MIAMI, Fla. — While Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines is prohibited by Florida law from asking for proof of vaccination status, the cruise line continues to ratchet up the pressure on passengers to get vaccinated.
In a new policy announced Monday, Royal Caribbean said unvaccinated passengers booked on cruises from Florida will “be required to get medical expense and evacuation insurance that covers a positive case.” The policy will apply to all sailings from August 1 to December 31 and all bookings made from Tuesday forward, the cruise line said.
The policy, which is being sent to customers, says that as a condition of boarding, each unvaccinated guest 12 and older must provide proof of a valid insurance policy that “has a maximum of (a) $25,000 per person in medical expense coverage and (b) $50,000 per person for quarantine and medical evaluation related to a positive COVID-19 test result.”
Royal Caribbean made note that the insurance requirement is a policy change aimed at unvaccinated cruise passengers sailing from Florida homeports, “where cruise lines cannot mandate vaccines for its passengers due to Florida laws.”
The cruise line said in addition to requiring travel insurance, unvaccinated guests 12 and older will also be required to pay for "third-party COVID-19 tests at a cost of $136 per guest on sailings six nights or less, and $178 per guest on sailings of more than seven nights." All guests 2-11 years old will have the COVID-19 test cost covered by Royal Caribbean.
Royal Caribbean said on the first ship leaving Florida, the Freedom of the Seas, vaccinated passengers will be issued wristbands to show they are vaccinated, which will allow them access to vaccinated-only venues and events.