Royal Caribbean’s Protocols for a healthy return to sea

Last Update: 11/11/2021

Vaccination, Testing, and Travel Document Requirements

All cruise lines are currently requiring adult guests to be vaccinated against COVID-19. This is a requirement of the Bahamas government for cruise ships to enter their waters, as well as current CDC recommendations. Below, you can find Royal Caribbean’s travel requirements and health protocols for cruises sailing through March 31, 2022, which would be the requirements that apply to College Party Cruise:

All Royal Caribbean guests age 12 and older must present proof of COVID-19 vaccination, with the final dose of their vaccine administered at least 14 days before sailing. In addition, guests must show a negative COVID-19 test result for a PCR or antigen test taken no more than 2 days before boarding day. We will continually evaluate these requirements and make updates as local public health standards evolve.

For guests departing from Florida homeports, this is a requirement of The Bahamas and St. Thomas governments for a cruise ship to enter their waters. We remain in contact with local governments in the ports we visit and will update the policy if advised.”

Please note that Royal Caribbean’s travel requirements and health protocols are constantly evolving according to CDC recommendations and government requirements and are subject to change at any time.

All crew onboard the ship and at Perfect Day at CocoCay, are fully vaccinated. 

Vaccination Requirement:

Royal Caribbean guests age 12 and older must present proof of full COVID-19 vaccination with the final dose administered at least 14 days before sailing.

Testing Requirements:

Before arriving on boarding day, you’ll need to take a COVID-19 test on your own, at your own expense, to meet U.S. CDC boarding requirements.

  • Vaccinated guests must show a negative result for a PCR or antigen test taken no more than 2 days before boarding day.
  • Please see: FAQs on Testing Requirements

Cruise Ready Recap:

Follow these steps for a smooth boarding day.

  • Get Vaccinated: It’s required for guests 12 and older.
  • 30 Days Before: Download the Royal Caribbean App and check in for your cruise. Once in the app, you’ll select a 30-minute arrival time slot for your boarding day. It is very important you stick to this arrival window, as we’re arranging the boarding and testing process to accommodate a certain number of guests at one time.
  • 2 Days Before: Get your pre-cruise test. Vaccinated guests age 12 and older must show a negative COVID-19 test result for a PCR or antigen test taken no more than 2 days before boarding. Read Detailed Testing FAQs
  • 1 Day Before: All guests must complete the Health Questionnaire on the Royal App.

Onboard the Ship – Mask Guidance (subject to change):

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 stateroom when you are with your traveling party.
  • While visiting our private destination, Perfect Day at CocoCay, unless you 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.

Mask-Free Spaces:

Some venues and nightlife events will be for vaccinated guests only. Masks won’t be required in these venues. This includes some lounges, the nightclub, and College Party Cruise private events.

Royal Caribbean’s COVID-19 Safety Protocols

Cruises have instituted health protocols and policies that are unmatched in the rest of the travel industry.

Information provided by Royal Caribbean:

As we return to sea, your health and safety remains our top priority. We’ve partnered with expert medical and scientific minds to guide us in the development of comprehensive protocols to protect you and the ones you love. And we’re working with local health authorities in our homeport countries to ensure our guests meet current inbound travel requirements. We’re continually evaluating these protocols and will make updates as public health standards evolve.

100% Fresh, Filtered Air

There’s nothing like the fresh air of the open ocean, wherever you are on board. On Royal Caribbean® ships, our HVAC system continuously supplies 100% fresh, filtered air from outdoors to all indoor spaces. You can breathe easy knowing that, thanks to this robust system, the transmission of aerosol particles between spaces (like those from a cough) is extremely low to virtually impossible — as validated in an independent assessment conducted by the University of Nebraska Medical Center and the National Strategic Research Institute on board a Royal Caribbean ship. 

The Science Behind 100% Fresh Filtered Air
Our HVAC system continuously intakes 100% fresh ocean air, filtering it for supply to all indoor rooms and areas. Here’s how it works.

Cruise Ship 100% Fresh Air


Medical Grade Cleaning Standards

Royal Caribbean takes great pride in keeping our ships sparkling clean. Our evolved sanitization protocols use EPA-certified disinfectants and techniques like electrostatic fogging to clean frequently and consistently. Plus we’ve reduced the need to touch surfaces wherever possible.

Your Questions Answered:

Upgraded Medical Facilities & Expert Care

There’s nothing more important than your health and safety. That’s why we’ve made our high-quality onboard medical care stronger than ever, with more doctors and nurses on each ship and state-of-the-art equipment enhancements. And in the event of a suspected case of COVID-19, we’re fully prepared with sound care plans, including rapid testing onboard.

Your Questions Answered:

A Plan for Your Safe Return Home

In the unlikely event a guest or crew member tests positive while sailing, we’ve designed a measured response plan, considering the majority of guests and crew are vaccinated for their own protection. In most cases, the cruise will continue with some heightened protocols in place, and we’ll be sure to provide you with transparent updates the whole way.

Your Questions Answered:

You’re taken care of

COVID-19 Assistance*

Guests will have the following COVID-19 Assistance: 

  • 100% cruise fare refund for you, and your Travelling Party, if any of you tests positive for COVID-19 on your required pre-cruise COVID-19 test or at the boarding terminal prior to the cruise. Please note that any administrative fees are non-refundable. These non‑refundable fees include, but are not limited to: reinstatement/cancellation/late payment fees, processing fees, reservation change fees, name change fees, and travel protection premiums.
  • Pro-rated cruise fare refund if your cruise is cut short for reasons related to COVID-19. 
  • If you test positive for COVID-19 during the cruise, Royal Caribbean will cover the costs of COVID-19 related medical treatment onboard, any required land-based quarantine, and travel home for you and your Traveling Party. 


*Last modified October 29, 2021. Subject to change. “Traveling Party” means your family members living with you in the same household and traveling companions assigned to your stateroom on the cruise. Conditioned upon compliance with the RCG COVID-19 Policies and Procedures in effect at the time of the cruise. To qualify for a refund, you must present your verified positive test result in a form acceptable to Royal Caribbean International, if your COVID-19 test was administered by a provider other than one retained by Royal Caribbean. Additional terms and conditions apply. See Cruise Ticket Contract for details.