Royal Caribbean Further Eases Restrictions for Two Destinations

Royal Caribbean International has once again updated its health and safety protocols, canceling pre-cruise testing for guests traveling to Haiti or Honduras on cruises departing from their home in the United States or the Caribbean from November 9, 2022, regardless of vaccination status.

With this update, only guests who are going to visit Colombia, or who are sailing across the Atlantic, or Cruising from Australia Will require COVID-19 tests prior to the cruise.

More test requirements have been dropped

Royal Caribbean has emailed guests booked on upcoming cruises with updated health and safety protocols.

“Effective November 9, 2022, not all passengers on sailing ships in the United States — regardless of vaccination status — will require pre-departure testing (except for cruises to Colombia),” Read email.

Previously, pre-cruise testing was also required for all cruises visiting Haiti or Honduras, both of which are popular ports of call with private resort destinations.

The Royal Caribbean Ship in Lapade Haiti
Image credit: NAN728 /

In Haiti, the Royal Caribbean ships are often requested Labadi, the cruise line’s private island On the north coast. Several ships routinely visit Labadi each week.

in honduras, Roatan Island It is the preferred port of call, visited by many cruise lines. In addition to Royal Caribbean ships, Carnival Cruise Line, Virgin Voyages, Viking Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, and other lines visit the port.

Guests do not need to be vaccinated to sail to either destination, but previously, unvaccinated guests 12 and older were required to submit negative COVID-19 test results prior to their cruise.

Testing still required for Colombia - but only for some guests

With these changes, only US cruises visiting Colombia now require pre-cruise testing. However, this requirement does not apply to all passengers on board.

In accordance with Royal Caribbean International’s pre-cruise testing requirements, with respect to Colombia, “Guests under the age of 12 and guests who have been fully vaccinated do not have any requirements for testing.”

Guests over the age of 12 who have not been fully vaccinated - defined as 14 days after the full dose series for the type of vaccine applied - will now need to undergo pre-cruise testing.

Tests can be done up to three days before departure, and any type of PCR or antigen test, can be under professional supervision or self-administered at home without supervision.

Royal Caribbean cruise ship
Image source: StudioPortoSabbia / Shutterstock

It is the guests’ responsibility to make their own pre-cruise testing arrangements if necessary, and they are responsible for all associated testing costs.

Colombia has many cruise ports, the most famous of which is Cartagena, the fifth largest city in the country, located in the center of the northern Caribbean coast.

The next Royal Caribbean ship scheduled to call up Cartagena is see the seaswhich will visit the port on November 20 as part of a nine-night, round-trip Southern Caribbean sailing trip from Fort Lauderdale that will leave Florida on November 16.

Regardless of the destination, Royal Caribbean International recommends that guests be fully vaccinated and boosted prior to travel, although vaccination is not required.

Will the protocols change this winter?

While it is encouraging that more vaccination and pre-cruise testing requirements continue to be relaxed at many popular cruise destinations, travelers should always be aware that requirements can change.

Cruise lines are constantly monitoring guidance from their local ports as well as their contact points, and will adapt cruise requirements as necessary to meet changing protocols.

Guests booked on any cruise line should keep in close contact for updates as their sailing date approaches, to ensure they comply with any protocol or changes in requirements that may affect their cruise.

Royal Caribbean cruise ship in Haiti