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Cruise ships in Grand Turk (Photo: Cruise Critic)
Cruise ships in Grand Turk (Photo: Cruise Critic)

Cruise Critic Readers Still Support Some Health and Safety Protocols

Cruise ships in Grand Turk (Photo: Cruise Critic)
Cruise ships in Grand Turk (Photo: Cruise Critic)

August 11, 2022

Aaron Saunders
Senior Editor, News and Features

(1:45 p.m. EDT) -- As cruise line testing and vaccination policies begin to ease for the first time since cruises resumed in 2021 under strict health and safety measures to combat the spread of COVID-19, Cruise Critic readers still largely support the continuation of at least some protocols.

In a survey conducted by Cruise Critic of 2,830 respondents, people are happy to see the pre-cruise testing requirement fall by the wayside: 46.2% say they're ready to leave pre-cruise COVID-19 testing behind, while 42.6% said the pre-cruise tests made them feel safer being onboard.

It's a close call for a contentious (and costly) issue: the necessary pre-cruise embarkation test that has been required of every passenger for the past year and a half.

But Cruise Critic readers were far more clear-cut when it came to vaccinations, with 56.4% supporting cruises where the vast majority of passengers are vaccinated. Just 14.5 percent agreed it was time to begin welcoming adult passengers with any vaccination status.

Readers were unanimous in their support, as well, for mandatory quarantines for those affected with COVID-19. A full 70.8% said positive cases identified onboard should still be placed in quarantine.

Nearly 40% of respondents said they would only book with lines that continued to uphold their policies, while 16.7% said they'd only book cruises on lines that completely do away with their health and safety protocols surrounding COVID-19.

A further 12.5% said they would not be bothered either way.

Cruise lines have continued to tweak their health and safety protocols, in line with the rest of the travel industry. As of September 3, 2022, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings brands -- which include Norwegian, Oceania and Regent Seven Seas -- will begin allowing unvaccinated passengers onboard, subject to a negative pre-cruise test. Fully vaccinated passengers will be now allowed to embark without the need for a pre-cruise test. Royal Caribbean has also recently updated its testing and vaccination requirements as well.

Where do you stand on vaccination and testing requirements at sea? Let us know by taking our survey here.

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