Royal Caribbean Now Requiring Vaccinations for Bahamas Itineraries

Royal Caribbean
Odyssey of the Seas - Limassol Cyprus

In a response to an announcement we made earlier, Royal Caribbean has announced a COVID-19 vaccination requirement for its Bahamas Itineraries. This announcement comes on the heals of The Bahamas requiring Cruise Ships to require 100% vaccinations for cruisers ages 12+.

Below is Royal Carribean’s full announcement of the updated guidelines.

We’re back sailing in the U.S. and delivering the vacations you know and love! As we continue sailing, we’ve been able to offer healthy & safe vacations to guests of all ages. Before we say “Welcome aboard” to booked guests, we’d like to share our health & safety protocols for our sailings departing from U.S. or Bahamas homeports in September 2021.

This includes the recent advisement from the Bahamian Government that cruise ships will only be permitted to enter a Bahamian port, including private destinations, if all passengers ages 12 and older are fully vaccinated. While we are ready to deliver an amazing vacation to all of our guests, we do want to share the health and safety protocols so you can better assist your clients.

If booked guests do not wish to follow these protocols, we are happy to provide them with a refund or move their sailing into the future when circumstances may have evolved.

Currently, the enclosed information pertains to sailings departing U.S. or Bahamas homeport in September 2021. Health and safety protocols are subject to change and, as these occur, we’re committed to updating you.

Pre-Cruise Requirements


All guests 12 years and older must bring proof of vaccination, such as the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) COVID-19 vaccination record card, with the final dose of the vaccine completed at least 14 days before sailing.


  • All Guests: Required Pre-Cruise Testing: All guests age 2 and older — regardless of their vaccination status or the length of their cruise — will 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 3 days before arriving at the terminal and show their negative test result upon arriving. 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 guest’s responsibility.
  • Kids Age 2-11: Additional Testing
    In addition to the pre-cruise test, kids will take one or two more tests, depending on the length of the cruise. Royal Caribbean’s test provider will administer these, at no cost to our guests.

    • At the Terminal: For all cruises, kids will take a complimentary PCR test when checking in at the terminal. Registration details will be sent via email in advance.
    • Prior to Disembarking: For cruises that are 5 nights or longer, kids will take a complimentary antigen test onboard before the cruise ends. Vaccinated guests who require a COVID-19 test for re-entry into their country may receive one onboard as well. Guests will be notified onboard about how to register for this test.
    • Guests under 2 years of age will not be tested.

Going Ashore

We’ve worked with local tour operators to ensure they follow our Healthy Sail Panel health guidance for all Shore Excursions. These tours are available at a variety of price points and may be purchased in advance on Cruise Planner.

Tour Requirements

  • No Tours Required for Vaccinated Guests: Fully vaccinated parties may book a shore excursion or visit the port freely.
  • Tours for Families: Families traveling with unvaccinated kids must purchase a local tour through Royal Caribbean if they wish to go ashore. This applies to all ports of call except Perfect Day at CocoCay, and Port Canaveral, FL.
  • Tours Recommended in Port Canaveral, FL: For ships that stop at Port Canaveral, we strongly recommend that families traveling with unvaccinated kids purchase a local tour through Royal Caribbean if they wish to go ashore.
  • No Tours Required at Perfect Day: Tours or planned activities are not required of any guest who wishes to go ashore at Perfect Day at CocoCay, our private destination.

Mask Guidance

Below is our current mask guidance for all guests, except those under the age of 2 years, who do not need to wear a mask at any time.

Masks are NOT required to be worn:

  • In open-air areas of the ship, unless you are in a crowded setting
  • In the pool or any activity where they may become wet
  • At venues designated for vaccinated guests only, such as select bars, lounges, restaurants and shows
  • In your client’s stateroom when they are with their traveling party
  • While visiting our private destination, Perfect Day at CocoCay, unless they are in a crowded setting

Masks ARE required to be worn:

  • While indoors in public areas of the ship, unless seated and actively eating or drinking
  • While visiting public ports of call, where local regulations may require them


  • All dining areas will feature spaced, sanitized seating. Nearly all restaurants and cafes will be available to all guests, though a select few specialty restaurants may be reserved for vaccinated guests only.

Other Venues

If guests have sailed with us before, they’ll notice there are fewer guests onboard, letting them ease back into vacation mode. The ship’s venues are set up to easily allow for physical distancing and there will be signage to guide them.

Theaters and activity venues will offer spaced seating and more showtimes. Some events will be reserved for vaccinated guests only. Your clients should make show reservations once onboard using the Royal Caribbean app.

What To Bring

Travel Documentation Checklist

  • Passport Book or Passport Card, valid for at least six months after your cruise, is strongly recommended. If you do not have a Passport, you may present a state-certified U.S. Birth Certificate (not a “baby feet” hospital certificate or baptismal paper). Guests age 16 years and older that present a Birth Certificate will also need to provide a valid Driver’s License or government issued picture ID.
  • A COVID-19 vaccination record card for all guests 12 years of age and older.
  • A negative PCR test or antigen test for COVID-19 for all guests 2 years and older is required. This test must be taken within 3 days of the sailing date and before arriving to the terminal. Proper documentation (printed negative test results or negative test results presented on your phone) from an accredited laboratory (no doctor’s notes) is required to sail. All costs for this test are the guest’s responsibility and must be done on their own, not at the terminal.
  • For Bahamas Homeport only:
    • Bahamas Health Visa is required for entry by the local government for all guests 18 years and older. Guests under 18 need to be added to a parent or guardian’s visa profile.

For additional protocol information, please click the link here to read the detailed FAQs.

Please note that health protocols are expected to change over time. Guidance for other ports and sailings is still in development with federal, state, and local authorities. We will update you and your clients as protocols change.

Source: Royal Caribbean

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