According to the cruise company, its Cruise Contract was updated with new language related to the current global health crisis at some point in the last few months.

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As explained, the Section 4 of the contract used to cover simply "medical care and other personal services" has been updated to now cover "public health, COVID-19 policies and procedures, knowing acceptance of the risks".

To remind, every cruise line includes a contract as part of passengers' agreement when booking a cruise.

Following the COVID-19 situation, Royal Caribbean lists some (but not all) of the health policies to expect to follow:

  1. Providing an accurate, truthful and complete health questionnaire in a form and containing any and all health or travel-related questions as required by Carrier in its sole discretion, for each Passenger prior to boarding.
  2. Pre-embarkation and/or periodic testing and temperature checks of each Passenger.
  3. Modified capacity rules for activities (including but not limited to restaurants, gyms, and entertainment events onboard and for shore excursions) which may limit or eliminate the ability of Passenger to participate in particular activities.
  4. Mandatory use by each Passenger (except where medically contraindicated) of face coverings in most locations outside of the Passenger’s cabin while onboard, during embarkation, disembarkation and shore excursions.
  5. Mandatory social distancing of Passengers at any/all times while on board and during embarkation, disembarkation, and shore excursions.
  6. Additional restrictions during shore excursions depending on local conditions, including but not limited to denial of disembarkation at destinations unless participating in only Carrier-approved shore excursions.
  7. Mandatory hand sanitizing by Passenger upon entry or exit of any public areas.
  8. Confinement of Passengers to cabins, quarantine or emergency disembarkation of Passenger if, in Carrier’s sole discretion, such steps are necessary to prevent or slow the spread of COVID-19.
  9. The required completion by Passenger in a timely manner of any written authorizations or consent forms required for Carrier to carry out its COVID-19 Policies and Procedures (including but not limited to medical information, medical privacy, or personal data privacy consent forms).
  10. Other policies and procedures deemed by Carrier in its sole discretion to be necessary to reduce the risk of spread of COVID-19.

What is more, within 14 days of the cruise beginning, if a passenger tests positive for COVID-19, exhibits signs or symptoms of COVID-19, has had close contact with a person confirmed or suspected as having COVID-19, Royal Caribbean reserves the right to deny boarding to that person.

Overall, due to the pandemic, passengers are encouraged to discuss going on a cruise ship for travel with their personal physicians and to review the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (“CDC”) website for updated information.