As we continue to begin cruising again during this pandemic, changes in protocols and requirements are bound to happen and happen quickly.
In the past couple weeks, Carnival did announce some changes to the protocols for boarding and for when sailing. As of August 7, all passengers would be required to wear mask indoors primarily in crowded areas. Also when walking to their table in the dining room or Lido Buffet. Mask are not required outdoors unless in a crowded setting where distancing is not able to happen.
In addition, with sailings beginning on August 14, 2021, all guest, despite vaccination status, are required to show proof of a negative Covid 19 test. Test must be preformed within three days prior to sailing. Example, if you are sailing on Saturday, you can take the test Wednesday, Thursday or Friday but must get results back and have them for embarkation. The test can be the PCR or Antigen test. See Have Fun, Be Safe for more information on testing.
This past week, the government of the Bahamas announced they will require all cruise ships visiting any of their ports to be full vaccinated with a few exceptions. Due to this new requirement by the Bahamas and other ports enforcing the same requirements, Carnival announced the change in exceptions.
Prior to now, passengers had to be fully vaccinated but they had an exception process if unvaccinated in place for a number of reasons. But starting with sailings embarking on August 28, 2021, all passengers 12 years and older will be required to show proof of vaccination at the minimum 14 days prior to sailing. The only exceptions for unvaccinated guest are kids under the age of 12 and medical exceptions which will be handled as they are now. This does impact sailings from Florida and Texas.
This does mean guest with prior exceptions will not be allowed to sail and will have options including moving their sailing to a later date with no penalty. You will need to reach out to Carnival direct or your travel advisor.
Although unfortunate, with the Bahamas being a prime destination for so many itineraries, there really was not much of a choice in making this decision in order to keep cruising going. How long this requirement will go on, your guess is as good as mine. The most important thing is, if you are sailing, be sure to verify the protocols and requirements in order to avoid missing your cruise.
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I have a passion for travel and believe travel is about experiences. Experiences create memories and are the stories we tell to friends and family - even with a little fudging on the facts.