Carnival Cruise Line has made a major change when it comes to shore excursions for unvaccinated kids 11 and under.
Previously, kids 11 and younger could not go ashore in port calls unless they booked an approved cruise line excursion.
This included kids five to 11 that had been granted an exemption from needing the vaccine to sail, and kids four and under who could sail on Carnival without needing an exemption.
As of April 1, Carnival has updated its Have Fun. Be Safe. health and safety protocols page to say:
“Unvaccinated children age 11 and under are not required to purchase a Carnival shore excursion and may go ashore with their vaccinated parents/guardians to enjoy independent sightseeing.”
This makes visiting various destinations during the cruise much easier for families who are sailing with unvaccinated kids, because they aren’t tied down to taking an excursion through Carnival. They can take an independent excursion, or just explore the port on their own.
Unfortunately, passengers 12 and older who are also sailing with a vaccine exemption must still book a Carnival tour to debark the ship in port.
There are also a number of ports where unvaccinated guests 12 and older cannot get off the ship without exception: Bermuda, Bonaire, Grand Cayman, St. Kitts, and Tortola. In Grand Turk, unvaccinated guests 16 and older cannot get off the ship. In Limón, Costa Rica and San Juan, Puerto Rico, all unvaccinated guests, including kids, have to stay on the ship.
On voyages that visit a private port, such as Half Moon Cay and Princess Cays in The Bahamas, all unvaccinated guests can go ashore on their own or purchase a shore excursion; in this case, there is no difference between them and vaccinated passengers.