Royal Caribbean had recently announced that all passengers on their vessels must be fully vaccinated. However, the state of Florida challenged this. The state saw lots of potential revenue dollars being lost and has increasingly been touting its ultra-conservative agenda. Political leaders in the state didn’t want to lose potential tax dollars and also wanted to show how little they care about COVID protections. So, they fought the move, claiming that requiring vaccination verification was an invasion of personal liberties. A Florida judge ruled in Florida’s favor, saying cruise lines were not allowed to request such things while operating in the state.
Royal Caribbean, on the other hand, cares about passenger and crew safety. So they’ve now enacted a new policy. Passengers from all states, except Florida, must be vaccinated. All passengers from Florida who aren’t vaccinated will be required to purchase travel insurance.
This is a brilliant move in two ways. First of all, it takes the financial liability away from Royal Caribbean if someone gets sick with COVID while onboard (Note: since cruising began in June, there have already been passengers and crew testing positive for COVID). But more importantly, it acts as a deterrent. Most people who are refusing to get vaccinated will not allow themselves to be “forced” into anything. Therefore, the mandatory purchase of travel insurance is sure to make these types of people simply choose another carrier, helping to ensure that a vast portion of the ship’s passengers will be vaccinated (the entire crew is already vaccinated.)
To all the naysayers, Royal Caribbean smartly retaliated by releasing a statement, informing everyone that if they don’t like the cruise line’s policies, they can get a refund and sail with someone else. Also, unvaccinated passengers on their cruises will have limited access to onboard amenities, such as certain restaurants and bars, the casino, spa, and more. It’s yet another way that Royal Caribbean is going above and beyond to ensure that their ships are as safe as possible.