccinated and unvaccinated guests, such as parents and unvaccinated children. The other deck will be for vaccinated parties.
Check here for the most up to date information on each Cruise Destination, including vaccination requirements, mask mandates, shore excursions, and insurance requirements.