With the latest CDC changes, Princess Health Protocols have been updated, including specific requirements for Canada. Vaccination, testing, and pre-boarding policies have been updated but before you get too excited, it’s not the update we’re all hoping for. If you’re already booked or planning to take a Princess cruise, read on to learn what you need to know about the health update as of March 31, 2022.
First things first, if you’re planning to sail on Princess you must have received your final dose of an authorized COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days before the beginning of the cruise and provide acceptable proof at terminal check-in. Additionally, although not required, boosters are highly recommended at least seven days before cruising if you’re eligible. Testing requirements are still in place, too. You’ll need to provide proof of a negative viral Covid-19 test (PCR or antigen) at embarkation.
What about the Princess health protocols have changed?
Princess is continuing its policy of requiring everyone to be fully vaccinated (children under 5 who aren’t eligible are automatically exempt) with very few exceptions which require a case-by-case exemption from Princess. If the cruise has any embarkation or debarkation in Canadian ports there is no process for vaccination exemptions. If the cruise begins or ends in Canada, 100% of guests 12 and over must be fully vaccinated.
A few cruise lines have accepted antibody tests and/or documentation of recovery instead of a negative test. At the moment, Princess does not except these as an exemption for a positive test or guests who are not fully vaccinated.
The updated Princess health protocols also address testing requirements for upcoming sailings. Fully vaccinated guests can take an antigen test within two days of embarkation or a PCR test within three days of embarkation. Guests who are “up to date” defined as fully vaccinated and received a booster (if eligible) at least seven days prior to embarkation can take an antigen or PCR test within three days of embarkation. Guests who are unvaccinated (or not fully vaccinated) must take a PCR test within three days of embarkation.
For cruises that include Canada, all guests five and above are required to show proof of a medically observed negative viral PCR test within three days before boarding, plus a complimentary antigen test taken at the terminal.
Prior to boarding your cruise you’ll be required to fill out a health questionnaire no later than 24 hours before you embark the ship and you’ll be asked to confirm your answers when arriving at the port. If your cruise includes Canada, you’ll be required to upload proof of vaccination to ArriveCAN within 72 hours of embarkation.
Another important update to the Princess health protocols is regarding face masks. According to Princess masks are not required in most places on board.
Masks are recommended, but not required, in the majority of venues, though they may be required in select venues or situations. This will be clearly designated through signage and onboard communications.
We recommend guests wash or replace their mask daily and choose a good quality mask. Masks should have two or more layers, completely cover the nose and mouth, fit snuggly against the sides of the face and have a nose wire. Please note that visors and face shields will not be accepted as a substitute for a face mask.
We’ll provide complimentary surgical masks on board with replacements available upon request.
Additionally, when going ashore, guests should be prepared to follow all local health guidelines, the status of which will be shared with guests prior to debarkation at the destination.Princess
I can’t stress enough how safe I’ve felt on each of my five cruises. The protocols are in place to ensure the health and safety of guests and crew members and follow the guidelines from the CDC and governments of the ports visited. This list of updates to the health protocols includes the highlights but if you’re already booked or are planning to take a Princess cruise, read the full guidelines.
About the Author
Joel is a co-owner of JJ Travel Associates (a Dream Vacations franchise), blogger-in-chief at JoelKnowsTravel.com, lover of all things travel (especially UNESCO World Heritage Sites), wannabe comedian, and the person you should call if you're thinking of planning a vacation.