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Mask-wearing makes a comeback on some cruises in wake of COVID-19 outbreaks

Nov. 20, 2022
3 min read
Signage for mask requirements on Freedom of the Seas
Mask-wearing makes a comeback on some cruises in wake of COVID-19 outbreaks
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Just when we thought the jaw ache was over, a handful of cruise lines has reinstated mask-wearing on some ships following a string of outbreaks on board.

On November 17, both Princess Cruises and Carnival Cruise Line reactivated their mask policies for Coral Princess, Majestic Princess, Grand Princess, Carnival Splendor and Carnival Luminosa, all of which are based in Australia and New Zealand. Royal Caribbean International is also now urging passengers to wear masks on Ovation of the Seas and Quantum of the Seas, which are also sailing Down Under.

Both countries reopened to cruise ships earlier this year after a more than two-year shutdown spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic. A delayed spate of land-based outbreaks has meant that lines are currently seeing a larger number of cases on their ships in the region, necessitating the need for masks.

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"As a result of an increase in community COVID-19 transmission in Australia, and out of an abundance of caution, masks are required in all indoor settings on cruises visiting Australia and New Zealand until further notice," Princess Cruises said in a statement. "Princess continues to work with global health experts, responsibly adjusting health guidelines as warranted."

"Royal Caribbean recommends guests sailing in Australia wear masks at the cruise terminal when embarking and disembarking, and in public indoor spaces and crowded outdoor spaces on board," a spokesperson from Royal Caribbean said, noting that masks might also be required in ports of call.

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Carnival did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In March, cruise lines began dropping their mask mandates for vaccinated passengers in other destinations, particularly North America, the Caribbean and Europe. Now, most lines have also waived masking requirements for cruisers who are unvaccinated, but they stipulate that policies are subject to change based on local government requirements in the ports ships visit.

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Featured image by ASHLEY KOSCIOLEK/THE POINTS GUY
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.

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Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
Best for the well-traveled foodie
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

4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
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    Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

    60,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $250
  • 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

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

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  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x)
  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees