According to Royal Caribbean spokesperson Lyan Sierra-Caro, the insurance “must cover medical, travel and other related costs for COVID-19 should they test positive while onboard.”
Earlier this month, two unvaccinated teenagers supposedly tested positive for COVID-19 while onboard the cruise ship Adventure of the Seas. Two more people were apparently infected while onboard a second ship, Celebrity Millennium. The cruise line is blaming the added expenses unvaccinated individuals have to incur to enjoy their services on these recent COVID-19 cases.
Royal Caribbean did not mention the postponing of the departure of a third ship, Odyssey Of The Seas after several vaccinated crew members tested positive for the coronavirus. (Related: Royal Caribbean discovers that vaccines cause outbreaks, after eight vaccinated crew members test POSITIVE for COVID.)
The insurance requirement applies to sailings departing from Florida between Aug. 1 through Dec. 31 and all bookings after June 28. The proof of travel insurance for unvaccinated individuals must be shown at check-in.
The company said the insurance policy must provide a minimum of $25,000 worth of coverage per person for medical expenses and $50,000 per person for travel expenses. Alternatively, unvaccinated passengers can avail themselves of Royal Caribbean’s Travel Protection Program package. This costs between $39 and $1,000 per person, depending on the cost of the cruise.
Due to Florida law, companies like Royal Caribbean are barred from requiring passengers to show proof of vaccination. The company is instead “strongly” recommending eligible passengers traveling from Florida to get vaccinated.
“Those who are unvaccinated or unable to verify vaccination will be required to undergo testing and follow other protocols at their own expense,” said Sierra-Caro.
Royal Caribbean is currently carrying out test cruises ordered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to comply with the agency’s guidelines. The test cruise was required because the cruise line does not expect to meet the CDC’s requirement of having at least 95 percent of passengers vaccinated against COVID-19.
“As a family brand, Royal Caribbean typically sees that children under the age of 12 make up 10 percent of our guests onboard and today, they are ineligible for the vaccine,” said Sierra-Caro. “Which is why we elected to conduct simulation cruises, per the CDC’s two pathways they laid out, to test health and safety protocols since we expect to return to sailing with less than 95 percent fully vaccinated guests.”
Unvaccinated passengers unable to enjoy many cruise activities and services
Royal Caribbean recently outlined what specific venues on one of its Florida-based cruise ships, Freedom of the Seas, will be open only to vaccinated passengers when the ship starts sailing.
The list of vaccinated person-only venues include:
- Casino Bar
- Casino Royale
- The Chef’s Table
- Izumi Hibachi and Sushi
- R Bar
- Schooner Bar
- Solarium Bar
- Solarium Pool
- The Pub
- Viking Crown Nightclub
- Vitality Spa
The Casino Royale and the Vitality Spa are the ship’s only casino and spa, respectively. This means unvaccinated individuals will be locked out of many of the ship’s most popular venues, including most of its main bars, two food venues, a pool and the ship’s nightclub.
In addition, many other activities and shows will be off-limits to unvaccinated passengers. This includes a game show and a themed party. Unvaccinated passengers who want to catch a show in the ship’s theater or the ship’s ice rink will only be able to watch these shows from a single area of the theater and the rink.
Lastly, unvaccinated passengers will only be allowed access to the ship’s Vitality Fitness Center during certain times of the day.
These rules apply both to unvaccinated passengers and to vaccinated passengers who are either unable or unwilling to provide the company with proof of vaccination.
Learn more about Royal Caribbean’s attempts to segregate unvaccinated individuals by reading the latest articles at Vaccines.news.