TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Royal Caribbean clarified its vaccine policy this week, stating that it will require certain guests to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 on cruises departing from all United States ports — except those in Florida.
In an online statement, the cruise line said it “requires all guests 16 years of age or older to be fully vaccinated, and from Aug. 1, all guests 12 years of age or older must be fully vaccinated. Younger travelers not yet eligible for the vaccine will be able to sail with a negative test result and must follow certain protocols.”
Guests departing from Florida ports are still strongly recommended to be fully vaccinated. The cruise line said it expects 90% of passengers to be vaccinated in Florida.
Those that are eligible to receive a vaccine and are not fully vaccinated or able to show proof of vaccination “will be subject to testing and additional health protocols at their own expense,” according to Royal Caribbean.
Children under 12 will be subject to complimentary testing and health protocols.
“Vaccine requirements are one of the many layers that safeguard the well-being of our guests, crew and the communities we visit,” the cruise line said in a statement. “The additional health and safety measures include our fully vaccinated crew, testing, the robust onboard ventilation system and enhanced cleaning.”
Gov. Ron DeSantis took executive action in April to ban the requirement of so-called “vaccine passports” in the state. Days later, DeSantis filed a lawsuit against the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the federal government, demanding the reopening of the cruise industry.
Below are Royal Caribbean’s international vaccine policies:
- Cruises from Seattle: Guests who are 16 years of age or older must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and those 12 or older as of Aug. 1
- Cruises from Florida: It is strongly recommended that guests set sail fully vaccinated, if they are eligible. Those who are unvaccinated or unable to verify vaccination will be required to undergo testing and follow other protocols at their own expense. These expenses are still being finalized. Based on our guest survey’s, we expect 90% of all our guests to be fully vaccinated
- Cruises from Texas: Guests who are 12 years of age or older must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19
- Cruises from The Bahamas: Guests who are 16 years of age or older must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and those 12 or older as of Aug. 1
- Cruises from the UK: Sailing UK residents above the age of 18 must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and those under the age of 18 are required to receive negative test results.
- Cruises from Cyprus: Guests above the age of 18 who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and those under the age of 18 with negative test results can sail.
- Cruises from Spain and Italy: Guests above the age of 18 who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and those under the age of 18 with negative test results can sail.
- Cruises from Singapore: Sailing Singapore guests are not required to be vaccinated but must follow the protocols outlined by the Singapore government
For more information, please visit Royal Caribbean’s website.