Bahamas requiring eligible cruise passengers be fully vaccinated

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The Celebrity Edge and Royal Caribbean's Freedom of the Seas in port in Nassau, Bahamas.
The Celebrity Edge and Royal Caribbean's Freedom of the Seas in port in Nassau, Bahamas. Photo Credit: Hector Fadraga

All cruise passengers ages 12 and older must be fully vaccinated for Covid-19 for ships to enter a Bahamas port, effective Sept. 3.

The order includes cruise lines' private islands in the Bahamas. Every major cruise company sailing from the U.S. -- Carnival Corp., Royal Caribbean Group, MSC Cruises and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings -- calls at a private Bahamas destination.

Bahamas prime minister Hubert Minnis issued the emergency order on Aug. 19. The restriction is valid through Nov. 1. 

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Before arriving in port, the ship's captain will be required to submit a manifest disclosing the vaccination status of all people aboard. 

Cruise lines immediately began changing their vaccine requirements on sailings from Florida in response to the order.

Royal Caribbean International said that in order to comply, guests 12 and older sailing from Florida ports must provide proof of vaccination in order to cruise, starting Sep. 3. The updated policy matches Royal's requirements for cruises departing other U.S. ports. Guests under 12 must provide a negative test result at boarding.

MSC Cruises said unvaccinated guests whose cruise is scheduled to depart Florida between Sept. 3 and Oct. 31 won't be allowed to sail. They are eligible for a full refund.

Earlier this month, Royal Caribbean International said that the U.S. Virgin Islands would not allow cruise ships to enter unless all eligible passengers onboard were vaccinated.

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