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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 resumed sailings again with many health and safety protocols in place due to the pandemic. 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, 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 2 of your cruise, your child will just have to complete all covid-19 testing requirements for unvaccinated children.

For guests departing from Barcelona (Spain), Rome (Italy), Limassol (Cyprus) and Southampton (England), you must be fully vaccinated for covid-19 at least 14 days before sailing.

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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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?

U.S. Homeports

All guests sailing from U.S. 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.

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.

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

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

Barcelona, Spain

For vaccinated guests departing from Barcelona, Spain on boarding day will take a rapid antigen test during check-in at the terminal, with the line contacting you about this approximately 14 to 18 days prior to sailing. In addition, a final covid-19 test is required before the end of the cruise.

Unvaccinated guests ages 12 to 17 that are travelling from an area deemed high risk by the Spanish Government will need to arrange to take a covid-19 test at their own expense no more than 48 hours before arriving in Spain. A mid-cruise test will be required for all unvaccinated guests aged between six and 17 years as well as a final covid test before the end of the cruise.

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

Rome, Italy

For cruises departing from Rome, Italy, all guests have to take a rapid antigen test during check-in, with unvaccinated guests having to take a test on boarding day, mid-cruise and at the end of the cruise.

Limassol, Cyprus

For Limassol, Cyrpus cruise departures vaccinated guests who hold valid certification will not need a test to enter the country, but random PCR tests may be carried out by the Ministry of Health in the Republic of Cyprus at the airport. In addition, a covid test must be done on boarding day as well as all guests taking SARS-CoV-2 test before disembarking the cruise.

Unvaccinated guests aged 12 to 17 years old need to take a PCR test at their own expense no more than 72 hours before arriving in Cyrpus and potentially additional testing. On boarding day, unvaccinated guests will take a rapid antigen test.

Southampton

Cruises departing from Southampton, England require vaccinating guests from the UK to bring a negative result of a PCR test taken within three days of sailing. Unvaccinated UK guests aged between two and 17 must bring a negative PCR test taken within three days of sailing as well as a rapid antigen test at the terminal to sail.

All guests arriving from overseas must bring negative covid test results taken within three days prior to departure to England.

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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?

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

For cruises departing from U.S ports, and Southampton guests need to wear masks while indoors onboard the ship, unless seated and actively eating or drinking as well as while visiting public ports of call where local regulations may require them.

Masks do not need to be worn in open-air areas of the ship, unless it is crowded, in the pool or any activity where they may become wet, at venues designed for vaccinated guests and in your stateroom.

- READ MORE: Do cruise ships require masks? -

For cruises departing from Barcelona, Rome and Limassol, all guests six years and older must wear a mask in all indoor and outdoor public spaces, unless seated and actively eating or drinking, or when seated by the pool. Masks are not permitted in the pool or for any activity where they could become wet.

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, we expect a mask will need to be worn by those guests age two and older.

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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?

Social distancing should be practised throughout your vacation when in crowded areas. There will be signage, ground markers and crew safety ambassadors throughout the ship and terminal. Seating in public spaces like dining venues will be spread out and lifts 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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