Royal Caribbean passengers will no longer be required to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination when boarding a ship.
On Friday, Royal announced its new policy, reversing its previous rule. While Royal Crew members will still be vaccinated, and the cruise line will continue to encourage and recommend guests also get vaccinated, it will no longer be mandating it.
Some of Royal’s sailings, including guests 16-years and older on the Alaska sailings, will still need to be vaccinated. And some international ports will be requiring guests to be vaccinated, however, it is no longer compulsory for all of Royal’s sailings.
There will still be rules in place for non-vaccinated guests—Royal will require all those who are unvaccinated to undergo testing and follow other protocols on board, which it says will be announced at a later date.
“Royal Caribbean is continuing discussions with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and multiple state, local, and port authorities in the U.S. and with various destination communities regarding the various requirements for the upcoming sailings,” Royal said in a statement on Friday.
Also last week, Royal unveiled its extended full summer lineup of sailings that includes:
- Freedom of the Seas’ 3- and 4-night Bahamas and Perfect Day at CocoCay sailings from Miami that will start July 2.
- Odyssey’s 6- and 8-night Southern and Western Caribbean sailings from Ft. Lauderdale will start July 3.
- Serenade’s 7-night Alaska sailings from Seattle will start July 19.
- Allure’s 7-night Eastern and Western Caribbean sailings from Port Canaveral will start on Aug. 8.
- Ovation’s 7-night Alaska itineraries from Seattle will start Aug. 13.
- Symphony’s 7-night Eastern and Western Caribbean sailings from Miami start Aug. 14.
- Independence of the Seas 7-night Western Caribbean sailings from Galveston that start Aug. 15.
- Mariner’s 3- and 4-night Bahamas and Perfect Day at CocoCay sailings from Port Canaveral that start on Aug. 23.
- Harmony of the Seas 7-night Western Mediterranean sailings starting on Aug. 15.
- Adventure of the Seas’ Bahamas sailings starting on June 12.
All sailings are now available for booking. Royal also said that it expects a full-fleet return before the end of the year.
In a statement, Royal president and CEO Michael Bayley thanks guests and travel partners “for their incredible patience and understanding during this very difficult period.”
“This is it. Vacationers can finally plan to take their precious time off this summer and truly get away after what has been a challenging time for everyone,” he said. “Thanks in large part to the successful rollout of vaccines, the world of adventure is beginning to open up, and we are all excited to start delivering great vacations to our guests, who have increasingly told us they are getting vaccinated.”
As of today, according to Royal, 90% of all vacationers booking with Royal are either vaccinated or planning to be vaccinated in time for their cruise.