Carnival Cruise Line announced several changes to its coronavirus-related health and safety protocols as part of an effort to meet the evolving vaccination requirements of destinations it serves, including The Bahamas.
Last week, The Bahamas issued an emergency order prohibiting cruise ships from entering any port on the islands if they carry passengers who aren’t fully vaccinated against COVID-19, starting on September 3.
Carnival currently meets the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention’s (CDC) definition of a vaccinated cruise on all sailings—at least 95 percent of all guests and crew are fully vaccinated—with the majority of exceptions being children under 12 years old who are unable to get vaccinated.
The cruise line revealed that departures from all Atlantic and Gulf homeports starting on August 28 and running through October would only provide vaccination exemptions to children under 12 and adults with a qualifying medical condition.
Carnival customers impacted by the changes have been notified and exemptions beyond these two categories have been rescinded. All eligible passengers are required to confirm their vaccination status and show proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR or antigen test.
In May, the cruise line’s newest ship, Mardi Gras, was registered in The Bahamas instead of Panama. The vessel is the first in North America to be powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG).