Carnival drops exemption request for non-awake guests and eases testing policy

Carnival Cruise Line is easing its testing requirements for vaccinated passengers and allowing unvaccinated guests to travel without exception.

The cruise line will no longer require testing for vaccinated passengers staying on board for less than 16 nights. In addition, unvaccinated guests will no longer be required to submit exemption requests.

“Carnival is pleased to announce new policies applicable to cruises departing on or after September 6, 2022, which will make it easier for more guests to sail with simplified vaccination and testing policies, including no testing for vaccinated guests on sailings less than 1[ads1]6 nights and eliminating the exemption request process for unvaccinated guests, who only need to show a negative test result upon boarding,” the company announced Saturday.

Vaccinated guests “must continue to provide proof of vaccination status prior to boarding,” according to the new guidelines.

But unvaccinated passengers “are welcome to sail and are no longer required to apply for a vaccination exemption, except for cruises in Australia or on voyages of 16 nights and longer.”

Unvaccinated passengers will be required to present a negative COVID-19 test within three days of departure.

Cruises lasting more than 16 nights will still be subject to their own restrictions.

The cruise industry is once again navigating choppy waters as it grapples with a storm of labor problems, red-hot inflation and a threat of recession after barely recovering from the blows of an 18-month shutdown due to the pandemic.

The industry employs about 250,000 workers from more than 100 countries, and their jobs range from a ship captain to a cocktail mixer, according to the Cruise Lines International Association.

However, cruise operators remain confident of the industry’s longer-term recovery, although the strength of the summer sailing season, which usually accounts for a large portion of operating income, remains under a cloud.

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