Great news! Carnival Cruise ships are back in the water! We are your resource for the most up to date information around vaccination & testing requirements, whether you will need a mask, taking shore excursions, and health & safety measurements taken by the cruise line.
Carnival has announced New testing requirements for fully vaccinated guests. The CDC requires pre-cruise testing for vaccinated guests to be taken within two days prior to the sailing date.
Quick checklist of what you need prior to boarding your cruise. More details can be found below:
- Pre-cruise vaccine attestation question email within 24 hours of booking (or cruise will be cancelled by Carnival) if unvaccinated guest is on reservation you will need to submit a request for capacity-managed (vaccination) exemption within 48 hours of making reservation.
- Negative viral COVID-19 test taken within 2 days of departure
- Complete online health questionnaire 72 hours prior to sailing
- Vaccine card if vaccinated, Travel Insurance Requirement for unvaccinated guests on Florida & Texas based ships
- Masks are now required for all guests regardless of vaccine status
- Shore excursion requirements
Guests traveling on the following ships will have to be full vaccinated and present a negative viral COVID-19 Test taken within 2 days of departure.
- Carnival Vista® from Galveston; Sailings started July 3, 2021
- Carnival Horizon® from Miami; Sailings started July 4, 2021
- Carnival Breeze® from Galveston; Sailings started July 15, 2021
- Carnival Miracle® from Seattle; Sailings July 27 through September 14, 2021
- Mardi Gras™️ from Port Canaveral; Sailings started July 31, 2021
- Carnival Magic® from Port Canaveral; Sailings started August 7, 2021
- Carnival Sunrise® from Miami; Sailings started August 14, 2021
- Carnival Panorama® from Long Beach; Sailings started August 21, 2021
- Carnival Glory® from New Orleans; Sailings started September 5, 2021
- Carnival Pride® from Baltimore; Sailings started September 12, 2021 *(see below)
- Carnival Dream® from Galveston; Sailings started September 19, 2021
- Carnival Miracle® from Long Beach; Sailings started September 27, 2021
- Carnival Conquest® from Miami; Sailings started October 8, 2021
- Carnival Freedom® from Miami; Sailings started October 9, 2021
- Carnival Elation® from Port Canaveral; Sailings started October 11, 2021
- Carnival Sensation® from Mobile; Sailings started October 21, 2021
Terms and Conditions from Checklist
1. Pre-cruise vaccine attestation email and Non-vaccination exemption:
- Every guest on a reservation is required to complete a pre-cruise online vaccine attestation. When you receive the vaccine attestation, you will be asked to go to Cruise Manager on Carnival.com to submit your information within 48 hours. If you submitted a vaccine exemption request, kindly ensure your responses for each guest align with your exemption request. Failure to comply with pre-cruise information requests on a timely basis are grounds for cancellation.
- If you did not receive the vaccination you will need to complete the capacity-managed (vaccination) exemption form within 48 hours of making a new reservation:
- Requests will be processed after the booking is paid in full, in sailing date order, and once we have finalized the estimated vaccinated guest count.
- If you are an unvaccinated guest, your reservation is not considered confirmed unless you receive an approved exemption, which will be issued within 14 days of sailing.
- Any unvaccinated guests whose exemptions are approved will be required to review and agree to all the restrictions and protocols listed above prior to boarding the ship.
- If Carnival Cruise Line is unable to approve the request, guests will have the option to cancel the unvaccinated guest(s) from a reservation, move to a future sailing date or cancel with a full refund to the original form of payment.
We recognize that unvaccinated guests will face temporary restrictions during the initial phase of our restart, along with additional costs for testing and insurance and are optimistic these protocols will continue to evolve over time.
2. COVID-19 Testing Requirements for sailings up to and including March 31, 2022.
- ALL fully vaccinated guests to present a negative viral COVID-19 test (PCR or antigen) taken within 2 days of their embarkation on all sailings.
- Fully vaccinated guests will be required to provide proof of this negative COVID-19 test along with proof of full vaccination at least 14 days prior to embarkation upon arrival in the terminal and can then proceed on board.
- Please note that testing in the terminal will not be available so it’s critical that you have your negative test results with you at cruise check-in. We will not be able to accommodate guests without proof of a negative test.
Are fully vaccinated guests required to take a pre-travel COVID-19 test?
- The CDC requires pre-cruise testing for vaccinated guests to be taken within two days prior to the sailing date. If the sailing is on Saturday, the test may be taken on Thursday and Friday, and as late as Saturday, if you are guaranteed to receive your results in time for check-in.
What kind of pre-cruise COVID-19 tests are acceptable?
Guests must be tested with a COVID-19 viral test that is either an antigen test or a nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT).
- Antigen tests include (acceptable for fully vaccinated guests only):
- Rapid antigen test
- Viral antigen test
- Antigen Chromatographic Digital Immunoassay
- Antigen Chemiluminescence Immunoassay, or
- Antigen Lateral Flow Fluorescence
- NAAT include (acceptable for vaccinated and unvaccinated guests):
- PCR – Polymerase chain reaction
- RT-PCR – reverse transcription real time PCR
- Quantitative PCR (qPCR)
- Reverse transcription loop-mediated isothermal amplification (RT-LAMP) test
- Transcription-mediated amplification (TMA) test
- Molecular test or molecular diagnostic test
- Isothermal amplification
- Droplet Digital PCR or digital droplet PCR (ddPCR)
- Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)
- A rapid antigen or rapid PCR test is acceptable (of the test types listed above).
Is a self-test acceptable?
Fully vaccinated guests may use a medically observed self-test (sometimes referred to as home test) that meets the following criteria:
- The test must be a COVID-19 viral test (NAAT or antigen test) with Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
- The testing procedure must include a telehealth service affiliated with the manufacturer of the test that provides real-time supervision remotely through an audio and video connection. Some FDA-authorized self-tests that include a telehealth service may require a prescription.
- The telehealth provider must confirm the person’s identity, observe the specimen collection and testing procedures, confirm the test result, and issue a report that meets the requirements of acceptable proof of a negative COVID-19 test.
Where can I get a COVID-19 test?
In order to provide more testing options for our guests, Carnival is sharing these resources:
- Self-administered telehealth COVID-19 tests have been approved by the CDC for vaccinated guests to satisfy the pre-cruise testing requirement. The test must have Emergency Use Authorization from the FDA and the self-test process must happen under live supervision on a video call with a telehealth representative. The telehealth provider must issue you a result document that includes all the necessary information. The result document must be presented at the time of check-in. Fully vaccinated guests may consider using an Abbott BinaxNOW™ COVID-19 Ag Card Home Test which includes a viral antigen home test and the services of an eMed telemedicine professional who will supervise the administration of the home test and provide your results in 15 minutes. Test kits ship to all 50 states and arrive at your door in three business days or less. Order Now Indicates external site which may or may not meet accessibility guidelines. Opens in a new window..
- Carnival Corporation has established an agreement with Quest Diagnostics to facilitate access to pre-cruise COVID-19 viral testing. Guests may schedule testing with Quest Diagnostics at more than 1,500 locations, including Quest Diagnostics patient service centers and select Walmart and other retail pharmacy locations throughout the U.S. Appointments are required and may be scheduled online via Quest Diagnostic's website Indicates external site which may or may not meet accessibility guidelines. Opens in a new window.. Results are typically available within 48 hours via email or mobile application but Quest advises that turnaround time can fluctuate with demand, supplies and other factors, and vary by region. As with any laboratory provider, pricing for COVID-19 testing services may vary. Guests may qualify for testing at no cost to them through their insurance or the government. We urge guests to check with their health plan or the laboratory provider to see if they are eligible before scheduling a test. Guests may visit Quest Diagnostic's website Indicates external site which may or may not meet accessibility guidelines. Opens in a new window. for information.
- Guests may also contact their nearest health center, pharmacy, state health department, or transiting airport to learn more about their availability for COVID-19 testing.
What kind of proof of testing will Carnival accept?
Acceptable proof of PCR/antigen COVID-19 testing includes laboratory test record, digital certificate and healthcare record.
- The results must show first and last name, date of birth, type of test (NAAT or antigen), date and time the sample was taken, test result as either “NEGATIVE” or “NOT DETECTED,” laboratory/testing site or healthcare provider details.
- If there is doubt as to the authenticity or validity of the test, and the testing facility or healthcare provider is not able to be contacted for verification purposes, embarkation may be denied.
Do I need to send you my test results in advance?
No, test results are presented to the health screening staff at the terminal at time of check-in.
3. Complete online health questionnaire 72 hours prior to sailing
- All guests will be asked to complete an online health questionnaire 72 hours prior to sailing and undergo enhanced pre-embarkation health screenings, which will include confirmation of their health screening responses, validation of their vaccination documents and any required COVID-19 testing.
- We will refer anyone with signs and symptoms of COVID-19, or who are identified at-risk, for additional medical screening before allowing them to board. Secondary screenings (and health checks throughout the cruise) will be performed when necessary. Contact tracing is planned for every cruise.
Travel Insurance Requirement for Unvaccinated Guests - Florida & Texas Based Ships -
In addition, sailings departing from Florida, & Texas, guests must also show proof of travel insurance coverage during check-in.
- This requirement is currently being waived for children under 12 who are ineligible for a vaccine. However, parents are advised that purchasing travel insurance for their children is strongly recommended.
- Each unvaccinated guest must provide proof of a valid travel insurance policy at the time of check-in that has a minimum of US$10,000, per person, in medical expense coverage and US$30,000 coverage for emergency medical evacuation and without 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 Carnival Vacation Protection™, which includes the required coverage.
- Vacation Protection is available for purchase until 14 days prior to sailing for guests residing in the U.S. (excluding New York and Puerto Rico), Canada (excluding Quebec), U.S. Virgin Islands (excluding St. Thomas, St. John and St. Croix) and American Samoa (note: your booking must be paid in U.S. currency.) Should you wish to purchase Vacation Protection, please call your travel advisor for all options available.
- Guests without the required proof of insurance will not be permitted to sail and no refund will be provided.
4. Unvaccinated Guests — Exemptions to Vaccination Standards: Sailings through March 31, 2022
Requirements for cruise ships to enter ports outside the U.S. continue to evolve and Carnival Cruise Line must operate in full compliance with these regulations. Vaccine exemptions for cruises to the Caribbean will be limited to a very small number of children under 12, and teens and adults with a medical condition who can provide written confirmation from their medical provider that they cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons. Our sailings from Florida, Texas, Louisiana, Maryland, South Carolina and Alabama will operate under these criteria until March 31, 2022 with the assumption that current and evolving restrictions imposed by destinations will remain in place.
- Vaccine exemptions for ships departing from Long Beach, California will be accepted for children under 12 and as required by U.S. federal law (in accommodation of medical reasons and sincerely held religious beliefs).
- On Carnival Glory® November 28, 2021 from New Orleans; Carnival Legend® January 9, 2022 from Baltimore; Carnival Miracle® January 9, 2022 from Long Beach; Carnival Sunshine® January 17, 2022 from Charleston; and Carnival Miracle® February 20, 2022 from Long Beach, vaccine exemptions will only be accommodated as required by law and destination requirements.
Exemptions for children and adults are not guaranteed and are capacity-controlled based on the total number of vaccinated guests projected to be on board. The number of exemptions we are able to grant is far fewer than the requests we receive. While the decision to vaccinate children is obviously a personal one, if you are a family with children ages 5-11 and want to guarantee your ability to sail together, we encourage you to consider your vaccination options. To meet the definition of “fully vaccinated,” please keep in mind the three-week interval between doses and the two weeks following the final dose. On embarkation day, a minimum of 15 days must have passed since the final dose.
What you need to have to apply for vaccine exemptions:
- The guest’s birth certificate or passport (for children), or a letter from a medical provider stating that the individual cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons, must be presented at check-in, along with the exemption approval letter from Carnival.
- Unfortunately, all other vaccine exemptions previously granted for upcoming sailings cannot be fulfilled due to these new limitations.
- If you have already received an exemption approval for anyone in your party that does not meet the requirements of these two categories (under 12 or proven medical condition that prohibits vaccination), that exemption is no longer valid.
Which COVID-19 vaccines will be accepted?
Acceptable vaccines are those that are approved, or have an emergency use authorization or listing from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or the World Health Organization (WHO).
- Pfizer: 2 Doses
- Moderna: 2 Doses
- Johnson & Johnson: 1 Dose
- AstraZeneca: 2 Doses
- Sinopharm: 2 doses
- Sinovac: 2 Doses
- US ONLY: Novavax clinical trial participants who can confirm that they received the full 2-dose series of the active COVID-19 vaccine.
- EUROPE ONLY: COVID-19 immunity may be considered equivalent to "Fully Vaccinated" if guest received 1 dose of one these vaccines (Comirnaty (Pfizer), Spikevax (Moderna) or Vaxzevria (AstraZeneca)) 14 days or more ago after a previous SARS-CoV-2 infection, with a Digital COVID Certificate of Vaccination.
Can I have mixed vaccines?
Guests will be considered fully vaccinated who have received their final dose of an authorized/approved COVID-19 vaccine, or any combination of two doses of an authorized/approved vaccine at least 14 days before the beginning of the cruise. Acceptable vaccines are those that have been approved/authorized by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or have emergency-use listing by the World Health Organization (WHO).
- MIXED DOSES: Pfizer (1 Dose) + Moderna (1 Dose)
- MIXED DOSES: AstraZeneca (1 Dose) + Pfizer (1 Dose) OR Moderna (1 Dose)
What proof of Vaccine do I need to provide?
Vaccinated cruises are available for guests who have received their final dose of an approved COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days prior to embarkation day and have proof of vaccination. You will also need to provide proof of vaccination at the terminal in advance of boarding, as follows:
- Guests must bring their original vaccination record issued by the country’s health authority that administered the vaccination (i.e., U.S. CDC's Vaccination Record Card). Copies or photos are not accepted.
- The name and birth date on the vaccination card must match the guest’s travel documents and show the guest is fully vaccinated. Vaccine type, dates administered, and lot numbers must be clearly visible. Vaccination dates must indicate the guest has completed the required doses no later than 14 days prior to the sailing date.
- Alternatively, guests may present a digital COVID-19 Certificate (QR code acceptable) and a record of COVID-19 vaccination from a healthcare provider (original digital email accepted), personal electronic health record or government Immunization Information System record.
Do I need a COVID-19 vaccine booster to be considered fully vaccinated?
COVID-19 vaccine boosters are strongly recommended for specific at risk groups by the FDA and US CDC.
- At this time, booster doses are not required to embark.
- Guests who have received the full series of a U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or World Health Organization (WHO) authorized COVID-19 vaccine or a combination of authorized vaccines and have received the last dose at least 14 days prior to the day of embarkation are considered fully vaccinated.
We do not collect vaccination cards or store proof of vaccination. Those cruise lines that have vaccine requirements to cruise will likely ask for proof at the time of boarding.
Please note that these guidelines are subject to change.
5. Masks are required for all passengers
In a temporary change of policy, Carnival Cruise Lines will now require masks for all passengers, both vaccinated and unvaccinated, in certain areas indoors onboard its ships. The new onboard mask policy goes into effect for all cruises departing on or after Saturday, August 7, 2021 up to and including October 31, 2021.
- It is strongly encouraged that all guests wear face masks when indoors, particularly guests who are unvaccinated including children under the age of 12 who should wear masks in public areas, except when eating or drinking.
- All guests ages 2 and older will be required to wear face masks in elevators and in designated indoor entertainment areas, all retail shops, and in the casino, except when eating or drinking.
- Guests will be required to wear face masks prior to being seated in main dining rooms.
- You may occasionally be asked to wear a mask in other designated areas where larger number of guests may congregate.
- As a reminder, masks are required during embarkation and debarkation in the terminal, and masks must also be worn during the debarkation process on board.
- We recommend guests wash or replace their mask daily and choose a good quality double-layer cloth or medical-grade mask.
- Please note that bandanas, neck gaiters and masks with exhaust valves will not be accepted as a substitute for a face mask and that visors and face shields are only permitted when used in addition to a mask
It is recommended that unvaccinated guests maintain physical distancing as follows:
- Indoors – Remain at least 5 feet from others not in your cruise companion group. As such, we encourage you to take the stairs whenever possible, if you are able to do so.
- Outdoors – Remain at least 3 feet from others when not wearing a mask and not in your cruise companion group.
- Unvaccinated guests may have additional mask requirements, such as wearing a mask during a spa treatment.
- Sailings longer than 10 days may have additional mask wearing requirements.
- Vaccinated guests are not required to maintain physical distance on board the ship.
6. Shore Excursions
It will be necessary to follow the health protocols for every port we visit, which are under the control of local government and subject to change without prior notice.
- There is no independent sightseeing in ports of call for unvaccinated guests, who may only debark if booked on a Carnival-sponsored bubble tour.
- Guests must follow all local protocols and we cannot guarantee that additional restrictions will not be imposed by local authorities in the destinations we visit.
- Carnival-approved bubble tours are excursions that operate in a controlled environment. In the event you choose not to purchase a bubble tour, bubble tours are sold out, or cancelled due to weather, unvaccinated guests will have to remain on board for that call.
- Guests will be escorted from the ship to their excursion and back to the ship immediately upon return from the shore excursion. No unscheduled stops are permitted (i.e. gift shops, bars, restaurants, etc.).
- Guests participating in a bubble tour, regardless of vaccination status, must follow all tour protocols and local guidance regarding testing/screening, mask wearing, physical distancing, etc.
- Guests who do not comply with the controlled environment of a bubble tour will be removed from the tour.
- In private ports of call, such as Half Moon Cay and Princess Cays, unvaccinated guests may participate in independent exploration or purchase any of our tours.
These restrictions are under the control of local government and are subject to change without advance notice, so we encourage guests to come prepared for potential mask requirements ashore.
Health & Safety on the Ship
Ships and terminals will undergo a thorough sanitization between sailings and guests will be encouraged to use the hand-washing sinks and hand sanitizer dispensers at venue entrances and in high-traffic areas throughout the ship. Guests will also be asked to follow health information about the ways to stay healthy on board and when ashore.
Carnival has not yet made an announcement about how buffets will operate.
Things to know:
- All guests and crew embarking a ship will likely undergo enhanced pre-embarkation health screening in accordance with prevailing health best practices, such as health questionnaires and touch-free temperature checks as appropriate
- Ships have introduced enhanced fresh air distribution into public spaces and staterooms and HEPA filtration systems to key areas such as Medical Centers and dedicated isolation rooms
- Rapid response and contact tracing plans exist in case of on-board illness
- Ships have a team of highly-trained medical staff including qualified doctors and nurses who have experience in caring for a broad range of medical conditions and medical centers with both outpatient and inpatient facilities including critical care capabilities
- There are enhanced Health & Safety Trainings and Continued Education for Crew Members focusing on COVID-19
Cruise411 has the largest selection of cruise deals for all of the popular cruise lines! Book your next cruise today!
Check here for the most up to date information on each Cruise Destination, including vaccination requirements, mask mandates, shore excursions, and insurance requirements.