Like Royal Caribbean before it, Carnival Cruise Line has added a new requirement that all unvaccinated guests sailing aboard its Florida-based vessels must submit proof of travel insurance coverage before boarding.
Carnival’s new insurance requirement applies to all Florida cruise bookings made after June 28 and is set to take effect from July 31. The company sails from four Florida ports: Miami, Orlando, Tampa and Jackson. Currently, the rule only pertains to cruises departing from the Sunshine State, and the company has not announced similar stipulations for sailing out of its other domestic or international ports.
All unvaccinated guests will need to provide proof of their purchased travel insurance policy at check-in. Those who can’t provide the requisite proof of coverage won’t be permitted to sail and will not be given a refund, Carnival states on its webpage. There is an exemption in place for kids under the age of 12, who aren’t yet eligible for COVID-19 vaccination in the U.S.
Policies must provide minimum coverage of $10,000 per person for medical costs and $30,000 per person for emergency medical evacuation, and cannot include COVID-19 exclusions. The policy must specifically name the unvaccinated Carnival guest as the policyholder or beneficiary, and can be purchased through an outside travel insurance company or obtained through Carnival Vacation Protection up to 14 days prior to sailing.
“Consistent with the practices of other lines who are also restarting their operations and in the best interests of our guests who are unvaccinated, this is important coverage to have, should they encounter a medical situation during their cruise,” Carnival spokesperson Vance Gulliksen said in a statement.
A 2020 LendingTree analysis of average travel insurance costs suggests that such policies will add anywhere from $100 to $200 per person to the cost of a cruise, according to CBS News.
Unvaccinated guests are subject to additional testing, health screening protocols and safety requirements while onboard, as Carnival outlines on its ‘COVID-19 Guest Protocols’ webpage. Those who opt not to provide proof of vaccination will need to submit negative results from a COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of arriving at the boarding terminal.
They’ll also be tested at embarkation, as well as debarkation, if their cruise is longer than four days in duration. These guests will be charged an extra $150 to cover the costs of Carnival-administered tests, a fee that will appear on their onboard Sail & Sign account.
For more information, visit carnival.com.