Top 7 Cruise Line Covid-19 Regulations

No industry was hit harder in the travel sector than the cruise industry by the COVID-19 pandemic.  The entire industry was shut down for over a year.  Luckily today, cruises have started to resume across the world.  Yes, they are different from before the pandemic began, but this popular tourism activity has continued again. 

Did you know the year before the pandemic in 2019 that over 30 million people took a cruise, as reported by the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA)? Let’s put that into perspective. Almost 10 percent of the entire U.S. population went on a cruise before the pandemic began.  Clearly, cruises were and still are a popular tourist activity.  In today’s post-pandemic world, travelers can still go on a cruise, and they just have to follow the regulations of the cruise line they are traveling on. 

Cruise Regulations 

The only problem is each cruise line has different regulations and this can be confusing for travelers.  To help mitigate against the confusion, we have identified eight of the top cruise lines globally and clearly explain the travel regulations potential travelers have to follow. 


Unvaccinated guests sailing on a ship departing from Florida or Texas must show proof of travel insurance coverage during check-in. 

  • Policy requirements: a minimum of US$10,000, per person, in medical expense coverage and US$30,000 coverage for emergency medical evacuation and without COVID-19 exclusions 

  • The insurance policy must name the unvaccinated guest as the policyholder or beneficiary and may be purchased from a travel insurance company of the guest’s choosing or through Carnival Vacation Protection, which includes the required coverage 

  • Unvaccinated guests without the required proof of insurance will not be permitted to sail and no refund will be provided 

Effective with sailings as of September 13, 2021, the CDC requires pre-cruise testing for vaccinated guests to be taken within two days before the sailing date. If the sailing is on Saturday, the test may be taken on Thursday and Friday, and as late as Saturday, if you are guaranteed to receive your results in time for check-in. 

Royal Caribbean 

For travel from the United States, here is what Royal Caribbean requires for a trip:  

  • Required Pre-Cruise Testing for Cruises Departing September 13, 2021, or later 

  • Vaccinated guests age 12 and older must show a negative COVID-19 test result for a PCR 

  • Unvaccinated kids age 2 to 11 must show a negative test result for a PCR test taken  

  • Guests under two years of age will not be tested 

  • The cost of pre-cruise testing is the guest’s responsibility 

At the terminal for all cruises, a complimentary PCR test when checking in at the terminal. Registration details will be sent via email in advance. 

Celebrity Cruises 

Before boarding, all guests must complete a health questionnaire and unvaccinated children will be required to take a complimentary test at the terminal. 

  • In some homeport countries, testing may be required for all guests regardless of vaccination status. An additional test will be administered on board, free of charge if needed for homeport or home country re-entry 

  • We will sail with a vaccinated crew and at least 95% fully vaccinated guests. All guests 12 years and older must be fully vaccinated with all COVID-19 vaccine doses administered at least 14 days prior to sailing. All U.K. guests sailing on Celebrity Silhouette 18 years and older must be fully vaccinated. 

Norwegian Cruise Line 

**100% Mandatory Vaccination Requirement** 

- Must be fully vaccinated at least two weeks before departure. 

Before boarding, all guests will be required to take a COVID-19 antigen test, administered and paid for by the cruise line, and receive a negative result. Guests are also responsible for complying with all local health and safety requirements which may include additional testing. 

• Mask-free cruise 

• No social distancing 

• All restaurants & experiences are fully open 

• No restrictions for on-shore excursions 

• No capacity restrictions 

**On Europe sailings only, currently local government regulations require all guests to wear masks onboard. 

Princess Cruises 

**100% Mandatory Vaccination Requirement** 

- Must be fully vaccinated at least two weeks prior to departure. 

Guests must present proof of vaccination, as well as all required travel documents, at embarkation. Acceptable evidence of vaccination must be in the form of the original vaccination record document issued by the country’s health authority that administered the vaccination. 

The name and birth date on the vaccination record must match the guest’s travel documents and show that the guest is fully vaccinated. This means that the guest has completed the full cycle of required doses for the vaccine administered (i.e., received the second dose in a two-dose series) and that the guest has received the final dose at least 14 days before the sailing date. 

We will also require ALL fully vaccinated guests to produce a negative, medically-observed COVID-19 test (PCR or antigen) taken within two days of their embarkation on all Princess sailings. 

We strongly encourage guests to wear face masks when in public spaces indoors. ALL guests will be required to wear a face mask – with no exceptions – in elevators and in designated indoor entertainment areas, all retail shops, and in the casino except when eating or drinking. 

Disney Cruise Lines 

For all sailings, Guests 12 years of age and older must be fully vaccinated and take a COVID-19 test upon embarkation. Guests 11 years old and under are not required to be vaccinated but must take a pre-trip rapid PCR test or lab-based PCR test for COVID-19, as well as a rapid COVID-19 test upon embarkation. 

All Guests (ages two and up, including those who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19) must wear face coverings indoors. 

Health and safety measures, ports of call and offerings may change at any time without notice. Upon reopening, certain onboard venues, experiences, and other offerings will be modified or unavailable, limited capacity, and subject to limited availability, advance reservations, or even closure. 

We reserve the right to cancel any reservations or purchases—please review your rights in our Terms and Conditions. Subject to government approval. 

Viking River Cruises

Depending on your travel dates, Viking may require you to submit verification of COVID-19 vaccination status as part of the Digital Health Survey. 

Because every destination continues to adjust its entry requirements for international arrivals, we strongly recommend that all guests take a COVID-19 PCR (nasal swab or saliva) test within 72 hours before departure. 

While not all countries require a pre-departure COVID-19 test, traveling with a copy of your negative PCR test result is an added layer of protection for you and your fellow travelers—and will provide peace of mind should your destination change its entry requirement with little notice. 

Health and safety measures, ports of call and offerings may change at any time without notice. Upon reopening, certain onboard venues, experiences, and other offerings will be modified or unavailable, limited capacity, and subject to limited availability, advance reservations, or even closure. 

Work with the best

Even though travel insurance is not required on some lines, we highly recommend purchasing a travel insurance plan with us—the top-ranked Cruise Insurance Provider for 2021 by Forbes Advisors.  We offer plans that fit everyone’s budget.

Founded in 1998, Trawick International is a full-service travel insurance provider specializing in protecting travelers of all types worldwide. We offer various travel insurance plans designed specifically by types of coverage, including comprehensive travel protection insurance, international travel medical insurance, visitor’s insurance, and international student insurance. Our company's mission is to deliver superior travel and medical insurance products that offer the best 24/7 emergency assistance services available. Contact us at 888-301-9289 or