LLYMI Cruise Health & Safety Information
**We will be updating this page frequently – Latest update September 16, 2021**
Cruises are back sailing out of US ports! All of the major cruise lines have started sailing again, and by the end of the year, 90% of the world's cruise ships will be back in operation.
For some background info, it is good to understand that all cruise lines in the US are currently under a “Conditional Sailing Order” from the CDC that was put into place last year. That CSO expires on October 31, 2021. Also, some of the requirements for cruisers are affected by what is allowed in the ports they are sailing to. For instance, all sailings into the Bahamas or Virgin islands require all or the ship passengers and crew to be fully vaccinated for Covid 19 through the end of October. Many of the requirements are currently set to expire as of November 1st. The encouraging news is that the protocols and precautions the cruise lines have put into place are working! There were a few isolated cases of covid as they started back up in early summer, but since then it has been smooth sailing - and no outbreaks.
Please be aware as you read news of different requirements and limitations that things continue to change and we do not know what the final requirements will be for our sailing in February.
This is perhaps the biggest question on people’s minds – “Will covid19 vaccines be required?” Currently, for the timeframe between now through November 1st, vaccines are required on Royal Caribbean sailings. This was precipitated by the Bahamas requirement mentioned above. This is set to expire on November 1st, however, we do not know if it will potentially be extended or affect our sailing. We are continuing to monitor the ever-changing environment and stay in close contact with our Royal Caribbean contacts.
Testing requirements for cruises departing from Florida:
For guests on cruises departing from Florida homeports from August 1 through December 31, 2021, the following requirements apply. Some of these will not be relevant for fully vaccinated sailings.
PRE-CRUISE TESTING REQUIREMENT
PRE-CRUISE TEST FOR ALL GUESTS ON SAILINGS 5 NIGHTS OR LONGER
- All guests currently need to take a COVID-19 test (PCR or antigen) with an accredited test provider, such as a drugstore chain or diagnostic lab, no more than 2 days before arriving at the terminal for embarkation. Royal Caribbean is helping guests by selling a recommended test kit at cost. Guests will need to show their negative test results upon arriving at the terminal. The results can be printed out or can be presented on your phone, such as the email result from your test provider. Costs associated with this test are the guests' responsibility.
Masks and Social Distancing:
The latest guidelines from the CDC for cruises starting back are that with a high level of vaccinated guests expected, the need for masks and social distancing is limited to some of the indoor crowded public spaces.
Our understanding from our cruise contacts and insiders is that there will be SOME decreased capacities as they have started back up, but those could - and probably will relax some in the months ahead. Ships are currently sailing with 50% - 70% capacities. We believe our February sailing could also be at a reduced 70%-80% capacity.
**NOTE - While we do not know if we will be limited in our capacity in February, if that were to happen it would be based on booking order. We are currently approximately 60% full, so NOW is the time to reserve a stateroom to avoid potential limits.
New Health and Safety protocols put in place:
This list is not exhaustive yet, but we know these things have been put in place:
- Enhanced and upgraded filtration of the HVAC systems on board the ships.
- Upgraded cleaning protocols for ALL areas of the ship – especially all common areas. This 88includes better and more frequent cleaning.
- Covid 19 testing for all passengers and crew during embarkation.
- Potentially (not a sure thing) a pause on food and beverage buffets. The food will be served by the ship’s crew.
- Upgraded use of personal cell phone apps for onboard information, reservations, check-in, etc. facilitating a touchless process for many things keeping the potential for any contamination to a minimum.
- Increased staffing of medical facilities onboard – and upgraded equipment and treatment available.
- Some new procedures are possible for excursions depending on the requirements of the country and port being visited.
***A Note about possible positive Covid 19 cases while onboard:
The current protocols for cruise guests who have a positive Covid 19 test while onboard (whether in routine precautionary tests required for non-vaccinated guests or for someone who requests a test in the infirmary) will be immediate quarantine for the guest plus testing of their travel party and any who had been in close contact for a length of time with the guests. The confirmed positive case and their travel party would then be required to disembark the ship at the next port. While we do not know if these same protocols will be in place for our sailing, we want to set your mind at ease. ALL guests aboard the Love Like You Mean It Cruise are covered by an Emergency Evacuation Service that FamilyLife contracts. Should there be a need for a guest to disembark at a port due to a positive Covid 19 test, this evacuation service will cover potential costs of quarantine in a port, medical treatment not covered by their personal health insurance, and their travel home. This is NOT a replacement for individuals purchasing travel insurance - we still recommend that. Our reservation team can explain the difference in those.