After Norwegian Cruise Line announced earlier this week that it would drop vaccine requirements for passengers, we predicted that other cruise lines would soon follow suit. Just days later, that prediction has proven right.
According to a change on Royal Caribbean’s website, the major cruise line is adjusting its vaccine policy to no longer require the shot… but only from select ports.
The updated rules now show that on cruises departing September 5 or later from homeports in California, Texas, and Louisiana, a vaccine is no longer required:
This goes along with recent relaxing of other Covid protocols on Royal Caribbean, including dropping the testing requirement for cruises on cruises of five nights or fewer if a passenger is vaccinated. That change came just two weeks ago.
Notably, even though a vaccination is no longer required on trips from these three states, the cruise line does still ask that you bring your vaccine proof with you and let them know at check-in of your vaccination status.
As well, anyone who is not vaccinated will need to have a negative test taken within three days of boarding.
What’s not clear, however, is why these three states will not see vaccine requirements while others will not. It could be due to the fact that many cruises from Florida head to The Bahamas while most cruises from California, Texas, and Louisiana sail to Mexico and other countries.
In fact, Royal Caribbean states the following regarding vaccines on cruises from Florida:
“For guests departing from Florida homeports, this vaccine requirement is the policy of several international governments for a cruise ship to enter their waters. We remain in contact with local governments in the ports we visit and will update the policy if advised.”
For now, however, passengers from Florida over 12 years old will still have to have the vaccine to sail. That won’t be the case everywhere else.
As mentioned, Royal Caribbean now marks another major cruise line relaxing vaccination rules, even though it does not apply to all sailings. Still, if you are unvaccinated, it looks to continue to get easier to take a cruise as more protocols are relaxed.