Carnival Cruise Line Introducing In-Terminal Passenger Testing

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In a move that will make traveling far easier for many passengers, Carnival Cruise Line announced Thursday that they are developing plans which will allow them to offer rapid testing at all of their U.S. homeports.

The Latest Testing Requirements

In their continuing efforts to protect passengers, crew and the ports that they visit, cruise lines have been updating their protocols whenever possible, especially as new recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control are rolled out.

Thanks in part to the most recent variants and surges, the CDC is now recommending — and most cruise lines are requiring — not only proof of vaccination but a negative PCR or antigen test. As a result, as of September 13, Carnival will be requiring pre-cruise testing for all guests (regardless of vaccination status) be done within two days prior to the sailing date.

Carnival’s website lays it out thusly: “If the sailing is on Saturday, the test may be taken on Thursday and Friday, and as late as Saturday, if you are guaranteed to receive your results in time for check-in.”

Unfortunately, that timeline might prove difficult for many, especially those who are traveling to the port and might want to fly in a few days early. But Carnival is looking to roll out a plan which might help reduce pre-trip stress for many.

How The New System Will Work

“We realize some of our guests are having a challenge getting a pre-cruise COVID-19 test,” Carnival’s site now reads, “especially with the new two-day window established by the CDC that goes into effect on September 13. We are working to set up mobile testing sites at all our embarkation homeports to conduct a rapid test the day before or day of your departure.”

They go on to say that details are still being worked out. As for the cost, “Carnival will be subsidizing the infrastructure of the mobile testing sites, but the company providing the testing will charge a per-person fee (to be established). Providers will not accept insurance, but you will be provided a receipt should you wish to submit the cost to your insurance carrier.”

Perhaps hoping to avoid the system being overrun, Carnival suggests guests should “consider this as a back-up alternative should you not be able to make arrangements.” They add that the mobile labs will either be inside terminals or within walking distance of them.

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