Carnival Cruise Line is set to pilot new embarkation requirements for some of its cruises over the next few weeks, as the cruise industry giants commit to finding the safest ways to keep on carrying out their cruises. The return of the cruise industry has been full of changes, with restrictions, requirements and itineraries changing on an almost weekly basis, as cruise lines big and small react to the Covid-19 situation around the world.
It’s been a mixed start to the new year for the cruise industry. Whilst many will be simply relieved to have started the new year with cruises underway, several cruise lines have been seriously affected by the pandemic, causing several planned voyages to be canceled – even mid-cruise in some cases. However, Carnival’s changes could put a stop to that. Here’s a look at Carnival’s new embarkation requirements, and how they can help to keep cruises safe and smooth for passengers in the future.
Carnival’s New Requirements – Information For Travelers
With so many positive cases of Covid-19 being detected on board cruise ships over the past few weeks, cruise lines are reevaluating their protocols to ensure guests are kept as safe as possible on their trips. In their quest for safety and convenience, Carnival have decided to trial a system that will see passengers submit key Covid-19 related information before they go on to board the cruise ship – with a little help from the airline industry.
This week, Carnival revealed their plans to begin using a system that many travelers may already be familiar with – VeriFLY. A program that has been widely used in the airline industry, VeriFLY allows passengers to upload various pieces of information, such as proof of vaccination and of Covid-19 testing, which can then be verified ahead of departure by Carnival – ensuring everyone meets the requirements needed to set sail.
The pilot program was set to begin on Saturday 22nd January in Port Canaveral, Florida, for guests boarding the huge 6,500 passenger Mardi Gras cruise line bound for the Eastern Caribbean. Whilst it is only a trial at this stage, it is expected that Carnival will move quickly to extend the use of VeriFLY for passenger status verification across its entire fleet, streamlining the process for thousands of cruise enthusiasts.
Adding the use of VeriFLY isn’t the only change that Carnival is planning to make cruising easier for its guests. The cruise line is also looking towards finalizing its plans to expand its testing capabilities for vaccinated passengers in-terminal prior to embarkation, specifically for those passengers who are heading off on short three and four day long voyages.
Carnival also intends to keep the same operating protocols it had during the Conditional Sail Order, despite the order expiring last weekend. That means the cruise line’s “Have Fun. Be Safe.” rules are set to remain in place, including the mandatory wearing of masks on board and the need to be fully vaccinated in order to sail with Carnival.
With how we travel having changed so much since the start of the pandemic, the introduction of VeriFLY will hopefully make the cruising experience much smoother for passengers, whilst moves such as keeping on-board restrictions and the expansion of in-terminal testing facilities are bound to offer passengers peace of mind and less to worry about on the open seas.
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