Royal Caribbean will begin sailing in early July from Florida. They have most recently announced that vaccinations will be recommended but not required for passengers. This was a reversal from an announcement only two weeks earlier, where the cruise line’s vaccine requirement web page said that all guests age 16 and older would need to complete all doses of their Covid-19 vaccine at least 14 days before sailing. There has been both negative and positive feedback on the company’s social media pages from passengers reacting to the company’s policy change.
It seems that most passengers want to travel on cruise ships that have a vaccine requirement. However, there are some who will not book a cruise that requires them to be vaccinated. Passengers may make their booking decision based on the vaccine requirement, or lack thereof.
Royal Caribbean wants their passengers to have some peace of mind knowing that all crew members are vaccinated. They also want passengers to know that they are encouraging vaccines for cruisers prior to travel, and that if they decide to travel unvaccinated, they may be subject to testing and other protocols, to be announced soon.
The protocols for unvaccinated travel have not been announced yet but could include masks in public spaces onboard. Another concern unvaccinated travelers should consider will be the vaccine and mask requirements in the cruise ships’ ports of call.
Approximately 90% of all travelers currently booked on Royal Caribbean ships have already been vaccinated or are planning to in time for their cruise, the line announced. However, without a vaccine mandate, this high percentage could drop before these ships set sail in July. This might be a major concern for those who booked travel believing that their fellow passengers would also be fully vaccinated.
What is your opinion regarding mandated vaccine for cruises? Would you feel comfortable having unvaccinated cruisers around you?