kids on cruise

Kids, cruising and the vaccine – the latest cruise line rules

Celebrity Cruises this week put on hold its plan to mandate vaccines for children ages five to 11, which was originally supposed to be in effect from February – underscoring the difficult dilemma facing operators as countries around the world put different policies in place for youngsters over the pandemic.

The company said in a statement: “Our recent announcement regarding a change in the minimum vaccination age required to cruise has been placed on hold until further notice. Celebrity Cruises will continue to put in place health and safety protocols that take into consideration the latest CDC guidance.”

Disney Cruise Line has recently implemented a similar policy, requiring all passengers aged five years and older to be vaccinated and others brands such as Norwegian Cruise Line already simply require all passengers to be vaccinated without exception.

As far as our shores go, Royal Caribbean Vice President and Managing Director Australia and New Zealand, Royal Caribbean International says they can’t wait to welcome families back.

“Royal Caribbean has successfully welcomed back over 500,000 guests globally, and we are excited to sail from Australia again soon, delivering world-class holiday experiences for families to enjoy.”

Currently, Australia children aged five to eleven will be able to access the COVID vaccine from January. 

Differing policies between lines of course can make it a bit more tricky for those with young kids who are looking to bring the family on a cruise, as they may have kids not yet able to be vaccinated.

In Australia, The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation has given the Pfizer vaccine the final approval to be administered to 5-11 year olds. The program will begin on January 10.


Here’s a round up of the major lines and their current policies to ease your planning stresses.

Royal Caribbean 

“All Royal Caribbean guests aged 12 and older must present proof of COVID-19 vaccination, with the final dose of their vaccine administered at least 14 days before sailing. Guests under the age of this requirement  don’t need to be vaccinated and will complete COVID-19 testing requirements. As a resumption of cruising in Australia is yet to be announced, Royal Caribbean will closely follow the advice and policies set out by the Australian Government.”


“Until December 31, 2021, children from zero to 11 years old do not need to be vaccinated and must provide a PCR test taken with 48 hours to be able to board our cruises.”

Celebrity Cruises

  • All guests over the age of 12 will need to be vaccinated.
  • Currently, guests under the age of 12 are not required to be vaccinated, but will be subject to the COVID-19 testing policy.
  • All guests 2 and over must present a negative COVID-19 test prior to sailing.

Crystal Cruises 

Guests 12 and older are required to be fully inoculated with a COVID-19 vaccine (both doses if recommended by manufacturer) at least 14 days prior to travel. Fully vaccinated children from 5 to 11 years old will be accepted for travel without restrictions.” 

Dream Cruises 

“Guests over the age of 12 are required to be fully vaccinated to cruise. Vaccinated guests must receive the full regime of COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days before the cruising date to be eligible to cruise.”

Norwegian Cruise Line 

Norwegian Cruise Line currently requires all passengers of any age to be vaccinated, however, this policy expires at the end of the year.

Carnival Cruise Line 

Carnival’s policy varies in different locations, but generally, anyone over 12 will require a vaccination.