Royal Caribbean has released the health and safety protocols that will be implemented when they resume cruises from Miami, Florida on Freedom of the Seas. The cruise ship will be Royal Caribbean’s first to resume cruises from Florida and will sail with both vaccinated and non-vaccinated guests.
Masks will be required when indoors with an exception when in your cabin or actively eating and drinking. The main dining room will have designated areas for vaccinated and non-vaccinated guests and select showtimes in the theater will be separated by vaccinatioin status.
The following protocols apply to ONLY Freedom of the Seas sailings from Miami and not any other cruise ship in their fleet. Guests who would rather not cruise with the safety protocols Royal Caribbean is putting in place can cancel and receive a full refund.
Royal Caribbean is strongly recommending that guests 16 years and older be vaccinated. Those who cruise on Freedom of the Seas and are not vaccinated will undergo additional COVID-19 testing at their own expense.
Testing will take place prior to embarkation and onboard prior to disembarkation. Testing at the terminal prior to embarkation and onboard prior to disembarkation will be conducted by licensed and accredited third-party testing providers Royal Caribbean has contracted. Unvaccinated guests must register for this testing and agree to the third-party testing provider terms and conditions.
The total charge from the third-party testing vendor for these tests is $136. This amount will be applied to the guest’s onboard expense account. Royal Caribbean will pay the testing vendor(s) on the guest’s behalf and will not retain any part of the testing costs. For children not yet eligible to be vaccinated, Royal Caribbean will cover the cost of any required testing.
Guests who are not vaccinated will also need to get tested pre-cruise. Unvaccinated guests 16 years and older will need to undergo an RT-PCR test administered by an accredited laboratory of the guest’s choice, and taken within three days of sailing. Royal Caribbean will require documentation of a negative result for this test prior to embarkation. All costs for this test are the unvaccinated guest’s responsibility.
Guests two years and younger will not have to get tested before or during the cruise.
At this time, vaccinated and unvaccinated guests will be required to wear masks indoors unless seated and actively eating or drinking. Masks are not required in your stateroom when you are with your traveling party, outdoors, or at Perfect Day at CocoCay, unless in a crowded setting. Guests under the age of 2 do not have to wear a mask.
Masks won’t be required for vaccinated guests when in venues (bars, lounges, restaurants and entertainment) or at events designated for vaccinated guests only.
Royal Caribbean expects to receive additional guidance from the CDC regarding masks for vaccinated guests in the coming days.
Venues will be set up with proper spacing and Royal Caribbean will be asking guests to abide by physical distancing, especially when interacting with those outside of your traveling party.
All dining venues will offer spaced seating. Royal Caribbean is strongly encouraging guests to make dining reservations via Cruise Planner before your cruise or the Royal Caribbean app onboard.
In the Main Dining Room, Royal Caribbean will designate areas for vaccinated and unvaccinated reservations to dine separately. Because of this, My Time Dining will not be available to unvaccinated guests. Windjammer, the buffet on board, will not be self-serve and crew members will plate the food for you.
Venues will offer spaced seating and more showtimes throughout the cruise. Select showtimes will be for vaccinated guests and others for vaccinated and unvaccinated guests. Reservations can be made once onboard using the Royal Caribbean app.
All guests are subject to restrictions and requirements as defined by local authorities in the ports that Royal Caribbean visits. Royal Caribbean believes that it is reasonable to expect that unvaccinated guests will be subject to stricter protocols than vaccinated guests.
Freedom of the Seas will begin sailing out of Miami on July 2 offering short cruises to the Bahamas. The cruise ship will offer three and four night cruises that include a visit to the cruise line’s private island, CocoCay.
The vessel will be the second Royal Caribbean cruise ship to resume sailings to the Bahamas. Adventure of the Seas was the cruise line’s first ship to resume Bahamas sailings and is currently offering seven night cruises out of Nassau.