Royal Caribbean to require proof of vaccination on cruises from Florida

Aug 23, 2021

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.

Royal Caribbean cruisers ages 12 and older will now have to show proof of vaccination to sail from Florida, the line told its passengers on Friday.

Royal Caribbean, which isn’t sailing with as high a percentage of vaccinated passengers as some other lines, was previously allowing travelers to opt out of showing proof on sailings from Florida, thanks to an executive order issued by Gov. Ron DeSantis to prohibit businesses from requiring vaccinations in order to render services in the Sunshine State.

Interested in more tips and tricks for cruises? Sign up for TPG’s free cruiseletter.

(Photo by Ben Hasty/MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty Images)

Due to changing vaccine regulations in the Bahamas, which is a frequent stop for many cruise lines, Royal Caribbean’s policy for voyages leaving from Florida will now be the same as its policy for those from all other U.S. embarkation ports — proof of inoculation is required — from Sept. 3 through at least Nov. 1, 2021.

“Travelers unable to show proof of vaccination will be unable to sail,” the line said in a media statement Friday. “… Guests under 12, who are currently ineligible for the vaccine, can still cruise with us as long as they continue to provide a negative test result at boarding and follow certain health and safety protocols.”

Those health and safety protocols involve Royal Caribbean’s decision to prohibit unvaccinated passengers from entering certain onboard areas, such as the spa, casino, specific decks in the theater, certain dining areas and select bars and lounges. They also require unvaccinated individuals to wear masks in all indoor public areas unless eating or drinking.

(Photo by Ashley Kosciolek/The Points Guy)

Supporting the move is the fact that, earlier this month, a Florida judge issued a preliminary injunction in a lawsuit Norwegian Cruise Line filed against the state of Florida, arguing that DeSantis’ executive order limited the line’s ability to require vaccine proof as a way to keep passengers safe.

Likely also playing into the line’s decision are the updated guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for cruisers which advise that “people who are not fully vaccinated avoid travel on cruise ships….”

The CDC’s COVID-19-related operating protocols for cruise lines are now just recommendations, following the ruling in a separate lawsuit between DeSantis and the CDC. A judge said the CDC was overstepping its authority in mandating the protocols; the lines have since said they plan to continue following the agency’s recommendations anyway.

Featured photo by Ashley Kosciolek/The Points Guy.

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 50,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants in the first three months of card membership.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 50,000 Bonus Miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
  • Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants with your card within the first 3 months of membership.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
$250
Balance Transfer Fee
N/A
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.