Covid Testing Made Easy

Filed under: Planning

Written by your Moms at Sea Travel Team; Jamie Margolis Ross, Kelly Roop Aleman, and Stephanie Rush. If you want to plan your next sailing with us, or transfer a current sailing to our agency, please contact us through the button below. To transfer, your booking must be less than 30 days old and not paid in full.

We’re Moms. Give us the TL:DR

The Healthy Sail Center is great but just give us the bullet points and tell us what we need to know.

Between packing and planning, to get everyone from point A to point B, and onto a ship- parents now have the additional hoop to jump through- Covid testing. We’re here to tell you how to get it done as efficiently as possible so you know you have everything ready to go on boarding day.

Let’s Break it Down

A quick and easy breakdown of Covid testing requirements for vaccinated and unvaccinated passengers!

If you are vaccinated:

  • Only guests 12 and older are REQUIRED to be vaccinated to sail.

  • If your child is under 12 and vaccinated, they simply follow the protocols for vaccinated guests.

  • No more than two days before sailing, you will need a Rapid Antigen or PCR test. Rapid antigen tests generally provide faster results than PCR

  • Order the tests below.

  • If you are vaccinated the eMed Abbot BinaxNOW brand telehealth test is the fastest and easiest way to complete your COVID test.

  • You can take these proctored tests anytime day or night and in the comfort of your home or hotel.

  • It takes about 20 minutes per person.

  • Test results will be emailed immediately after the test is complete.

  • You do not need to print results. You can present the results on your phone in port (Telehealth results can be presented on a mobile device per Royal Caribbean’s policies).

  • If your child is under five and vaccinated, you may have trouble uploading their vaccine card during your online check in. DO NOT STRESS. Just bring it with you to port and they will not have additional testing and will sail as a vaccinated guest.

eMed ABBOTT BINAX NOW Tests Are Easy!

Order the tests online and you can use an FSA/HSA account to pay for them!

 If you are not vaccinated:

  • No more than three days before sailing, you will need to do a PCR or Rapid NAAT test.

  • This test cannot be done on the day of sailing.

  • Rapid NAAT typically provides results within hours, much faster than PCR that can take days.

  • Unvaccinated guests will also receive additional complimentary antigen testing at the terminal during embarkation from Royal Caribbean as well as onboard testing towards the end of sailing on sailings more than 5 nights

  • You may not receive your email to schedule boarding day testing until days before your sailing. If you dont receive it, they will do it at your scheduled boarding time.

Guests under the age of 2 do not have to complete any testing.

Testing Pro Tip:

  • Make TWO appointments; one at one provider like Walgreens and one at another like CVS. We cannot tell you how many times we have heard about a site no longer providing testing but still allowing them to be scheduled on their website, or a provider that didn’t come in that day to do tests but appointments weren’t cancelled or notified. MAKE TWO APPOINTMENTS.

  • Schedule your test for as soon as your testing window is open. Even NAAT tests are starting to take 24-48 hours to come back in some regions (looking at you, Florida!)

Pre-Cruise Test Window for Guests Sailing from U.S. Ports including San Juan

Vaccinated guests must take their pre-cruise test no more than 2 days before boarding. Unvaccinated guests must take their pre-cruise test no more than 3 days before boarding, and cannot take their pre-cruise test on boarding day. This is because unvaccinated guests are also tested at the terminal before boarding – and according to CDC guidance, you cannot be tested twice in one day as it may affect the accuracy of the test results. 
When calculating which days you can test, remember that the day you set sail is not counted as one of the days. It is day zero.

We hope this helps you feel more prepared for your next sailing! If you have any questions you can always reach us at