Royal Caribbean Cruise Line Releases a Florida Sailings’ Protocol Update

by Jul 12, 2021

This morning Royal Caribbean Cruise Line released a new update on the Florida sailing protocols for guests sailing beginning August 1st. They shared their new and updated protocols with us, and we wanted to pass them along to you as well.

This information only applies to guests on sailings out of Florida in August 2021, and not before. Health and safety protocols are subject to change and as these occur, and we will update you if they change. Keep in mind, the best resource for updates on cruising and the most current policy/procedure would be your Key to the World travel advisor.

Please see the latest update directly from Royal Caribbean Cruise Line below:


Protocols for Vaccinated Guests

  • With proper documentation, fully vaccinated guests require no additional testing for COVID-19, unless it’s needed for their post-cruise destination
  • Fully vaccinated parties can visit ports freely unless restricted by local authorities

Protocols for Unvaccinated Guests

  • Unvaccinated guests 12 and older: Must show a negative test result from a PCR test for COVID-19 taken no more than three days prior to sailing
  • Will be charged $178 for additional testing at the terminal and onboard as described below
  • Must purchase and bring documentation of travel insurance to cover medical and travel costs related to a positive COVID-19 test result

Unvaccinated guests ages 2 to 11:

  • Will undergo an embarkation PCR test for COVID-19 and an onboard antigen test prior to debarkation at no additional charge

Parties with any unvaccinated guests (including parents with unvaccinated children) must book an approved shore excursion to visit any port, other than Perfect Day at CocoCay.

Detailed COVID-19 Testing Requirements

As a requirement to sail with us, all unvaccinated guests must undergo multiple COVID-19 tests as described below. Testing at the terminal prior to embarkation and onboard prior to disembarkation will be conducted by licensed and accredited third-party testing providers we have contracted. Our unvaccinated guests must register for this testing and agree to the third-party testing provider terms and conditions. Registration details will be sent via email in advance.

The total charge from the third-party testing vendor for guests 12 and older is $178. 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. We will cover the cost of any required testing for children 2 to 11 years old.

Pre-Cruise Testing

Unvaccinated guests 12 and older will need to undergo a PCR test for COVID-19 administered by an accredited laboratory of the guest’s choice and taken no more than three days prior to sailing. We will require documentation of a negative result for this test prior to embarkation. All costs for this test are the unvaccinated guest’s responsibility.

At the Terminal

Unvaccinated guests 2 years and older are required to take a PCR test for COVID-19 when checking in at the terminal, which will be administered by one of our testing vendors. Registration details will be sent via email in advance.


Mid-way through the cruise, unvaccinated guests 12 and older are required to undergo an antigen test for COVID-19 by one of our testing vendors. Guests will be notified onboard about how to register for this test.

Prior to Disembarking

While onboard, unvaccinated guests 2 years and older will be required to undergo antigen testing within 24 hours of the end of voyage. This test will be conducted the day before the cruise ends by one of our testing vendors. Guests will be notified onboard about how to register for this test. Vaccinated guests who require an antigen or PCR test for entry into their destination country may receive one onboard at no charge.

Additional Information

Insurance Requirement

As a condition of boarding, each unvaccinated guest 12 and older departing from a Florida homeport on a Royal Caribbean International cruise must provide proof of a valid insurance policy that has a minimum of (a) $25,000 per person in medical expense coverage and (b) $50,000 coverage for emergency medical evacuation and no COVID-19 exclusions.

The insurance policy must name the unvaccinated guest as the policy holder or beneficiary and may be purchased from a travel insurance company of the guest’s choosing or through the Royal Caribbean Travel Protection Program which fulfills these requirements and provides other benefits for travel protection. Insurance is required for sailings from August 1 through December 31, 2021 (except for bookings made between March 19, 2021 and June 28, 2021).

Going Ashore

Parties that wish to go ashore and include any unvaccinated guests, including parents traveling with unvaccinated children, must book a shore excursion through Royal Caribbean International that is provided by an independent local tour operator that has agreed to comply with recommended health protocols. These shore excursions may be purchased in advance on the Cruise Planner website or once onboard at the shore excursion desk or using the Royal Caribbean app. Fully vaccinated parties may book a shore excursion or visit the port freely. All guests are also subject to restrictions and requirements as defined by local authorities in the ports we visit.

What To Bring

Travel Documentation Checklist

  1. All guests: Passport books (not cards) are preferred, but not required. Birth certificates and driver’s licenses are accepted when passports are not available. Passports must have a validity of at least six months after the sailing’s return date.
  2. Vaccinated guests: A COVID-19 vaccination record card.
  3. Unvaccinated guests 12 and older: A negative COVID-19 test result and proof of travel insurance.


If you have questions about these protocols or have any concerns about sailing as a result of them, please contact your Key to the World Travel Advisor today to talk about your options.

Source: Royal Caribbean Cruise Line/Getting Ready to Cruise

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