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Which Cruise Ships Will Be Doing Test Cruises and When Do They Set Sail?

Senior Editor, News and Features
Aaron Saunders

Last updated
Mar 5, 2024

Read time
3 min read

As cruise lines prepare to resume service from U.S. homeports, those without mandates for near full-ship vaccinations against COVID-19 are required by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to operate so-called "simulated voyages," or test cruises, before setting sail with paying passengers.

These simulated voyages -- mandated by the agency's Framework for Conditional Sailing Order -- are required to test a number of aspects prior to being certified by the CDC for restricted operations with paying passengers.

Things like dining, bars and lounges, entertainment, and shore excursion offerings will all be tested to ensure they comply with the agency's parameters on social distancing, signage, mask usage, and more.

The list of cruise ships approved by the CDC to conduct test cruises continues to grow. Note that this list does not include vessels that are mandating fully-vaccinated passengers only, as is the case with all big-ship sailings from Seattle to Alaska this year, or Carnival's July sailings out of Galveston.

So far, these test sailings are not open to the public or media. In most cases, corporate employees will be used as passengers. The lines have also not released dates for all of their test cruises either.

Here's a rundown of which ships have been approved to set sail on simulated voyages, and when the first passenger sailing is set to occur:


Freedom of the Seas

Departure Port: Miami Test Cruise Date: June 20-22, 2021 First Passenger Sailing: July 2, 2021


Serenade of the Seas

Departure Port: Seattle **Test Cruise Date:**July 7, 2021 First Passenger Sailing: July 19, 2021


Grand Classica

Departure Port: Palm Beach Test Cruise Date: TBD First Passenger Sailing: TBD


Disney Dream

Departure Port: Port Canaveral Test Cruise Date: July 17, 2021 First Passenger Sailing: August 9, 2021


MSC Meraviglia

Departure Port: Miami Test Cruise Date: July 17, 2021 First Passenger Sailing: August 2, 2021


Odyssey of the Seas

Departure Port: Port Everglades / Fort Lauderdale Test Cruise Date: July 19-21 First Passenger Sailing: July 31, 2021


Allure of the Seas

Departure Port: Port Canaveral Test Cruise Date: July 27-29, 2021 First Passenger Sailing: August 8, 2021


Ovation of the Seas

Departure Port: Seattle Test Cruise Date: July 30 - August 4, 2021 First Passenger Sailing: August 13, 2021


Symphony of the Seas

Departure Port: Miami Test Cruise Date: August 1-3, 2021 First Passenger Sailing: August 14, 2021


Independence of the Seas

Departure Port: Galveston Test Cruise Date: August 1, 2021 First Passenger Sailing: August 15, 2021


Mariner of the Seas

Departure Port: Port Canaveral Test Cruise Date: August 11, 2021 First Passenger Sailing: August 23, 2021


Oasis of the Seas

Departure Port: Cape Liberty (Bayonne) Test Cruise Date: August 22, 2021 First Passenger Sailing: September 5, 2021


Disney Fantasy

Departure Port: Port Canaveral Test Cruise Date: August 26 and August 29, 2021 First Passenger Sailing: September 11, 2021


Cruise Critic will continue to update this article as more ships are approved for simulated test cruises by the CDC.

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