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Royal Caribbean Covid rules and restrictions - what you can and can't do

Author: Lucy Abbott

Published on:

Updated on:

Royal Caribbean has an array health and safety protocols in place to keep cruise passengers Covid-free. Keep up to date with exactly what to expect onboard to keep you safe.

Royal Caribbean has a variety of rules in place in order to keep you safe throughout your cruise.

It is integral to stay updated with what covid precautions are in action onboard to ensure you are prepared for your holiday.

Onboard a Royal Caribbean cruise, guests need to think about covid tests, vaccinations, face masks, social distancing requirements and more.

Find in this article all you need to know before you set sail with Royal Caribbean

Do you need a Covid vaccination to sail with Royal Caribbean?

Yes, you need a Covid-19 vaccination onboard Royal Caribbean, with specific vaccine requirements varying by port of departure and by age group.

For cruises departing from U.S homeports and Barbados, all guests age 12 and over must present proof of COVID-19 vaccination, with the final dose having to be administered at least 14 days before sailing.

If your child is turning 12 before or after day two of your cruise, the line offers you to move your cruise date to give you more time or to cancel your reservation for a full refund.

If your child turns 12 before day two of your cruise, your child will just have to complete all COVID-19 testing requirements for unvaccinated children.

Royal Caribbean encourages "fully vaccinated guests receive a booster dose when they become eligible to do so, though it is currently not required. It is highly likely many destinations will soon begin to require booster doses for all eligible guests to be considered fully vaccinated. We will notify booked guests as this guidance evolves."

For cruises departing from other international ports outside the U.S, customers should consult the Royal Caribbean website or talk to their travel advisor.

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Royal Caribbean: All guests sailing from U.S. homeports are required to take a pre-cruise test at their own expense. Credit: Shutterstock

Do you need a Covid test for Royal Caribbean?

Royal Caribbean's website continues to state it has not determined the health and safety protocols for 2022 sailings departing from Europe.

Guests will be advised their specific requirements through email before setting sail.

- READ MORE: Which cruise lines require a Covid vaccine? -

All guests sailing from US homeports are required to take a pre-cruise test at their own expense.

Vaccinated guests aged 12 or older must show a negative covid-19 test result for a PCR or antigen test taken no more than two days before boarding day.

For Limassol, Cyrpus cruise departures vaccinated guests who hold valid certification will not need a test. Credit: Shutterstock

Unvaccinated children aged two to 11 must show a negative test result taken no more than three days before boarding day as well as an additional one or two tests, depending on the cruise length, which is provided by Royal Caribbean for free. Guests under two years of age do not need to complete a pre-cruise test.

- READ MORE: Red list countries: Will any destinations go red soon? Latest travel advice -

Sailings for more than 10 nights from U.S homeports may have additional onboard testing requirements.

Cruises that are entering or departing Bridgetown, Barbados are required to take a PCR test no more than three days before the day you board the ship.

Guests aged two and under do not need to wear a mask. Credit Shutterstock

Do you need to wear a face mask onboard Royal Caribbean?

From February 14, masks will no longer need to be worn in vaccinated-only venues such as select bars, lounges, restaurants, shows and Casino Royale.

Masks are also not required to be worn in open-air areas of the ship, unless you are in a crowded setting, in the pool or any activity where they may become wet, in your stateroom when you are with your travelling party or while visiting Royal Caribbean's private destinations unless you are in a crowded setting.

Masks are required to be worn while indoors onboard the ship (with the exception of vaccinated-only venues) unless seated and actively eating or drinking as well as while visiting public ports of call, where local regulations may require them.

Guests aged two and under do not need to wear a mask at all.

- READ MORE: Do cruise ships require masks? -

Do you need to wear a mask at ports of call?

You should take care to observe all local mask rules that are in place.

It is generally expected that you will be able to remove your mask in outdoor settings where you're able to maintain at least six feet of distance between your travel party and others.

For tours that include indoor locations, a mask will likely need to be worn by those guests age two and older.

While buffets are still available, guests will now be served by crew. Credit: Shutterstock

What type of mask is acceptable?

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.

Do you need to social distance for Royal Caribbean?

Royal Caribbean says: "Physical distancing should be practised throughout your vacation when in crowded areas. Signage, ground markings and crew safety ambassadors will be posted throughout the ship and terminal to kindly remind guests of distancing and other protocols.

"Seating in public spaces such as dining venues, theaters and pool decks will be spread out, and elevators will be limited to no more than four guests or one travel party at a time."

- READ MORE: Do I need special travel insurance for a cruise? -

Do you need travel insurance for a Royal Caribbean holiday?

You must have travel insurance, with healthcare cover, in place to cover your cruise holiday as well as any other destinations you may be visiting independently.

Is the buffet still functioning onboard Royal Caribbean?

While buffets are still available, guests will now be served by crew rather than self-service, and more covered grab and go items will be available at buffets and cafes around the ship.

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