Royal Caribbean Extends Protocols for U.S. Departures Through June 30

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Although many were hoping for a swift end to the current health and safety protocols for Royal Caribbean ships sailing from the United States this summer, the cruise line decided the time was not right just yet and extended the policies through June 30, 2022

With the CDC’s voluntary COVID-19 program for cruise ships still in place for the foreseeable future, there seems to be little leeway for Royal Caribbean. With that, requirements for pre-cruise testing, vaccinations, and masks for unvaccinated children remain firmly in place, at least for the coming months. 

Royal Caribbean Protocols for U.S. Departures

Although many countries worldwide have been working steadily to eliminate the measures introduced during the pandemic, the story is a little different for the globally operating cruise companies.

With the summer in the Northern Hemisphere approaching, the focus will be on the spring and summer vacations that are fast approaching and the risks that come with this. 

Royal Caribbean has been introducing new protocols for cruises this summer in Europe and has decided to extend the protocols for cruises sailing from the U.S. 

With the extension also comes the news that Royal Caribbean does not require guests to have received a booster shot. Something that is a requirement in several European countries for those that have had their final shot more than 270 days ago.

Odyssey of the Seas Cruise Ship
Photo Courtesy: Royal Caribbean

All passengers aged 12 years and older must be fully vaccinated 14 days before departure. The younger guests who have been vaccinated can follow the rules laid out for vaccinated guests. 

All guests age two and older must present proof of a negative covid-19 test result. For vaccinated guests age 12 and older, that test cannot be older than two days before sailing.

Unvaccinated guests should show proof of a negative PCR test taken no more than three days before sailing but not on embarkation day. 

Onboard the ships, the wearing of masks is voluntary for all vaccinated guests and expected of all unvaccinated guests. While going ashore guests will need to follow the local guidelines, which could include mandatory wearing of masks, while some ports also require guests to take a mandatory tour to go ashore.

19 Royal Caribbean Ships Sailing From the U.S.

The protocols are in place for all ships sailing from US ports this summer; this includes 19 Royal Caribbean ships operating in the Caribbean and Bahamas, Alaska, and the US east coast. The following ships will be sailing in the Bahamas and Caribbean:

Symphony of the Seas in Miami
Photo Credit: Felix Mizioznikov /
  • Symphony of the Seas operates from Miami, sailing the Western and Eastern Caribbean
  • Harmony of the Seas sails from Port Canaveral to the Western and Eastern Caribbean
  • Allure of the Seas is based in Fort Lauderdale, sailing to the Western, Eastern, and Southern Caribbean
  • Independence of the Seas operates from Port Canaveral, sailing to the Bahamas
  • Liberty of the Seas sails to the Western Caribbean with Galveston as its homeport
  • Freedom of the Seas operates from PortMiami with cruises to the Bahamas
  • Mariner of the Seas sails from Port Canaveral to the Bahamas
  • Explorer of the Seas operates from Miami to the Bahamas
  • Lastly, Grandeur of the Seas is the second Royal Caribbean ship based in Galveston, sailing to the Western Caribbean

Royal Caribbean will also have a strong presence in Alaska with four ships. Two cruise ships will operate from Seattle and two from Vancouver, Canada, while Alaska is expecting one of the busiest years in history.

The ships that are operating out of Vancouver, Serenade and Radiance of the Seas, will be operating under slightly different protocols. Also, everyone traveling to Canada must download the ArriveCAN app or complete the mandatory travel information via the ArriveCAN website before entering Canada.

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