As vaccines and testing make the covid epidemic a less concern, cruise lines have slowly returned to normal or at least to near-normal.
The coronavirus epidemic has not ended, and new techniques are always possible.
But Royal Caribbean () -, Carnival Cruise Lines () -, and Norwegian Cruise Lines () have worked tirelessly to bring cruising back to what it was in early 2020, despite the industry's long shutdown.
When cruising began in July 2020, Royal Caribbean had not fully evolved its policies. The first cruise left July 2 on Freedom of the Seas and vaccinations were suggested, uncompletely required, and precruise testing wasn't yet a thing.
Social distancing was encouraged, although they were not particularly enforced, and masks were required in some areas, although sections marked vaccinated-only were mask-free.
The cruise line added that requirement as vaccinations were approved for children. Mask rules were changed in strictness, but masks were still an onboard requirement until February, when the cruise line made them optional for every individual: children using the Adventure Ocean club.
This is how the behavior of some parents has evolved, and while some may like the mask requirements, many parents have felt it prevents them from having a normal vacation.
The Royal Caribbean
TheStreet Recommands that Everyone Been Refered
What Is the Royal Caribbean Adventure Ocean?
Adventure Ocean is a catch-all term for Royal Caribbean's onboard areas for children ages 12 and under. However, the age differences may vary a bit by ship, with kids starting at 6 months old running through 12-year-olds. These are drop-off services that may be charged an extra charge (depending on the age and the time of day).
The kids have their own onboard restrooms, but these are come-and-go-as-you-please rather than the babysitting service Adventure Ocean offers.
Due to the ship's devastating return, Royal Caribbean has operated Adventure Ocean with a wide variety of restrictions. On many sailings, the times available were limited, and reservations were made (though walk-ins were accepted if there was availability). In addition, masks remained mandatory in Adventure Ocean.
Because while Royal Caribbean requires all passengers to provide a negative covid test only two days before sailing, children 12 and under were not required to be vaccinated, causing the possibility for vaccinated and unvaccinated children to arrive at Adventure Ocean at the same time.
While children 12 and under are still not required to be vaccinated to cruise with Royal Caribbean, the Adventure Ocean mask policy has been changed so that masks may be included.
What Has The Royal Caribbean Done With Masks?
The Adventure Ocean mask policy was sloppy, according to Matt Hochberg of the Caribbean, who has no affiliation with the cruise line. One of his readers informed him about the change after she saw it on her cruise on Oasis of the Seas. The cruise line had issued the following guidelines.
"Mask wearing is optional for youngsters participating in Adventure Ocean. However, masks are recommended for unvaccinated children 2 and up. Children under 2 do not need to wear a mask at any time."
That's a departure from recent protocols that require masks.
The three major cruise lines, Royal Caribbean, Carnival, and Norwegian, have also been suspended. That change came after a federal judge was barred from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's attempt to extend mask-wearing restrictions in transportation hubs.