Cruise travel used to be a simple affair, but the pandemic has complicated the perfect summer vacation for many travelers. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that passengers get vaccinated before boarding a cruise ship, but it no longer warns against traveling on a cruise ship due to the risk of COVID-19. Cruise lines may request proof of vaccination upon boarding, but they do not collect vaccination cards or store proof of vaccination. In March, the CDC withdrew its warning against cruise travel for the first time in two years, and told Americans to do their own risk assessment when choosing to travel on a cruise ship, as they do in all other travel environments. Face masks are optional on American Cruise Lines, but they are still mandatory on Pearl Seas Cruises in indoor public spaces, unless you are sitting and actively eating or drinking.
Passengers who test positive when boarding and their traveling companions in the same cabin, along with other close contacts, will not be able to travel by cruise ship and will be granted a cruise credit in the future. As the pandemic continues to evolve, it is unclear whether cruise lines will lift their vaccine mandates. It is important for travelers to stay informed about the latest health and safety protocols before booking a cruise.