Royal Caribbean, Carnival, Norwegian Face New Covid Battle

When the cruise industry returned from the lockdown imposed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from US ports in July 2021, I was one of approximately 800 passengers on Royal Caribbean’s maiden sailing. (RCL) Freedom of the seas.

The protocols were not fully formed at the time, but masks were generally required indoors and anyone eligible to be vaccinated had to be vaccinated.

Rules came about pretty soon after, with the cruise line – as well as rivals Carnival Cruise Line (CCL) and Norwegian Cruise Line (NCLH) — require vaccinations for all passengers 12 years and older, as well as negative covid tests taken no more than two days before departure.

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