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Royal Caribbean tightens cruise mask policy as COVID-19 cases climb in US

Dec. 18, 2021
2 min read
Signage for mask requirements on Freedom of the Seas
Royal Caribbean tightens cruise mask policy as COVID-19 cases climb in US
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In response to the increase in COVID-19 cases due to the omicron variant, Royal Caribbean has tightened its onboard mask policies. The line will now require all passengers to wear masks in all indoor public areas unless eating or drinking.

That includes fully vaccinated cruisers, even when they're visiting onboard areas designated as vaccinated-only.

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(Screenshot courtesy Royal Caribbean)

Previously, certain areas of Royal Caribbean's ships -- such as the spas, teppanyaki restaurants, lower levels of the theaters, and specific bars and lounges -- were reserved for those who had received the full course of shots. When frequenting those locations, passengers were able to remove their masks.

Although wording on the line's website indicates separate areas for vaccinated passengers will remain, cruisers in those areas will have to keep their masks on, at least on sailings departing through Jan. 5, 2022, at which time the policy will be revisited.

"We feel it prudent to temporarily tighten our onboard health protocols," the line said in a statement sent to booked passengers. "We're sorry for any disappointment that this may cause, but hope you understand that health and safety come first."

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Featured image by Signage throughout the ship reminds Freedom of the Seas passengers to mask up when coming in from outdoors. (Photo 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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Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
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10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
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Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023