Royal Caribbean Now Requires Guests Only Take Pre-Departure ART, Consumer News & Top Stories
SINGAPORE – Passengers boarding Royal Caribbean’s Quantum of the Seas cruise ship from November 8 will only need to take a rapid antigen test (ART) at the cruise terminal on the day of departure.
Previously, they had to pass a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test before departure.
This is similar to what Dream Cruises’ World Dream has been doing since cruise lines were allowed to resume cruises.
Currently, only two cruise ships – Royal Caribbean’s Quantum of the Seas and Dream Cruises’ World Dream – offer crossings from Singapore.
The new testing requirement for Royal Caribbean will last until the end of November, according to an article posted on the cruise operator’s website.
Customers who have upcoming trips on the cruise liner also received an email on Friday (October 22) about the new requirements.
The email stated that the test would be taken at the terminal on boarding day during the selected arrival window, which they would have selected during their online check-in process.
“This test cost continues to be included in your cruise fare,” the email read.
However, those going on a cruise from December 2 will need to pass an ART on departure day at the Raffles City Convention Center before heading to the terminal for the cruise.
According to the Royal Caribbean website, customers will need to register for a testing appointment which should take place at least an hour before their arrival time at the terminal.
“In the event that the guest does not pass the Antigen test before arriving at the terminal, the guest will not be able to board the ship,” Royal Caribbean said on its website.
In response to questions from the Straits Times, a spokesperson for Royal Caribbean said the switch to rapid antigen testing was in line with Department of Health guidelines to reserve PCR testing for symptomatic people and to use ART as primary method of testing events, including cruises. .
On the flip side, the decision to move the antigen testing site to Raffles City “was aimed at improving the overall customer experience, as wait times at the Marina Bay Cruise Center can vary, particularly when departures are busy ”.
“At Raffles City, guests will have a choice of ART’s schedules and can get there earlier in the day and then return home to relax or finish their luggage. Plus, guests don’t need to wait for the result as they will receive it via text message, usually within 45 minutes, ”the spokesperson said.
“When they arrive at the cruise center at their chosen arrival time, they can quickly complete check-in and boarding. “
Dream Cruise passengers are currently required to complete a pre-departure TAR at the terminal, administered by the designated Genting Cruise Lines medical team. Any Covid-19 test that is not taken at the cruise terminal on the day of departure is not recognized. The cost of the test is also waived by the cruise line.
Clients such as Ms Tina Lew, 38, who works in the banking industry, said the move from Royal Caribbean to ART is a “great relief” as she has two young children, aged six and four.
His family will take part in the Quantum of the Seas cruise on November 11.
“The children had to take ART for the first time this morning because a positive case of Covid-19 was detected at school,” Ms. Lew said. “It wasn’t a great experience, but I think the excitement for the cruise will get them accepted.”
Last month, Royal Caribbean announced that all Singapore passengers aged 12 and over who book a cruise from this month will need to be fully immunized when they depart.
It is not mandatory for Dream Cruises passengers to be fully vaccinated, according to its website.
The two cruise lines have been given the green light to offer cruises to nowhere from Singapore as part of a pilot program that began in November last year.
Under this program, round-trip cruises do not have ports of call and passengers must pass a mandatory Covid-19 test before boarding.