With the unfortunate increase in cases due to the new variant, cruise lines are tightening the protocols in order to protect guest. This includes, mask, testing and smoking.
Over the past couple weeks cruising has been in the news due to clusters of passengers on ships testing positive with the COVID 19 Virus. This is believed to be due to the Omicran variance which is much more contagious but is reported to be less severe than other previous variants. The cruise lines are taking additional steps to help prevent the spread and keep cruising going.
Smoking in the Casino
Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Holland America and Princess Cruise Lines have all temprarily banned smoking in the casino. The timeframe varies by cruise line Carnival is through January 31, 2022 and Royal Caribbean is through January 5, 2022. This is fleetwide on all the lines
Some additional restrictions on smoking can vary by cruise line like the cigar lounge on Princess Cruise Line is closed. So check with your individual line for more information.
This is being done to prevent the water particles from being spread through the ship in a tight indoor setting. I don't expect this to be permanent since smokers do bring in lots of money to the casino. But, it will be an interesting experiment to see how people react and if it really has an impact on cash flow. To be honest, I would enjoy it.
Both Royal Caribbean and Carnival Cruise Lines have waived cancellation fees for sailings through Mid January 2022. This allows you to cancel and get a refund for your cruise without any penalty. This I am sure is to no only give passengers some flexibility but also to reduce capacity on the ships.
Royal took another step to reduce capacity by pulling inventory on sailings through mid January 2022. They did not cancel anyone who is already booked but you are unable to book any new cabins.
Although the mask requirement for all the lines has been in place since the restart, they are tightening the reins a little and enforcing the rule. Mask are required indoors except when eating and drinking but not outdoors unless in a crowded setting.
As before, the sailings are for vaccinated guest with some exceptions depending on the cruise line. Testing is required to be done no more than 48 hours prior to sailing and proof of a negative result must be presented at the port.
It is important you check with the cruise line often for changes in protocols and of course the specifics for your cruise line. Every cruise line has a section on their website with up to date protocols and news.
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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.