I always enjoy sharing my perspective about travel on News4Jax (WJXT, Channel 4 in Jacksonville.) Today I shared my thoughts on Carnival cruise line mandating travel insurance for non-vaccinated passengers, the viral video of a woman being kicked off a Royal Caribbean cruise ship, and all-inclusive resorts.
It’s hard to squeeze in a ton of information in a 4 minute news segment, but here’s a quick overview from BusinessInsider.com, “Cruise lines have found a way around Florida’s firm vaccine passport ban, but that doesn’t mean unvaccinated passengers should expect equal treatment aboard cruises sailing out of the Sunshine State.
It’ll actually be the opposite: unlike their vaccinated counterparts, unvaccinated guests aboard Carnival and Royal Caribbean’s Florida cruises will have to pay for travel insurance and COVID-19 tests, but will still be barred from select areas of the ships.
In April, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis issued an executive orderbanning vaccine passports and Florida businesses from requiring said proof of vaccination. Shortly after, the state passed a law officially banning vaccine passports.
Any company violating the ban could be fined $5,000 per customer.
Frank Del Rio — president and CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings (NCLH) — has already threatened to pull Norwegian’s Florida cruises if it can’t operate with a vaccine mandate. And this month, NCLH sued Florida’s surgeon general over the law and has asked the US District Court for the Southern District of Florida to grant a preliminary injunction against the vaccine passport ban.
But unlike Norwegian, other cruise lines have decided against a vaccine mandate for Florida sailings, even if the same companies have vaccination requirements for almost all other sailings out of non-Florida home ports.
This might give unvaccinated passengers a chance to cruise, but their experience will be both more expensive and more limited compared to vaccinated guests. This could disincentivize unvaccinated people from cruising, even if the reasons behind these disparities are tied to health protocols and security.
Starting August 1 through the end of the year, all unvaccinated Royal Caribbean Florida cruise passengers 12-years-old or older will have to show proof of travel insurance. The insurance must have a minimum of $25,000 in medical expense coverage and $50,000 for “quarantine and medical evacuation related to a positive COVID-19 test result” per person.
Carnival has a similar requirement for its Florida sailings: beginning July 31, every unvaccinated passenger 12-years-old or older will have to show proof of travel insurance, which has to cover a minimum of $10,000 in medical expenses and $30,000 in “emergency medical evacuation and without COVID-19 exclusions.”
Unvaccinated Carnival guests who don’t show proof of the vaccine will not be allowed to board and will not receive a refund. And like Royal Caribbean, Carnival passengers who don’t want the jabs will also have to cough up an additional $150 for COVID-19 tests and other “health screening measures.”
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