Guide to the pre-cruise Covid test

Understanding the Covid testing requirements needed for a Royal Caribbean cruise can be a bit confusing. In reality, however, taking a Covid test before your cruise just requires a little planning ahead.

Some countries and regions have relaxed Covid-19 requirements while others maintain stricter requirements. For this reason, each port may have its own testing requirements, so it is important to ensure that you meet the requirements of your cruise departure port.

In this guide:

Passengers departing from U.S. homeports (excluding itineraries visiting Canada or Bermuda) must adhere to the following guidelines:

Cruises 5 nights or less:

  • Unvaccinated guests between the ages of 2 and 11 must present a negative COVID-19 test result (PCR or antigen) taken from 3 days of the departure date. A second test is no longer necessary at the terminal.
  • Fully vaccinated guests, regardless of age, no need to test anymore for navigation times of 5 nights or less.

Cruises 6 nights or more:

  • All the guests must present a negative COVID-19 test result (PCR or antigen) performed in 3 days of the departure date. A second test is no longer required for guests at the terminal.

Cruises departing from US homeports with stops in Bermuda or Canada:

Testing requirement on all cruises, regardless of duration:

  • Vaccinated guests must present a negative COVID-19 test result (PCR or antigen) performed in 2 days of the departure date.
  • Unvaccinated guests between the ages of 2 and 11 must present a negative COVID-19 test result taken no more than 3 days before the day of embarkation. Only PCR tests will be accepted for unvaccinated children, and the test cannot be performed on the day of embarkation.
  • Unvaccinated passengers between the ages of 2 and 11 will undergo another COVID-19 test at the cruise terminal on the day of embarkation.

Cruises from Vancouver, Canada

  • Vaccinated guests must present a negative COVID-19 test result (PCR or antigen) performed in 2 days of the departure date.
  • Unvaccinated guests between the ages of 2 and 11 must present a negative COVID-19 test result taken from 3 days of the departure date. Only PCR tests will be accepted for unvaccinated children, and the test cannot be performed on the day of boarding.
  • Unvaccinated passengers between the ages of 2 and 11 will undergo another COVID-19 test at the cruise terminal on the day of embarkation.

To note: PCR tests for unvaccinated children are the only test to adhere to a requirement of hours as opposed to days. Tests should not be taken more than 72 hours before the scheduled boarding time on the day of boarding. For example, if you are due to board at 12 p.m. on Friday, your test must be taken after 11:59 a.m. on Tuesday.

All travelers arriving in Canada by air or sea will also need to complete a form on the ArriveCAN app.

Related: How to use the ArriveCAN app for your Alaska cruise

Cruises departing from European home ports (excluding Greece and Spain)

  • All vaccinated guests must present a negative COVID-19 test result (PCR or antigen) taken in 2 days of the departure date.
  • Unvaccinated children between the ages of 2 and 17 must present a negative COVID-19 test result (PCR or antigen) taken in One day of the departure date.

Cruises from Athens, Greece

  • All guests 2 years of age and older must present a negative COVID-19 test result (PCR or antigen) taken from 2 days of the departure date.
  • Telehealth tests are not accepted on cruises departing from Athens.

In addition to the pre-cruise test, passengers aged 12 and over who are considered not up to date with their vaccinations, or who are not vaccinated with an EMA-authorized vaccine, will be required to take tests. extra on board at their own expense, in order to go ashore in certain countries.

Passengers 12 years and older who are not up to date with their vaccinations will undergo an antigen test the day before the day of disembarkation. Passengers will be informed on board how to register for this test. The cost of the test is their responsibility, conducted on board by an approved third party test provider at a cost of USD 55 per test. Royal Caribbean does not retain any portion of the testing costs.

Cruises departing from Spain

  • Vaccinated guests who are up to date on vaccines must have a negative COVID-19 test result (PCR or antigen) performed in 3 days of the departure date.
  • Vaccinated guests who are outdated on vaccines must have a negative COVID-19 test result (PCR or antigen) performed in One day of the departure date.
  • Unvaccinated children 2-11 years old must have a negative COVID-19 test result (PCR or antigen) taken from One day of the departure date.

To note: To see if you are up to date with your vaccinations, click here.

Cruises from Australia

Testing protocols have yet to be released for Australia cruises. However, Royal Caribbean said it is likely all guests will be required to present a negative Covid-19 test.

Cruises from Singapore

  • All customers must present a negative COVID-19 test result (nasal swab or saliva test) performed in One day of the departure date. Test results must be in English.

Depending on your port of departure and your vaccination status, you will need to take a Covid 1, 2 or 3 day test before your departure date.

Test required within 3 days of departure date:

  • If your cruise departs on Sunday, you can take your Covid test on Thursday, Friday, Saturday or Sunday
  • If your cruise departs on Monday, you can take your Covid test Friday, Saturday, Sunday or Monday
  • If your cruise departs on Tuesday, you can take your Covid test on Saturday, Sunday, Monday or Tuesday
  • If your cruise departs on Wednesday, you can take your Covid test on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday
  • If your cruise departs on Thursday, you can take your Covid test on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday
  • If your cruise departs on Friday, you can take your Covid test on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday or Friday
  • If your cruise departs on Saturday, you can take your Covid test on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday or Saturday

Test required within 2 days of departure date:

  • If your cruise departs on Sunday, you can take your Covid test on Friday, Saturday or Sunday
  • If your cruise departs on Monday, you can take your Covid test on Saturday, Sunday or Monday
  • If your cruise departs on Tuesday, you can take your Covid test on Sunday, Monday or Tuesday
  • If your cruise departs on Wednesday, you can take your Covid test on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday
  • If your cruise departs on Thursday, you can take your Covid test on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday
  • If your cruise departs on Friday, you can take your Covid test on Wednesday, Thursday or Friday
  • If your cruise departs on Saturday, you can take your Covid test on Thursday, Friday or Saturday

Test required within one day of departure date:

  • If your cruise departs on Sunday, you can take your Covid test on Saturday or Sunday
  • If your cruise departs on Monday, you can take your Covid test on Sunday or Monday
  • If your cruise departs on Tuesday, you can take your Covid test on Monday or Tuesday
  • If your cruise departs on Wednesday, you can take your Covid test on Tuesday or Wednesday
  • If your cruise departs on Thursday, you can take your Covid test on Wednesday or Thursday
  • If your cruise departs on Friday, you can take your Covid test on Thursday or Friday
  • If your cruise departs on Saturday, you can take your Covid test on Friday or Saturday

It doesn’t matter how many hours have passed since your test. Royal Caribbean counts tests by days, not hours, so there’s no need to worry if it’s been around 50 hours instead of 48 hours since your test by the time you board the ship. vessel.

The easiest and most convenient option for travelers eligible for antigen testing is to order the Abbott BinaxNow Ag Card home test. This is a telehealth option where an invigilator monitors and guides you through the Covid test. Tests come in packs of 2-6, and it is recommended to order more than needed in case of test discrepancies (missing items, invalid result, etc.).

To note: Do not use the regular Abbot BinaxNow test sold without a prescription, because there is no proctor watching you.

Pharmacies such as CVS and Walgreens also offer Covid rapid and PCR tests. Look for appointments near you before the cruise to make sure you can book one. These tests are free. The ease of finding a Covid appointment at a pharmacy can change depending on demand and your location, so check early to see if this option will work for you.

In addition to home testing and pharmacies, Covid testing can be found at urgent care locations, pop-up testing sites, health clinics, and more. Research what’s on offer in your area well in advance to ensure you don’t run into any surprises when trying to schedule a Covid test.

Our recommendation, when possible, is to do a rapid antigen test rather than a PCR test. The results come back much faster, so there is no need to worry about not receiving the results in time.

Covid test results should include the following:

  • Your name
  • Date the test was taken
  • Type of Covid test
  • Negative result
  • CLIA or laboratory certification number
  • Laboratory address

How do I submit my test results?

Test results may be displayed on a phone or on printed paper at the cruise terminal.

Additional testing requirements per port

Most countries have gotten rid of incoming test requirements upon arrival by land, air or sea. Before your cruise, however, check again to ensure that no negative COVID-19 test results are needed upon arrival at your destination.

Here are the current protocol websites by country:

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