Carnival Updates Vaccine & Mask Policy

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Carnival Mask policy

In a letter sent to Travel Advisors and guests booked on upcoming cruises, Carnival has updated their mask and vaccine policies for sailings starting August 14. No mention was made of when the policy will change or end, however, the letter did state the changes are expected to be temporary.

The main change will require ALL fully vaccinated guests to produce a negative viral COVID-19 test (PCR or antigen) taken within 3 days of their embarkation on all Carnival Cruise Line sailings. Prior to this update, only unvaccinated guests were required to test prior to boarding.

New Mask Policy

The first mask update stresses that the line will strongly encourage all guests to wear face masks when indoors, particularly guests who are unvaccinated including children under the age of 12 who should wear masks in public areas, except when eating or drinking.


In addition, All guests age 2 and older will be required to wear face masks in elevators and in designated indoor entertainment areas, all retail shops, and in the casino, except when eating or drinking.

Guests will be required to wear face masks prior to being seated in main dining rooms and in the Lido Buffet area and occasionally in other designated areas where larger number of guests may congregate.

Carnival Mask policy

The letter reads:

August 4, 2021
We look forward to welcoming you on board your upcoming cruise.  Carnival’s restart of cruising from the U.S. last month has been successful, our guests and crew are excited to be sailing again, and more ships are returning to service over the coming weeks!

As always, our primary commitment is to the health, safety and well-being of our guests, crew and the communities where we bring our ships.  We will continue to operate vaccinated cruises as defined by the CDC, including having our crew fully vaccinated.  In an abundance of caution and in response to the increasing number of cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. caused by the Delta variant, we are updating our protocols and requirements.  We expect these measures will be temporary and we will adjust our protocols based on the advice of our medical and public health advisors.    

Please carefully review the information below regarding new, temporary testing requirements:

  • Effective with cruises departing on Saturday, August 14, 2021, we will require ALL fully vaccinated guests to produce a negative viral COVID-19 test (PCR or antigen) taken within 3 days of their embarkation on all Carnival Cruise Line sailings. Guests who are unvaccinated will continue to follow the requirements already communicated (and as detailed below).
  • Fully vaccinated guests will be required to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test along with proof of full vaccination upon arrival in the terminal and can then proceed on board. Please note that testing in the terminal will not be available for vaccinated guests so it’s critical that you have your negative test results with you upon your arrival. We will not be able to accommodate guests without proof of a negative test. Please check our Have Fun. Be Safe.  protocols at Carnival.com for further details on testing requirements.
  • Guests who are not fully vaccinated are still required to show the negative results of a PCR test taken between 72 and 24 hours prior to the sailing date, and will be tested again in the terminal prior to boarding the ship and again within 24 hours of debarkation (for itineraries five days or longer). Unvaccinated guests approved for an exemption will continue to be charged US$150, per person, for testing, reporting and health safety screenings, and also must provide proof of travel insurance if departing from the states of Florida or Texas.
  • Children under two are exempt from testing requirements. 

In addition to testing requirements, we are also making adjustments to our onboard mask policy effective with cruises beginning this Saturday, August 7, 2021, as follows:

  • First, we strongly encourage all guests to wear face masks when indoors, particularly guests who are unvaccinated including children under the age of 12 who should wear masks in public areas, except when eating or drinking.
  • All guests age 2 and older will be required to wear face masks in elevators and in designated indoor entertainment areas, all retail shops, and in the casino, except when eating or drinking.
  • Guests will be required to wear face masks prior to being seated in our main dining rooms and in the Lido Buffet area and occasionally in other designated areas where larger number of guests may congregate.  
  • As a reminder, masks are required during embark and debark in the terminal, and masks should also be worn during the debarkation process on board.

These new requirements are being implemented to protect our guests and crew while on board.  Several destinations have implemented their own requirements and all guests will be required to follow the protocols in each destination we visit. As stated above, we expect these requirements will be temporary and we appreciate your cooperation and look forward to welcoming you aboard.

Sincerely,

Christine Duffy
President, Carnival Cruise Line

See more news from Carnival Cruise Line here.

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