Following the lead of sister company Royal Caribbean, Celebrity Cruises has adjusted its onboard face mask policy and will not be requiring masks for vaccinated guests beginning February 12, 2022, unless the guests are attending activities in the theater or casino. Unvaccinated guests will still be required to wear masks in all indoor areas.
Celebrity Cruises Changes Mask Policy
Following in the wake of Royal Caribbean easing its mask policy beginning February 15, Celebrity Cruises is also easing mask-wearing requirements onboard its ships. While unvaccinated passengers, including children, will still be required to wear masks onboard in all areas unless actively eating or drinking, vaccinated passengers will no longer be required to wear masks indoors.
The change was noticed today on Celebrity Cruises’ Healthy at Sea FAQ page, which also covers other topics related to health and safety protocols, testing requirements, and onboard medical care.
The only exception is that everyone, regardless of vaccination status, must wear masks when in a ship’s theater or casino. Both of those venues can become very crowded making social distancing impossible, particularly when entering and exiting.
All Celebrity crew members will continue to wear masks at all times.
Royal Caribbean Group Mask Policies
This change in Celebrity Cruises’ policies is not surprising, as sister line Royal Caribbean – namesake line of the Royal Caribbean Group that also owns and operates Celebrity Cruises – has also eased its mask policy, with its announcement made just yesterday.
Aboard Royal Caribbean ships, guests will not be required to wear masks in designated vaccinated-only areas beginning February 15, and masks need not be worn outdoors unless social distancing is not possible. Masks must still be worn in other indoor areas and wherever local guidelines require them in ports of call.
Royal Caribbean Group also owns luxury, all-inclusive line Silversea. For the moment, Silversea still requires all passengers to wear a mask in all indoor areas, including while on shore excursions, though the cruise line’s website does state that “Silversea is constantly monitoring the public health guidelines and will modify its policies accordingly.”
Norwegian Cruise Line Also Ending Mask Mandates
Earlier this week, Norwegian Cruise Line announced that as of March 1, 2022, “The decision to wear a mask covering when onboard is at the discretion of each guest.” The cruise line does continue to recommend mask wearing, but masks will no longer be required.
As with other cruise lines, crew members will continue to wear masks aboard Norwegian ships, and all crew and passengers must adhere to local guidelines when in ports of call.
What About Other Cruise Lines?
Eager passengers are closely monitoring health and safety protocols aboard other cruise lines to see if mask policies are eased or updated. Policies for Carnival Cruise Line are of particular interest, though as of February 10 there has been no change in Carnival’s mask policy.
Aboard Carnival ships, the Have Fun. Be Safe. COVID-19 protocols state that “all guests, ages two and above, are required to wear masks at all times when indoors, except when eating or drinking or when in their own staterooms.” Masks are not required in outdoor areas where physical distancing is possible.
Similar policies requiring masks are in place aboard all other cruise lines owned by the Carnival Corporation & plc, including Princess Cruises, Holland America Line, Cunard, Costa Cruises, and other lines under the Carnival umbrella.
Independently owned MSC Cruises also requires face masks at this time, in all indoor areas and public spaces. According to the line’s website, “mask use is not required outdoors but is recommended as well as when social distancing is not possible.”
Likewise, Disney Cruise Line requires face coverings for all guests ages 2 and up, regardless of vaccination status, unless in their staterooms or when “actively eating or drinking (while stationary and maintaining an appropriate physical distance).” Because Disney Cruise Line sails with higher percentages of very young cruisers ineligible for vaccinations, it is likely that the line will maintain mask requirements longer than other cruise lines.
Cruise lines are constantly in communication with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), and local health authorities in ports of call to ensure the best protocols to protect not only passengers and crew members aboard ships, but also residents in different port communities. As pandemic conditions continue to change, policies are frequently adapted to meet new considerations.
Stay tuned to Cruise Hive for all the latest updates on masks and other health and safety protocols for cruise lines worldwide.