Home / Blog / Carnival cruise line developing in terminal COVID testing

Carnival cruise line developing in terminal COVID testing

John Heald
The Cruise Genius with Carnival’s John Heald on the Carnival Mardi Gras

To be able to comply with CDC regulations pertaining to COVID testing, Carnival is developing in-terminal COVID testing capability. This is a win-win for both Carnival and cruisers!

The below information is taking directly from the Carnival website:

Mobile Testing

We realize some of our guests are having a challenge getting a pre-cruise COVID-19 test, especially with the new two-day window established by the CDC that goes into effect on September 13, 2021. 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 ask that you check back on this page. 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.

Unvaccinated Guests — Exemptions to Vaccination Standards

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. Vaccine exemptions for cruises to the Caribbean will be limited to a very small number of children under 12, and teens and adults with a medical condition who can provide written confirmation from their medical provider that they cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons. Our sailings from Florida, Texas, Louisiana, and Maryland will operate under these criteria until December 31, 2021 with the assumption that current and evolving restrictions imposed by destinations will remain in place.

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; Carnival Pride® October 31, 2021 from Baltimore; Carnival Glory® November 28, 2021 from New Orleans; and Carnival Miracle® November 28, 2021 from Long Beach, 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, 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.

Click on the link below for details of the story mentioned in this blog post.


About Scott Lara

President of MilitaryFares.com. Navy Veteran, Travel Agent, love to cruise!

Check Also

Virgin Voyages has a great offer!

The Cruise Genius in Bimini! Virgin Voyages is offering a month-long voyage in the Med. …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.