Travel Requirements For Cruises To The Bahamas & Caribbean

What To Know Before You Go 

For cruises departing from the U.S.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR CRUISES TO THE BAHAMAS & CARIBBEAN

 

  • Guests 12 years and older who are fully vaccinated are able to cruise and must present proof of COVID-19 vaccine with the final dose being administered at least 14 days before the cruise.
  • All guests under 12 years of age (given our vaccination requirements) are required to show proof of a negative RT-PCR test taken no more than 3 days prior to ship embarkation.
  • These guests will undergo an additional COVID-19 test at the terminal prior to embarkation, provided by MSC Cruises, free of charge.
  • The only exception is that no pre-embarkation or embarkation testing is required for guests under 2 years of age.
  • Before booking your cruise, please click HERE to check if your country of residence is allowing guests to cruise in your selected destination.

 

We will continue to evaluate these requirements as local public health standards evolve. Please read all of the requirements below to ensure you are not denied boarding. 


 

TRAVEL INSURANCE REQUIRED FOR ALL INTERNATIONAL GUESTS (EXCLUDING U.S. RESIDENTS)


  • You are required to purchase a travel protection plan with coverage for COVID-19. Insurance purchased through MSC Cruises must be purchased through your country of residence. This must be purchased prior to making final payment on your booking.
  • You must either purchase insurance through MSC Cruises or present documentation at the pier with sufficient coverage purchased from another provider or you will be denied boarding.

 

Travel Requirements

PRE-CRUISE REQUIREMENTS

- U.S. & Puerto Rico residents

Click here to review & accept terms & conditions and confirm that you will be fully vaccinated at the time of your cruise.

VACCINE REQUIREMENTS: 

  • All guests 12 years old & older must be fully vaccinated at time of embarkation (final dose being administered at least 14 days prior to embarkation).
  • Must present your original vaccine card/certificate at the pier upon check-in.


  • COVID-19 TEST REQUIREMENTS:

    • All fully vaccinated guests 12 years & older are required show proof of a negative antigen or RT-PCR test taken no more than 2 days prior to ship embarkation.
    • All guests not fully vaccinated (all guests under 12 years of age, given our vaccination requirements) are required to show proof of a negative RT-PCR test taken no more than 3 days prior to ship embarkation. These guests will undergo an additional COVID-19 test at the terminal prior to embarkation, provided by MSC Cruises, free of charge. The only exception is that no pre-embarkation or embarkation testing is required for guests under 2 years of age. 

     

    View our FAQ for additional details regarding vaccine and COVID-19 test requirements.

    - International guests (Non-U.S. & Puerto Rico residents)

    VACCINE REQUIREMENTS: 

    • All guests 12 years of age and older must be fully vaccinated at time of embarkation (final dose being administered at least 14 days prior to embarkation).
    • You must present your original vaccine card or certificate at the pier upon check-in.
    •  

    COVID-19 TEST REQUIREMENTS:

    • All fully vaccinated guests are required to show proof of a negative RT-PCR or antigen test taken no more than 2 days before ship’s embarkation.
    • All guests under 12 years of age (given our vaccination requirements) are required to show proof of a negative RT-PCR test taken no more than 3 days prior to ship embarkation. These guests will undergo an additional COVID-19 test at the terminal prior to embarkation, provided by MSC Cruises, free of charge.
    • The only exception is that no pre-embarkation or embarkation testing is required for guests under 2 years of age.
    • Effective Dec. 6, 2021, the U.S. Government requires all international guests flying into the U.S. to show proof of a negative antigen or RT-PCR test taken no more than 1 day prior to their flight departure bound to the U.S.; depending on the timing of the test taken prior to flight departure and the timing of ship embarkation, the test taken prior to flight departure may or may not meet the requirements for ship’s embarkation, such as the requirement that fully vaccinated guests show proof of a negative RT-PCR or antigen test taken no more than 2 days before ship’s embarkation. If the test taken prior to flight departure is taken more than 2 days prior to ship embarkation, it will be necessary to take a second test no more than 2 days prior to ship embarkation.  
     

    TRAVEL INSURANCE REQUIREMENTS:

    A travel insurance with coverage for COVID-19 is required in order to cruise & must be presented at the pier upon check-in.

    •  

    View our FAQ for details regarding vaccine, COVID-19 testing & travel insurance requirements.

    TERMINAL & EMBARKATION REQUIREMENTS

    - At the terminal and during embarkation

    While at the terminal and during embarkation you will need:

    • A mask is required throughout the terminal and during embarkation.
    • Proof of vaccine (don't forget to bring your vaccine card or certificate of vaccination).
    • Proof of negative COVID-19 test for guests 2 years and older, for both pre-embarkation testing, and if provided and required by MSC Cruises for embarkation testing.
    • MSC Cruises may provide additional testing, if necessary, at the terminal during embarkation or on board to protect our guests and crew.
    • An assigned arrival time will be provided on your e-ticket. If you arrive early, you may be asked to wait outside until your embarkation time.
    • Children 2 - 11 years old will be tested at the pier prior to embarkation (covered by MSC).

     

    View our FAQ for additional details.

    - Reasons to deny boarding

    You will be denied boarding if you:

    • Have had potential exposure to a suspected or confirmed case of of COVID-19 within 14 days of embarkation.
    • Have a fever >99.5 F / 37.5 C, cough, shortness of breath, chills, muscle aches/body aches, fatigue, headache, sore throat or loss of taste/smell within 14 days of embarkation.
    • Have temporary travel restrictions based on local circumstances. For example, certain countries may deny visas or prohibit entry based on travel history & nationality.
    • Are not able to provide the proof of mandatory COVID-19 vaccine proof and negative COVID-19 test result(s) from pre-embarkation testing and, if applicable, embarkation testing.
    • Are not able to provide proof of mandatory COVID-19 insurance policy, (only required for non-U.S. and Puerto Rico residents), in the following languages: English, Italian, German, French or Spanish.

    ONBOARD, ASHORE & DISEMBARKATION REQUIREMENTS

    - Onboard, Ashore & Disembarkation Requirements

    • A mask will be required throughout the cruise while indoors and in public areas. In addition, you will be required to wear a mask during disembarkation and throughout the terminal.
    • You may be required to take a COVID-19 test during the cruise, depending on pandemic conditions.
    • If you become symptomatic during the cruise, you will be required to take a RT-PCR test on board (covered by MSC).
    • To support guests in complying with international travel requirements, MSC Cruises allows guests to purchase an RT-PCR test or antigen test during your cruise.
    • International guests only (non-U.S. and Puerto Rico residents): A COVID-19 test or Passenger Locator Form (PLF) may still be necessary for national or international travel. It's every guests responsibility to verify this requirement before departure.

      View our FAQ for additional information.

    - Shore Excursions

    • We highly recommend to guests that are fully vaccinated and who wish to go ashore to purchase an MSC Cruises shore excursion to ensure the same high standards of health & safety ashore, as on board.
    • If you are traveling with children under 12 years of age who are not fully vaccinated, you must purchase an MSC shore excursion if you wish to go ashore (excluding Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve, our exclusive private island). This is to help ensure everyone is following the same health & safety protocol.

    Cruise Experience

    RESTAURANTS AND BARS

    • To maintain health and safety standards, MSC Cruises has adapted processes for ordering, preparing, delivering, consuming and paying for food and beverage service
    • A new seating layout allows for social distancing, and all meals and drinks will be served at your table
    • Self-service at the buffet restaurant will be temporarily unavailable, and the food will be plated and served by our crew
    • For a contactless experience, you can access restaurant and bar menus from your personal mobile device by conveniently scanning a QR code
    • You will be required to wear a mask throughout the cruise while indoors and in public areas. Mask use is not required outdoors but is recommended as well as when social distancing is not possible outdoors

    ENTERTAINMENT AND ACTIVITIES

    • Newly designed onboard activities and entertainment for smaller group sizes have been created
    • A wide array of activities including shows, entertainment and the Kids Club will be available by reservation at no extra charge
    • The capacity of the theater will be reduced to ensure responsible social distancing and the entertainment schedule will be extended so you can still enjoy a great variety of award-winning shows
    • All recreational and sporting equipment, fitness machines, toys, games and Kids Club equipment will be disinfected after each use
       

    OUTDOOR AREAS AND POOLS

    • All open decks will be accessible
    • Pools, whirlpools and the Aquapark will be available with reduced occupancy for social distancing
    • Sun beds will be separated in clusters
    • All outdoor furniture will be disinfected after every use and deeper disinfection will take place every night

    GUEST SERVICES AND CUTTING-EDGE TECHNOLOGY

    • Download our app MSC For Me (or use our interactive touchscreens and in-stateroom smart TV onboard) to easily find information while avoiding queues*
    • Remote desks will be available on embarkation day for in-person questions
    • You should always call before going to any desk for information
    • Cashless payments will be highly recommended


      *MSC for Me digital channels (mobile app, in-stateroom smart TV, interactive touchscreens) is available on MSC Meraviglia, MSC Bellissima, MSC Grandiosa, MSC Seaview, MSC Seaside, MSC Splendida, MSC Virtuosa and MSC Seashore and MSC Magnifica (limited version).

    SHORE EXCURSIONS

    • To go ashore during your cruise, we highly recommend you participate in one of our MSC shore excursions to ensure the same high standards of health and safety ashore as on board
    • Select destinations will not allow guests to go ashore independently and will require guests to participate in an MSC shore excursion. Please note, guests may also be required to show proof of vaccination and/or the EU digital COVID-19 certificate (if traveling through Europe). Visit our Shore Excursion FAQ section for more information

    ELEVATED STANDARDS OF CLEANLINESS

    • New cleaning methods including the use of hospital-grade disinfectants, electrostatic sprayers, increased cleaning frequency and a focus on high-traffic, frequently-touched areas
    • Staterooms cleaned daily, with additional deep sanitation at the end of each cruise
    • 100% fresh, external air supplied to all staterooms and public spaces, with no re-circulation
    • Hand sanitizer dispensers available around the ship

    ENHANCED MEDICAL SUPPLIES AND SERVICES

    • Fully equipped Medical Center, including COVID-19 testing equipment, ventilators and increased number of highly trained staff on board
    • Comprehensive isolation and quarantine procedures and a response plan in place with local authorities that will be activated in case of suspected or confirmed COVID-19 situations

    faq

    VACCINATION GUIDELINES

    - Who is defined as fully vaccinated? What vaccines do you accept?

    Guests will be considered fully vaccinated if they have received their final dose at least 14 days prior to embarkation with a WHO approved vaccine (including Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, Oxford/Astrazeneca, Covidshield, Sinopharm, Sinovac and Coronavac). Mixed vaccines are now accepted.  If you are unable or unwilling to show proof of vaccination, you will be denied boarding.

    not fully vaccinated guest is considered to be someone: 1) who has not received their final dose at least 14 days prior to embarkation with a WHO approved vaccine (including Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, Oxford/Astrazeneca, Covidshield, Sinopharm, Sinovac and Coronavac); or 2) someone who is vaccinated but unwilling or unable to show their proof of vaccination; or 3) children 11 years old and younger.

    - How will you confirm if I'm fully vaccinated? What documentation is required?

    Fully Vaccinated:

    If you are fully vaccinated (guests 12 years and older) you will be required to show proof of vaccination at the pier upon check-in. The COVID-19 vaccination certificate must contain: personal identification (at a minimum, full name and date of birth) that match the passport, name of official source issuing the record, vaccine manufacturer and date(s) of vaccination. Must be in English, Italian, German, French or Spanish.

    TRAVEL INSURANCE REQUIREMENTS

    - Is travel insurance required in order to cruise?

    U.S. and Puerto Rico residents:
    A travel protection plan with coverage for COVID-19 is recommended for guests 12 years and older who are fully vaccinated.

     

    This must be purchased prior to making final payment on your cruise. If you’ve already booked your cruise and have not purchased a travel protection plan with coverage for COVID-19, you may call 844-579-4349, if you booked direct with MSC Cruises, or contact your travel advisor to add this to your booking prior to final payment. 

     

    View full details of MSC Cruises Travel Protection Plan with coverage for COVID-19 

     


    International guests residing outside of U.S. and Puerto Rico: 

    Beginning Nov. 8, 2021 MSC Cruises will welcome international guests on cruises departing from a U.S. port.

    A travel protection plan with coverage for COVID-19 is required for guests 12 years and older who are fully vaccinated. You must purchase travel insurance through your country of residence. You will be denied boarding if travel protection with COVID-19 coverage is not purchased through MSC Cruises or another provider. 

     

    All Guests:

    For all guests wanting to purchase their own travel insurance, it is required to provide coverage for COVID-19 protection.  Guests that purchase insurance other than the one offered by MSC Cruises must provide proof of their valid travel insurance policy that has a minimum of (a) $25,000 per person in medical expense coverage and (b) $50,000 coverage for emergency medical evacuation, both with no COVID-19 exclusions.  The insurance policy must name the guest as the policy holder or beneficiary.  Guests must bring a printed version of the insurance policy, showing the name of each of the covered guest(s) and a description of the coverage in the policy. This documentation will be reviewed by our staff at the terminal prior to boarding. Without it, guests will be denied boarding.

    - Are children required to purchase travel insurance?

    U.S. and Puerto Rico residents:
    Children under 12 years of age are not required to purchase travel insurance. For children 12 years and older who are fully vaccinated, we do recommend purchasing a travel protection plan with coverage for COVID-19. 

     

     

    International guests residing outside of U.S. and Puerto Rico:

    Beginning Nov. 8, 2021 MSC Cruises will welcome international guests on cruises departing from a U.S. port.

    Children under 12 years of age are not required to purchase travel insurance. Children 12 years and older who are fully vaccinated are required to purchase a travel protection plan with coverage for COVID-19. 

     

    View full details of MSC Cruises Travel Protection Plan with coverage for COVID-19.

    - What is the Travel Protection Plan with coverage for COVID-19?

    Click here to find more information regarding our Travel Protection Plan with coverage for COVID-19.

    - Can I purchase the Travel Protection Plan with coverage for COVID-19 after I've booked my cruise? 

    Yes, guests can purchase the Travel Protection Plan with coverage for COVID-19 offered by MSC Cruises after they've made a booking as long as final payment has not been completed. Once final payment has been made, guests will no longer be able to add the insurance. 

    PREPARE FOR MY UPCOMING CRUISE

    - What test do I need to provide upon embarkation?

    U.S., Puerto Rico, & Canada residents: 

    All fully vaccinated guests 12 years & older are required show proof of a negative antigen or RT-PCR test taken no more than 2 days prior to ship embarkation.


    All guests not fully vaccinated (all guests under 12 years of age, given our vaccination requirements) are required to show proof of a negative RT-PCR test taken no more than 3 days prior to ship embarkation. These guests will undergo an additional COVID-19 test at the terminal prior to embarkation, provided by MSC Cruises, free of charge. The only exception is that no pre-embarkation or embarkation testing is required for guests under 2 years of age. 

     

    Tests must be taken with an accredited test provider, such as a drugstore chain, diagnostic lab or accredited at home telehealth provider. Guests will be required to show their negative test result upon arriving at the pier. The results can be printed out, or can be presented on your phone, such as the email result from your test provider. Test results will need to clearly show the type of test (Antigen, RT-PCR or NAAT), testing location/provider’s name, negative result, the guest’s name, and date and time the test was taken. Costs associated with this test are the guests' responsibility.

    Telehealth self-tests taken at home will be accepted provided the following requirements are met:

    The test must have Emergency Use Authorization from the U.S. FDA
    The self-test process must happen under live supervision on a video call with a telehealth representative
    The telehealth provider must issue you a result document that includes all the necessary information
    Note that this test kit must be shipped to your home in most cases and may take up to 5 business days to arrive (in the U.S.) after you order.

     

    International guests residing outside of U.S., Puerto Rico and Canada:

    All guests (2 years old and older) must show proof of a negative antigen or RT-PCR test taken no more than 1 day prior to their flight departure bound to the U.S.

    Additionally, all fully vaccinated guests are required to show proof of a negative antigen or RT-PCR test taken no more than 2 days prior to ship embarkation

    Additionally, all guests not fully vaccinated (under 12 years of age, given our vaccination requirements) are required to show proof of a negative RT-PCR test taken no more than 3 days prior to ship embarkation. These guests will undergo an additional COVID-19 test at the terminal prior to embarkation, provided by MSC Cruises, free of charge. The only exception is that no pre-embarkation or embarkation testing is required for guests under 2 years of age.

    GENERAL INFORMATION

    - Can I cruise if I reside outside of the U.S.?

    Beginning Nov. 8, 2021 MSC Cruises will welcome international guests on cruises departing from a U.S. port. Please refer to the requirements listed above to ensure you are not denied boarding. 
     

    Before booking your cruise, please click HERE to check if your country of residence is allowing guests to cruise in your selected destination.

    ONBOARD MEDICAL SERVICES

    - What happens if there is a suspected case of COVID-19 on board?

    The precautionary health and safety steps in the protocols are designed to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 transmission on board. If someone should fall sick, we have a fully equipped onboard 24/7 Medical Center with highly qualified medical staff who are fully trained for COVID-19 treatment and who are supported by a 24/7 ashore medical team.

     

    In case of flu-like symptoms, guests should immediately notify the Medical Center and free treatment will be provided. If the onboard medical team determines a suspected COVID-19 case, a comprehensive isolation procedure and response plan, including contact tracing, will be activated in close cooperation with the health authorities.

    - Have you agreed with specific ports that they will welcome your ships that have positive cases on board for medical assistance ashore?

    Yes. As part of our comprehensive and enhanced health and safety protocols, we have a contingency response plan in place with all the relevant authorities in the ports where the ships will call.

    - Do you have certified COVID-19 tests on board your ships?

    Yes. We have FDA and CDC approved COVID-19 testing reagents and equipment on board.

    - How is each guests health monitored onboard?

    All MSC Cruises ships are equipped with state-of-the-art medical services and an increased number of qualified medical staff onboard, supported by a dedicated 24/7 ashore Medical Team. We continuously monitor the health of our guests and crew with contactless temperature checks during the cruise; in case of flu-like symptoms, guests should immediately notify the Medical Center and free treatment will be provided.

    SOCIAL DISTANCING

    - Will social distancing rules be applied onboard? 

    Yes. We have redesigned activities, adapted our services and reduced venue capacity to ensure that you can easily adhere to current social distancing recommendations, both onboard and ashore.

    You will be reminded of social distancing guidelines at the time of booking and during your cruise through signage, public announcements, in-stateroom TV and staff engagement.

    - Will guests be required to wear a mask?

    You will be required to wear a mask throughout the cruise while indoors and in public areas. Mask use is not required outdoors but is recommended for not fully vaccinated guests. Where social distancing is not possible outdoors, mask use is recommended for all guests.
    Please note that during embarkation, disembarkation and at all times when in the terminal, all guests must wear a mask and practice social distancing.


    DINE & DRINK

    - How will the Main Dining experience change?

    Our main dining restaurants will continue to serve our guests with a wide array of inspiring dishes and high-quality cuisine. We are modifying the seating layout to enable safe physical distancing, and guests will have the same table and waiter throughout their cruise for extra peace of mind.

     

    We have enhanced the cleaning and disinfecting of all venues, providing appropriate protective equipment to all servers and increasing the number of hand sanitizer stations at all restaurants.


    Guests are required to wear face masks when entering the venue but are not required when seated in the restaurants.

    - Will the self-service at the buffet be available?

    Food will be plated and served by our crew at the buffet.

    - Will Specialty Restaurants be open?

    Yes, our sought-after specialty restaurants will be open while operating at a reduced capacity to comply with the precautionary health and safety measures. Reservations are available at the time of booking or by logging in after you've made your booking. Keep in mind, you can save up to 15% vs. onboard prices!

    - Will there be any changes to the bars and lounges?

    Our bars will be open and ready to serve our guests with their favorite cocktail or aperitif. To ensure we comply with the current social distancing recommendations, our staff will deliver drinks at the table and we will limit the capacity of each venue. Face masks do not need to be worn by our guests when seated in bars and lounges for vaccinated guests. Not fully vaccinated guests must wear face masks.

    - How can I pre-book my drinks or restaurants onboard?

    You can save time by personalizing your cruise before getting on board. Manage your booking online and easily add drink packages or dining experiences, book shore excursions with our special pre-cruise rates. 

    - How can I get the restaurants and drinks menu at bars and restaurants?

    For a contactless experience, guests will access restaurant and bar menus from their personal mobile device by scanning a QR code while on board. Before the cruise, MSC Cruises invites all guests to download the free MSC for Me app to browse all onboard restaurants, bars and lounges and to ensure a seamless onboard experience including making restaurant reservations.

    ENTERTAINMENT, SERVICES & EXCURSIONS

    - Will guests still be able to enjoy the theater shows and other activities? 

    Yes, guests will enjoy our onboard award-winning entertainment with a few modifications:

     

    - Reduced theater capacity to allow for empty seats between guests

    - Extended entertainment program so tall guests can enjoy our award-winning shows

    - Pre-booking of shows and activities to manage the number of participants


    - Will the Kids Club be open and what kind of kids’ activities will be available?

    Our Kids Club and family activities will welcome kids and parents in a healthy and safe environment while ensuring a fun and enjoyable experience.

    New measures include reduced capacity, a streamlined registration process, contactless temperature check and hand sanitization upon entry. We're adding new exciting activities and family game shows that will be available for booking up to one day in advance. Toys and water will be provided by our staff, while personal belongings are not permitted as an additional safety measure.

    - Will you still have Spa and Fitness services available to guests? 

    MSC Aurea Spa and Fitness facilities and services will be available* with enhanced health and sanitation measures, extended opening hours and reduced capacity in public spaces. Onboard services are subject to changes based on local regulations or other restrictions, in the context of the COVID-19 situation.

     

    For health and comfort, guests will pre-book spa treatments, fitness sessions and thermal area visits by phone.

     

    Fitness machines and equipment, spa areas and treatment rooms will be thoroughly disinfected after each use as well as deep-cleaned and disinfected every night.

     

    All Spa staff have been trained on rigorous health and sanitation measures and will wear appropriate protective equipment.

     

    *Depending on ship-class, the following experiences will be closed until further notice: Saunas, Steam Rooms, Heat Baths Whirlpools, Ice & Snow Experiences. Salt Relax Room, Harmonic Relax Rooms, Experience Showers, Heated Loungers will remain open to our guests.   

    - Will guests be able to use the casino?

    The casino remains fully functional under the new protocols with added disinfection and social distancing measures in place, including frequent disinfecting of chips, replacing playing cards on a regular basis and a reduced number of seats at gaming tables.

    - Will there be any restrictions to visit some ports?

    Fully vaccinated are free to go ashore in each port of call, including our exclusive private island, Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve, or enjoy one of our many offered shore excursions.

     

    Not fully vaccinated guests will not be allowed to go ashore unless they purchase a shore excursion through MSC Cruises. On Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve, not fully vaccinated guests may spend the day as they wish or purchase one of our many offered shore excursions. Note, children 11 and younger will be considered not fully vaccinated for the purpose of shore excursions.

     

    - Can I go ashore freely if my kids are not vaccinated?

    Any fully vaccinated guests in the same traveling party with a not fully vaccinated guest or a child 11 years old or younger are considered not fully vaccinated for the purposes of shore excursions. Everyone will be required to purchase a shore excursion for not fully vaccinated guests through MSC Cruises if you wish to go ashore.

     

    Example - A family of four, two adults and two children under 11 years old: All guests will be required to participate in a shore excursion for not fully vaccinated guests.