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Royal Caribbean releases new COVID policies

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Royal Caribbean is asking passengers who are 16 years old or older to provide documentation showing they are vaccinated against COVID-19 and tested negative for the coronavirus before embarkation.

The rule won’t apply to ships that are setting sail from Florida before July.

Those who can’t provide proof of vaccination will have to pay $136 for coronavirus testing, and they will have restricted access to some events and venues. They won’t be able to make reservations for the Main Dining Room and will have to wear face masks indoors.

Broward County Mayor Steve Geller said Gov. Ron DeSantis is doing more harm than good by limiting what cruise lines can do in Florida.

DeSantis has been fighting with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention over vaccine mandates and threatening cruise lines that enforce the mandates with a $5,000 fine per passenger. On Friday, a federal judge sided with DeSantis who doesn’t want cruise lines to mandate vaccination.

The Celebrity Edge will be the first U.S. cruise to set sail in just about a week. DeSantis’ law officially kicks in in July, so the cruise line will limit service to people who are vaccinated.

For more information, visit the Royal Caribbean’s health and travel updates page.

Here is the list of ships returning to service in Florida:

  • Freedom of the Seas is scheduled to depart on July 2 from Miami.
  • Odyssey of the Seas is scheduled to depart on July 31 from Fort Lauderdale.
  • Allure of the Seas is scheduled to depart on Aug. 8 from Port Canaveral.
  • Symphony of the Seas is scheduled to depart on Aug. 14 from Miami.
  • Mariner of the Seas is scheduled to depart on Aug. 23 from Port Canaveral.

About the Author:

Andrew Perez is a South Florida native who joined the Local 10 News team in May 2014.