VACCINATION & TESTING STANDARDS
Fully Vaccinated Guests — New Testing Requirements Effective August 14, 2021
Vaccinated cruises are available for guests who have received their final dose of an approved COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days prior to the sailing day and have proof of vaccination.
Fully vaccinated guests must also present the negative results of a COVID-19 test (PCR or antigen) taken within three days prior to embarkation. For example, if the sailing is on Saturday, the test may be taken any time from Wednesday through Friday. Guests may also take the test on the morning of embarkation so long as they are guaranteed to receive their test results before their time of check-in. (Please refer to our Return to Service FAQs for more information on testing.)
Proof of vaccination, as follows, will be required at the terminal in advance of boarding:
Original vaccination record issued by the country’s health authority that administered the vaccination (i.e., U.S. CDC's Vaccination Record Card). Copies or photos are not accepted.
A digital COVID-19 Certificate (QR code acceptable), a record of COVID-19 vaccination from a healthcare provider (original digital email accepted), a personal electronic health record or government Immunization Information System record is also acceptable.
The name and birth date on the vaccination record must match the guest’s travel documents and show the guest is fully vaccinated. This means the vaccination dates must indicate the guest has completed the required doses no later than 14 days prior to the sailing date. Vaccine type, dates administered, and lot numbers must be clearly visible.
We recommend guests have the contact information (email and phone) immediately available of the healthcare provider or clinic site that issued the certificate, in order to validate the vaccination if needed. A vaccination registry site may also be used.
Guests are strongly encouraged to review their vaccination records and ensure they meet our standards, as well as have proof of their negative COVID-19 test result, prior to traveling to the cruise terminal to prevent a situation where they may not be able to cruise or be eligible for a refund.
For cruises departing the U.S., the CDC requires both vaccines in a 2-dose series to be of the same type. They also accept mixing mRNA vaccines only (Pfizer and Moderna). No other vaccine combination meets the criteria to be considered fully vaccinated. For example, Canadian or other international guests who received a combination of AstraZeneca and Pfizer are considered unvaccinated by the CDC. Guests who are not fully vaccinated, according to these criteria, will be considered unvaccinated and need to apply for a vaccination exemption.
Unvaccinated Guests — Exemptions to Vaccination Standards (Updated August 22, 2021)
Requirements for cruise ships to enter ports outside the U.S. continue to evolve and Carnival Cruise Line must operate in full compliance with these regulations. Most recently, the Government of The Bahamas has announced that effective September 3, cruise lines calling on any Bahamian port must be able to confirm that all guests 12 and older are fully vaccinated, with exemptions only for those with a medical condition that prohibit vaccination. Other destinations in the Caribbean normally included in our itineraries have implemented similar limitations. Given the number of itineraries that include multiple destinations throughout the Caribbean and, in particular, in The Bahamas, and the need for us from time to time to adjust itineraries due to medical, technical or weather emergencies, we will now operate all sailings under this requirement.
Consequently, effective with embarkations on or after August 28 from all U.S. Atlantic and Gulf home ports, vaccine exemptions will be limited to children under 12, and those teenagers and adults with a medical condition that does not allow them to be vaccinated. The guest’s birth certificate or passport (for children), or a letter from a medical provider stating that the guest cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons, must be presented at check-in, along with the exemption approval letter from Carnival. Unfortunately, all other vaccine exemptions previously granted for upcoming sailings cannot be fulfilled due to these new limitations. If you have already received an exemption approval for anyone in your party that does not meet the requirements of these two categories (under 12 or proven medical condition that prohibits vaccination), that exemption is no longer valid. If you would like to rebook for a later date or request a refund, please contact us at 1-800-CARNIVAL, your Carnival Personal Vacation Planner, or your travel agent.
Vaccine exemptions for ships departing from Long Beach, California will continue to be accepted for children under 12 and as required by U.S. federal law (in accommodation of medical reasons and sincerely held religious beliefs).
On Carnival Miracle® from Seattle and the 14-day Carnival Pride® October 31, 2021 sailing from Baltimore, vaccine exemptions will only be accommodated as required by law.
Exemptions for children and adults are not guaranteed and are capacity-controlled based on the total number of vaccinated guests projected to be on board. Unvaccinated guests granted an exemption must abide by certain requirements and protocols, which include:
Presenting a negative PCR COVID-19 test at check-in, taken between 72 and 24 hours prior to the sailing date (for example, if the sailing is on Saturday, the test may be taken any time from Wednesday through Friday, but not on the morning of embarkation). Unvaccinated guests must take an additional antigen test at embarkation, and test again within 24 hours of debarkation on all cruises longer than 4 days. A US$150 per person charge will be assessed to the guest’s onboard Sail and Sign account to cover the cost of testing, reporting and health and safety screenings. Children under two are exempt from testing requirements.
Travel Insurance Requirement — Florida and Texas Based Ships
Unvaccinated guests sailing on a ship departing from Florida or Texas must show proof of travel insurance coverage during check-in. (See section below for full details on travel insurance requirements.)
Doctor’s Note — Florida, Texas, Louisiana, Alabama and Maryland Based Ships
If you received a vaccination exemption for medical reasons, a letter from a medical provider stating the guest cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons must be presented at check-in.
Shore Visits and Excursions
Unvaccinated guests cannot go ashore in the ports of call on their own. Guests may only debark in the ports of call if booked on a Carnival-sponsored bubble tour.
Carnival-approved bubble tours are excursions that operate in a controlled environment. Guests will be escorted from the ship to their excursion and back to the ship immediately upon return from the shore excursion. No unscheduled stops are permitted (i.e., gift shops, bars, restaurants, etc.).
In the event you choose not to purchase a bubble tour, bubble tours are sold out, or cancelled due to weather, unvaccinated guests will have to remain on board.
Guests participating in a bubble tour, regardless of vaccination status, must follow all tour protocols and local guidance regarding testing/screening, mask wearing, physical distancing, etc. We cannot guarantee that additional restrictions will not be imposed by local authorities in the destinations we visit. For example, based on our agreement with San Juan, unvaccinated guests will have to remain on board during our visit there.
Guests who do not comply with the controlled environment of a bubble tour will be removed from the tour.
If your cruise visits a private port of call, such as Half Moon Cay and Princess Cays, unvaccinated guests may go ashore on their own or purchase any of our tours.
Please refer to our Return to Service FAQs
for a complete list of our protocols and requirements, which continue to evolve and may change without prior notice.
A request for a capacity-managed exemption must be submitted within 48 hours of making a new reservation. Requests will be processed after the booking is paid in full, in sailing date order, and once we have finalized the estimated vaccinated guest count.
If you are an unvaccinated guest, your reservation is not considered confirmed unless you receive an approved exemption, which will be issued within 14 days of sailing. Any unvaccinated guests whose exemptions are approved will be required to review and agree to all the restrictions and protocols listed above prior to boarding the ship.
If we are unable to approve the request, guests will have the option to cancel the unvaccinated guest(s) from a reservation, move to a future sailing date or cancel with a full refund to the original form of payment. Unfortunately, we cannot assist with expenses related to a denied exemption request, and guests assume all risks related to non-refundable travel costs (i.e., air fare, hotel).
We recognize that unvaccinated guests will face temporary restrictions during the initial phase of our restart, along with additional costs for testing and insurance and are optimistic these protocols will continue to evolve over time.
All guests traveling on back to back cruises, regardless of vaccination status, will need to be tested in between voyages.