Carnival announces new testing protocols

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Carnival announces new testing protocols and mobile testing at homeports

In response to recent CDC driven cruise health and safety protocol changes, Carnival Cruise Line announced they’d be making a key change to pre-cruise testing timeframes for all cruise passengers. The news was released early this morning on John Heald‘s facebook page, and was later updated on the Carnival Cruise Line website, and in a letter to booked guests.

In a letter sent to guests on September 2, 2021, Carnival President Christine Duffy shared two critical updates for passengers departing on sailings after September 13.

Cruisers must test one day sooner

Duffy opens:

“We are sending you this notice to let you know the CDC recently changed its testing guidance for vaccinated guests. Effective with sailings departing as of September 13, vaccinated guests must present a PCR or Antigen COVID-19 test taken within two-days prior to their sailing date.  For example, if your sailing is departing on Saturday, the test may be taken Thursday or Friday, or as late as the day of sailing as long as you are guaranteed to receive your results by check-in time.”

Heald clarified in his Facebook live that the testing timeframe was NOT time sensitive. Meaning, cruisers can test any time two days before their cruise, and are not bound to a 48 hour timeframe. So, if a cruise departs on a Saturday, cruise travelers can test anytime on Thursday, Friday, or Saturday.

Carnival offers a solution for time-crunched cruisers

In hopes that the line can offer a solution for those who find this new 2-day testing window to be difficult based on test result turnaround times, or availability of testing in their area, Carnival is offering a solution. However, the date for implementation has not yet been announced. Duffy continues:

“We realize some of our guests are having a challenge getting a pre-cruise COVID-19 test, especially considering this new guidance.  We are working to set up mobile testing sites at all our embarkation homeports to conduct a rapid test the day before or day of your departure.  We are still working out the details and will announce those shortly on our Have Fun. Be Safe. page on Carnival.com“.

Is it free?

Nope. But prices haven’t been released just yet.

Duffy continued, “Carnival will be subsidizing the infrastructure of the mobile testing sites, but the company providing the testing will charge a per person fee (to be established).  Providers will not accept insurance, but you will be provided a receipt should you wish to submit the cost to your insurance carrier.  You should consider this as a back-up alternative should you not be able to make arrangements.  The mobile labs will either be in or adjacent to our terminals, or within walking distance.  Please continue to stay informed by visiting our  Have Fun. Be Safe. page on Carnival.com.” 

See more Carnival Cruise news here.

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Sheri and her family are California based cruise content creators focused on providing practical tips and advice to new and seasoned cruisers. CruiseTipsTV’s audience enjoys following Sheri and her family as they travel the world by ship creating travel films. Sheri has visited destinations like Japan, Mexico, Alaska, Europe and the Caribbean, and has experienced 33 cruises on 6 cruise lines. She was named one of Porthole Cruise Magazine’s 10 Travel Influencers Changing How We Vacation in 2018 and 2019. Sheri has been quoted in the New York Times, CNBC, Forbes, Prevention, and Business Innovator Radio. Her YouTube Channel, CruiseTipsTV has over 87,000 subscribers and 17 million views.