Skip to content

Carnival Cruise Line drops COVID-19 vaccine requirement for most sailings — here's where you'll still need one

Aug. 13, 2022
4 min read
Carnival Cruise Line drops COVID-19 vaccine requirement for most sailings — here's where you'll still need one
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Carnival Cruise Line is joining Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Line in dropping its COVID-19 vaccine requirement.

But like the latter lines, it'll still make you show proof of one for some sailings.

The world's second-largest cruise line late Friday said that effective Sept. 6 it no longer would require passengers to show proof of a COVID-19 vaccine for all voyages except those departing from Australia and cruises that are 16 nights in length or longer.

Sign up for our daily newsletter

Unvaccinated travelers who want to sail out of Australia or on a 16-night-plus voyage will be able to apply for a vaccine exemption.

For more cruise news, guides and tips, sign up for TPG's cruise newsletter.

Carnival also announced that vaccinated passengers no longer will have to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test to board its ships in most places. The line said testing will still be required for vaccinated passengers in advance of cruises to Canada, Bermuda, Greece and Australia, per local regulations in those countries, and on voyages of 16 nights or longer.

In addition, all unvaccinated passengers will still have to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test before sailing. The test must be taken within three days of embarkation.

A few caveats to the new rules that Carnival spelled out in its announcement:

  • All of the new policies are subject to local destination regulations.
  • Passengers under the age of five will be exempt from all vaccination and testing requirements on sailings from the United States.
  • Passengers under the age of 12 will be exempt from all vaccination and testing requirements on sailings from Australia.
  • Voyages of 16 nights and longer will continue to have vaccination and testing requirements that are specific to the itinerary.

“These guidelines will make it a simpler process, and make cruising accessible for those who were not able to meet the protocols we were required to follow for much of the past 14 months,” Carnival President Christine Duffy said in a statement.

Related: 20 things you should never cruise without — including a roll of duct tape

Duffy added that Carnival is in the process of updating its website, communications and internal processes, and sharing more details with passengers and travel agents to reflect the new policies.

“We appreciate the patience of our guests and travel advisor partners as we update all materials, but the end result is a very positive one for all who are looking forward to cruising with us,” she said.

Carnival's announcement came just two days after the world's largest cruise line Royal Caribbean and sister line Celebrity Cruises announced they were dropping their COVID-19 vaccine requirement for many but not all sailings, effective Sept. 5. Norwegian Cruise Line and sister lines Regent Seven Seas Cruises and Oceania Cruises on Monday dropped their vaccine requirements for many sailings, effective Sept. 3.

Carnival sister brand Princess Cruises on Friday also announced that it would remove its vaccine requirement for most voyages of fewer than 16 days, effective Sept. 6.

Planning a cruise? Start with these stories:

Featured image by The Carnival Miracle cruise ship (Photo courtesy Carnival Cruise Lines)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

TPG featured card

Best starter travel card
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

1 - 3X points
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
1XEarn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases

Intro offer

Earn 80,000 ThankYou® points60,000 points
For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

Annual Fee

$95

Recommended Credit

670-850
Excellent, Good
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

Pros

  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases
Best starter travel card
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
1XEarn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

    Earn 80,000 ThankYou® points
    60,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $95
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent, Good

Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

Pros

  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases