In addition to receiving permission to sail from a US Port, Celebrity Cruises has announced new protocols for guests sailing this summer.
These include changes to mask, vaccine, and shore excursion rules and apply to summer cruises from St. Maarten and Athens, Greece.
During a webinar with travel agents, Dondra Ritzenthaler, Celebrity Cruises Senior Vice President of Sales and Trade Support & Service, announced the new protocols for guests sailing with Celebrity.
These policies are relevant to guests sailing on ‘Celebrity Millennium’ (pictured) in a few weeks, plus the ‘Celebrity Apex’ from Greece.
The major health protocols announced include:
- Guests of 16 and above need to be vaccinated, replacing the previous rule of 18 years old or older.
- Fully vaccinated passengers can book third party shore excursions, and not limited to cruise line tours, if the port allows it.
- Celebrity will advise guests on board if they can go on their own or not, and/or need to wear a mask in port.
- On board the ship, fully vaccinated passengers are not required to wear masks inside or outside, while maintaining a safe distance from other passengers.
- Back to back sailings are permitted for fully vaccinated guests.
- Vaccinated guests on these sailings will take another antigen test before the second leg.
- Unvaccinated cruisers will have to take a second PCR test.
The mask rule change is arguably the biggest policy shift, although those that are not vaccinated will still be required to wear them. However, Ritzenthaler said you will not need to wear a mask while seated for dinner, nor outdoors.
Guests of 15 years old and below would have to wear masks in some situations, but not on the entire cruise, “If you’re not vaccinated and you can’t be vaccinated, you’re 15 and below, then you will have to wear a mask if you’re going from your room to the restaurant.
“But then when you’re seated, you don’t have to wear it and you don’t have to wear it when you’re outdoors,” she said.
Celebrity will also provide guests returning to the US a Covid-19 test to re-enter the country.
These new protocols are more of a preview of the full set of health and safety protocols to be released soon, which may also be tied to a restart of cruises from the US.
Celebrity Cruises is the sister company to Royal Caribbean, and it is possible, but not confirmed that Royal Caribbean may have the same protocols.
Royal Caribbean has not revealed its set of protocols, although it was due to hold a similar webinar with travel agents.
‘Celebrity Millennium’ will be the first Royal Caribbean Group ship to resume Caribbean cruises on 5th June, with ‘Adventure of the Seas’ following a week later.
Royal Caribbean’s ships will have reduced capacity (around 50% initially) along with fully vaccinated adults on board.