Royal Caribbean Shares Freedom of the Seas Miami Sailing Protocols

Royal Caribbean International has shared the latest protocols with guests sailing aboard Freedom of the Seas this July from Miami. Of note? Guests will not need to be vaccinated; however, those who aren’t will have to undergo a series of three COVID-19 tests before and during the sailing.

In its guest communication, Royal Caribbean “strongly recommends” all guests 16 and over be fully vaccinated before sailing (at least two weeks must be past since their final dose to be considered “fully vaccinated”). At check-in, guests will be asked to provide documentation of their vaccination, such as the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card. Those who do not have or are unable to provide documentation will be considered unvaccinated, according to the cruise line.

Unvaccinated guests must undergo additional COVID-19 testing at their own expense, and follow additional health protocols, which are based on guidance from the CDC.

Pre-cruise, unvaccinated guests 16 and older must undergo an RT-PCR test administered by an accredited lab of their choice, taken within three days of sailing. Documentation will be required, and costs are at the guest’s expense. At the terminal, all unvaccinated guests two years of age and older are required to take an RT-PCR test, which will be administered by one of Royal Caribbean’s testing vendors. Registration details will be sent via email in advance. Lastly, prior to disembarking, guests two and older who are not vaccinated will undergo antigen testing within 24 hours of the end of the voyage, conducted by the cruise line’s testing vendors.

The tests at the terminal and onboard cost $136 and will be charged to guests’ onboard account.

“If you do not wish to undergo or pay for additional testing, or adhere to these health and safety protocols, we are happy to provide you with a refund,” Royal Caribbean said in its communication.

While Royal Caribbean will be requiring all guests 16 and older to be vaccinated on other sailings, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed an Executive Order prohibiting businesses that operate in the state from requiring vaccinations from its patrons.

Onboard Protocols

Royal Caribbean added that onboard, both vaccinated and unvaccinated guests will be required to wear face masks indoors unless seated and actively eating and drinking. They are not required in staterooms, outdoors or at Perfect Day at CocoCay “unless in a crowded setting.” Vaccinated guests will not have to wear face coverings in venues or at events designated for vaccinated guests.

Venues onboard will be set up with proper spacing; it is recommended to make dining reservations before your cruise. Shows will have dedicated performances for vaccinated guests. There will also be fewer guests on board. When on shore, all guests are subject to the mandates from local authorities.


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