Booking A Cruise From The Us This Summer? Here's What You Need To Know - Cnn

Booking A Cruise From The Us This Summer? Here's What You Need To Know - Cnn

Booking a cruise from the US this summer? Here's what you need to know

There's hope for travelers who've been waiting to set sail on a cruise from ports in the United States

6/3/2021 11:00:00 PM

There's hope for travelers who've been waiting to set sail on a cruise from ports in the United States

There's hope for travelers who've been waiting to set sail on a cruise from ports in the United States. There are sailings slated to embark starting later this month -- here's what you need to know.

to be vaccinated, effectively barring children younger than 12 who aren't yet eligible for vaccination.Others require everyone 16 and older to be vaccinated, with plans in many cases to drop that age to 12 later in the summer as vaccines are more widely available.

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TheCDC's conditions for sailingrequire that ships have vaccination rates of 95% for both crew and passengers to be eligible to sail without first doing a trial cruise. Other recent CDC updates have outlined relaxed requirements that would make cruises far less restrictive for vaccinated passengers.

Some ships, particularly those that sail with more than 5% of passengers younger than 12, will likely be required to go the trial cruise route for CDC approval and enforce more stringent restrictions.The CDC is not requiring cruise lines to test fully vaccinated passengers. Testing is required upon departure and for disembarkation (on voyages of more than four nights) for unvaccinated passengers.

Check with the cruise line about your specific itinerary for details on each sailing's requirements.Will cruises from US ports require passengers to wear masks?The CDC's mask mandate remains in effect for transportation hubs, so masks are required in port. Masks aren't required inside cabins.

Whether to require masks outdoors is up to the cruise lines. Otherwise, the rules are likely to rest on whether or not you're vaccinated.The CDC's latest guidance for cruise ships aligns with its broader recommendations for fully vaccinated people, the agency confirmed.

The guidance"allows cruise ship operator discretion for requiring masks outdoors, in crowds, in crew-only areas, in areas only for vaccinated passengers, and on ships with at least 95% of crew and 95% of passengers that are fully vaccinated," the CDC said in a statement.

Sailings that don't have the 95% vaccination requirements will have more mask rules for unvaccinated passengers.Related contentTop 10 US beaches for 2021 from Dr. BeachWhat will my time aboard the ship be like?This also depends on your vaccination status. The CDC is allowing cruise lines to designate certain areas accessible only to fully vaccinated passengers -- spaces such as casinos, bars, spas and dining areas.

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This and other increased access for vaccinated passengers,"where masks and physical distancing are not required" is to be determined by"cruise ship operators, at their discretion."Self-serve buffets are listed among areas where only fully vaccinated passengers could be permitted to gather without masks or social distancing.

Otherwise, physical distancing must be observed in most cruise ship spaces.MSC is among the cruise lines that have already started sailing in Europe.Courtesy MSC CruisesWhat kinds of shore excursions will be possible?Many cruise lines are basing their shore-excursion policies on the rules of the destinations the ships are calling on.

On Celebrity, independent tours are"available unless locally restricted,"although the line touts the safety of its own shore excursions."Our tours extend the highest health and safety standards we're following on board. Most experiences are outdoors, and guests will be encouraged to stay with their group. Buses will be at reduced capacity and will be sanitized frequently," the cruise line's website says.

The CDC says that cruise lines,"at their discretion," may advise fully vaccinated passengers that independent excursions during port stops are OK.What happens if the cruise is canceled or I have to change my plans?Some cruise lines have adopted

more flexiblecancellation policies during the pandemic. And if a cruise is canceled, cruise lines generally offer reimbursement or future cruise credits.But travel insurance is more essential than ever, said Angel Wilson, a travel adviser at Dream Journeys in Indianapolis.

While travel insurance didn't cover the pandemic at all last year, many companies have adapted their policies to cover Covid-related events.But don't take coverage for Covid for granted, Chiron says."You want to be able to clearly understand how you're covered because they're all going to be different."

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A cancel-for-any-reason insurance policy offers the broadest protection in the event that any situation or uncertainty causes a passenger to rethink their trip, Wilson said. Read more: CNN »

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