COVID vaccines are now not required to set sail on most Royal Caribbean cruises

By Lydia Dishman

June 07, 2021

Travelers itching to set sail who don’t want to get stuck in the arm by a COVID-19 vaccine are now free to do so on at least one major cruise liner.

Royal Caribbean just reversed its vaccine requirement, saying those who aren’t vaccinated can still travel, although the cruise company is insisting that all its crew members are fully vaccinated.

According to Royal Caribbean’s statement:

“Guests are strongly recommended to 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, which will be announced at a later date.”

Royal Caribbean’s policy update isn’t surprising. Its first voyages will sail from ports in Florida and Texas beginning on July 2, states that are among those that banned the idea of vaccine passports for passengers to prove that they’d been inoculated. Celebrity Cruises and Norwegian Cruise Lines are among those that still mandate passengers be vaccinated before boarding.

For its part, Royal Caribbean says it 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” about what will be required to set sail in the coming months. Currently, each ship has to complete a simulation cruise before hitting the high seas from the United States.