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Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Line lift their mask policies

Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Line have both relaxed their COVID protocols, with both lines dropping their mask mandates over the coming weeks.

Royal Caribbean will no longer require face covering in bars, restaurants, theaters and more from February 14. 

Royal Caribbean website reads: “We are continually evaluating mask policies as public health standards and government regulations evolve.”

“Booked guests will be advised of the latest requirements for their port of departure before sailing.” 

Masks will still be required in other indoor areas and at ports of call where local regulations call for them. 

Norwegian Cruise Line will drop mask rules from March 1, however, will recommend passengers wear masks indoors when not eating or drinking, and will enforce mask requirements where required by law in certain European countries. 

NCL’s website reads that from March 1, “the decision to wear a mask covering when onboard is at the discretion of each guest” and that these changes are being made “given the progress in the current public health environment.”

NCL will also no longer require a negative test at the pier, instead guests can show proof of a negative antigen or PCR test within two days of boarding.

This change in policies appears to be marking a positive turning of the tie, as COVID cases on ships are decreasing.

Royal Caribbean Group CEO Jason Liberty said: “In the last several weeks, cases on board our ships have been declining rapidly and we now have returned to exceptionally low pre-Omicron levels.”

With mask mandates changing, here’s a round up of what lines are and aren’t expecting you to cover up.

Carnival Cruise Line

All cruisers over two must wear masks indoors unless eating, drinking or in their own rooms. Masks aren’t required outside unless in very crowded areas.

Celebrity Cruises 

All cruisers must wear face masks when indoors and in the theatre. Masks are not necessary in other venues or outdoors.

Holland America Line

All passengers must wear masks at all times when indoors, and outdoors when physical distancing isn’t possible. 

Norwegian Cruise Line

Masks will not be required from March 1, except in Europe where masks will continue to be required.

Oceania Cruises

From March 1, Oceania cruisers won’t need to wear a mask but are encouraged to continue wearing one. 

Princess Cruises 

Princess customers must wear masks while indoors and outdoors in crowded spaces, unless eating, exercising or receiving spa treatments.

Regent Seven Seas

From March 1, Regent cruisers won’t need to wear a mask but are encouraged to continue wearing one. 

Royal Caribbean International 

From February 15, masks are not necessary for fully vaccinated passengers.

Seabourn Cruises 

Seabourn passengers must have a mask on at all times indoor unless dining and outdoors when there is a large gathering. 

Silversea Cruises 

Those on Silversea cruises must wear masks in all indoor areas and on shore excursions. Masks are not required while seated at restaurants, in bars and outdoors.

Viking Cruises 

Viking will simply follow local laws, so policies will change depending on where and when you’re sailing. However, they are usually required indoors.