One of Florida’s most popular ports announced that cruise ships will resume sailing in October. Port of Tampa Bay President and CEO Paul Anderson released a statement saying that Royal Caribbean will be the first line to sail from the port when Serenade of the Seas embarks on October 16th. It will be the first cruise from the port since March 2020.
Royal Caribbean will be followed by Celebrity Cruises and Carnival Cruise Line in November and Norwegian Cruise Line in December from the Port of Tampa Bay.
“Port Tampa Bay enthusiastically welcomes back our cruise line partners. Beginning in mid-October, Royal Caribbean International will resume sailing from our port, followed by Celebrity Cruises and Carnival Cruise Line in November and Norwegian Cruise Line in December,” said Anderson. “Tampa has long been regarded as an attractive homeport thanks to the variety of quality hotel and dining options, our world-class beaches and nearby attractions. The return of the cruise industry will have a far-reaching economic impact on our region.”
According to officials at the port, there are new protocols in place for passenger health and safety. Terminals will undergo a deep cleaning after a cruise embarks which includes disinfecting commonly touched things like door handles, railings and countertops.
Royal Caribbean Vaccine Requirements
Royal Caribbean does not currently require cruisers from Florida to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, but there are disadvantages to cruising with the line without your shots. Most places on board the ship will be available to everyone, but there are certain venues onboard Royal Caribbean ships designated for vaccinated passengers only. All guests are tested prior to boarding.
All crew members on board Royal Caribbean ships are fully vaccinated and are tested each week for the virus.
You may have seen a few weeks ago when a cruiser, dubbed “Cruise Karen“, was removed from a ship after testing positive for the virus.