Remember what taking a vacation was like before 2020? Great news! Nearly every day there is a positive change to the things that make traveling in 2022 (and beyond) closer to what it was like in 2019. As of April 12, 2022, new Royal Caribbean protocols for Spain and Italy itineraries were announced and if you’ve had these countries on your “must see” list, it’s time to begin planning to visit. If you’ve already got your vacation planned and you’re traveling between now and May 31, 2022, you need to know what to expect.

Royal Caribbean protocol updates for Spain and Italy
Royal Caribbean protocol updates for Spain and Italy

Before you get too excited about the changes, remember that the Royal Caribbean protocols for Spain and Italy don’t override the protocols and policies in the destinations so there may be some restrictions. Failure to meet the local restrictions will prevent you from boarding the ship. Enough of the negativity; back to excitement — you’re going on an amazing vacation!

First things, first: do you need to wear a mask onboard?

It’s important to remember that traveling in 2022 means being flexible due to ever-changing policies, but as of 4/14/22 masks are optional for vaccinated guests and expected for onboard for unvaccinated children aged 2 years and older. Masks will be required in Adventure Ocean, in the cruise terminal, and may be required at various destinations.

Vaccination: 

  • All guests 12 years and older must be fully vaccinated, having received their final dose no less than 14 days prior to sailing. Additionally, for the purpose of these sailings, to be considered up-to-date, guests must have received all doses in their vaccine series and have received their booster if the second vaccine was administered over 270 days (9 months) ago.
  • Children aged 5 to 11 years are not required to be vaccinated. However, kids who have been fully vaccinated may present proof and follow the protocols for vaccinated guests. Children with one dose of a vaccine do not count as fully vaccinated for the purpose of our sailing.
  • Please note: Royal Caribbean does not accept a Certificate of Recovery in the place of a vaccination record.

Entry Requirements

  • It’s critical that guests review the travel guidance issued by each country they’ll be visiting on the sailing prior to travel. Failure to meet the requirements for each will result in denial of boarding.

Royal Caribbean protocol updates for Spain and Italy: Testing

  • Pre-Cruise from Spain: 
    • Guests who are up-to-date with their vaccines will be required to present a negative test result for a COVID-19 test taken no more than 2 days before sailing.
    • Guests who are not up-to-date with their vaccines will be required to present a negative test result for a COVID-19 test taken no more than 1 day before sailing.
  • Pre-Cruise from Italy: All guests who are up-to-date with their vaccines will be required to present a negative test result for a COVID-19 test taken no more than 1 day before sailing.
  • Embarking from Spain: All unvaccinated guests ages 2 – 11 years will be required to take a boarding day antigen test in the terminal and receive a negative result in order to sail. 
  • Embarking from Italy: All unvaccinated and not up-to-date guests ages 2 years and older will be required to take a boarding day antigen test in the terminal and receive a negative result in order to sail.
    • This test will be complimentary for children ages 2 – 11 years.
    • Guests ages 12 years and older who are considered unvaccinated or not up-to-date will be charged $55 USD per test.
  • Onboard: Guests who are considered unvaccinated by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) or who are not up-to-date with their vaccines will require additional testing during our sailings. This test is at the guest’s expense if they are ages 12 years and up and considered unvaccinated or if they are not up-to-date at the price of $55 USD per test. These guests will receive registration information once onboard based on the below.
    • During the Cruise: Depending on the itinerary, guests 12 years and older — or 6 and older in Italian & Greek ports — will have additional testing requirements.
    • Prior to Disembarking sailings from Spain: Guests 12 and older who meet the above criteria will test before disembarking.
    • Prior to Disembarking sailings from Italy: Guests 6 years and older who meet the above criteria may be required to test before disembarking, based on the itinerary.
  • Guests under 2 years old are not required to test.

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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.

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