Carnival Corp. Brands to Ease Access to Pre-Board Testing

Carnival Corp. announced a new initiative to ease pre-board COVID-19 testing for passengers now that the CDC is requiring negative test results two or three days before embarkation, effective Sept. 13.

The testing is required even for vaccinated people.


The program is designed to ease access to COVID-19 viral testing for guests of Carnival Cruise Line, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises and Seabourn at more than 1,500 Quest Diagnostics locations throughout the U.S., including Quest service centers and select Walmart and other retail pharmacy locations.

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Beginning Sept. 13, all vaccinated guests must present a negative COVID-19 viral test taken no more than two days before their embarkation – for example, if a cruise leaves on a Saturday, guests should schedule their tests for the Thursday before embarking. More details are available on the cruise line websites. The pre-board test can be molecular or antigen.

The CDC said fully vaccinated passengers need to get tested no more than two days before embarking a cruise ship in the U.S. Passengers who are not fully vaccinated are required to get tested no more than three days before embarking and again at embarkation.

“The cruise industry was notified of this change through an email indicating that the revised screening testing requirements would go into effect on September 13, 2021,” the CDC said in a statement. For more details, see the CDC instructions by clicking here.

“Access to testing continues to play an important role in the restart of our guest operations, and working with Quest simplifies the process for our guests by making it easier to access convenient testing options from a trusted national laboratory provider,” said Roger Frizzell, chief communications officer for Carnival Corp. “These testing protocols are part of our layered approach to safeguarding the health and safety of our guests, crew and the communities we visit.”

Testing appointments are required and may be scheduled online via secure link provided by the four cruise lines. Results are typically available within 48 hours via email or mobile application, although turnaround time can fluctuate with demand, supplies and other factors, and vary by region.

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