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Royal Caribbean reveals fees, restrictions for unvaccinated cruise passengers out of Florida

Posted at 3:21 PM, Jun 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-18 17:30:30-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (ABC) — Royal Caribbean just revealed what a cruise from Florida in July will look like.

As we’ve been reporting, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is still fighting with the CDC over vaccine mandates, threatening cruise lines that require vaccines with a $5,000 fine per passenger starting July 1.

Royal now plans to have different requirements for vaccinated and unvaccinated guests.

  • Unvaccinated guests 16 and up will have to pay $136/person for on-board testing.
  • Some events and venues will be restricted to vaccinated guests only.
  • Face masks will be required for ALL passengers indoors unless you’re in a vaccinated-only event.
  • Unvaccinated guests will not be able to make reservations in advance for the Main Dining Room — Royal will have specific times when they can dine.

Some shows will be for vaccinated guests only. The first U.S. cruise is just about a week away on June 26 — the Celebrity Edge. This cruise will be fully vaccinated because it is happening before the Governor’s law kicks in.

The cruise line released the following guidelines:

"At check-in, guests will be asked to provide documentation of their vaccination, such as the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card. Those who are 16 and older and do not have or are unable to provide documentation will be considered unvaccinated. Our unvaccinated guests must undergo additional COVID-19 testing at their own expense, and follow the health protocols described below, which are based on guidance from the CDC. If you do not wish to undergo or pay for additional testing, or adhere to these health and safety protocols, we are happy to provide you with a refund. We believe that in the coming months, restrictions and requirements will be more accommodating as public health circumstances evolve."

Pre-Cruise
Unvaccinated guests 16 years of age and older will need to undergo an RT-PCR test administered by an accredited laboratory of the guest’s choice, and taken within three days of sailing. We will require documentation of a negative result for this test prior to embarkation. All costs for this test are the unvaccinated guest’s responsibility.

At the Terminal
Unvaccinated guests 2 years of age and older are required to take an RT-PCR test when checking in at the terminal, which will be administered by one of our testing vendors. Registration details will be sent via email in advance.

Prior to Disembarking
While onboard, unvaccinated guests 2 years of age and older will be required to undergo antigen testing within 24 hours of disembarking at the end of the voyage. This test will be conducted the day before the cruise ends by one of our testing vendors. Guests will be notified onboard about how to register for this test.