Great news! MSC Cruises are back in the water in the US! We are your resource for the most up to date information around vaccination & testing requirements, whether you will need a mask, taking shore excursions, and health & safety measurements taken by the cruise line.
MSC Cruises will continue to monitor pandemic conditions and port requirements outside of the U.S., with a goal to relax testing and vaccination protocols to open cruising to all guests, while prioritizing the health and safety of its guests, crew and destinations.
MSC Health & Safety FAQs
What kind of pre-cruise COVID-19 testing requirements?
The updated policy will go into effect for cruises embarking from U.S. ports beginning August 8, 2022, pending destination requirements. Details of the changes include:
- Unvaccinated guests 2 years and older must show proof of a lab-administered negative COVID-19 viral test (NAAT or antigen) taken within 3 days of embarkation for all cruises from U.S. ports. MSC Cruises recommends unvaccinated guests to test within 1 day of departure, when possible.
- Fully vaccinated guests sailing 6 nights or longer from U.S. ports must show proof of a lab-administered negative COVID-19 viral test (NAAT or antigen) taken within 3 days of embarkation. MSC Cruises recommends vaccinated guests to test within 1 day of embarkation, when possible.
- For fully vaccinated guests sailing 5 nights or less from U.S. ports, COVID-19 testing within 3 days of embarkation is recommended, but not required.
Current COVID-19 Testing Policy
- All fully COVID-19 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. Guests must bring the valid negative test certificate with them to the terminal. MSC Cruises may provide additional testing, if necessary, at the terminal during embarkation or on board to protect our guests and crew. Be certain to follow testing requirements based on the dates above.
- All guests not fully vaccinated (based on the above vaccination requirements) are required to show proof of a negative RT-PCR test taken no more than 3 days prior to ship embarkation. Guests must bring the valid negative test certificate with them to the terminal. 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.
MSC Cruises may provide additional testing, if necessary, at the terminal during embarkation or on board to protect our guests and crew.
What are MSC's Vaccine requirements?
All guests 12 years and older must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 at the time of embarkation.
At this time, MSC Cruises’ current vaccination requirements will remain in place for sailings from U.S. port. MSC Cruises recommends that fully vaccinated guests receive booster doses when eligible to do so, per CDC recommendations. MSC Cruises crew are fully vaccinated and regularly tested.
To be considered fully vaccinated:
- Your final dose in a 2-dose initial series of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or a single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine must be completed at least 14 days prior to departure.
- Guests must present their original vaccination card or certificate reflecting all required doses at the pier upon check-in.
- The vaccination certificate must be valid for the duration of the entire cruise.
- Guests who have recovered from COVID-19 do not qualify as fully vaccinated.
Do I need a booster to be considered fully vaccinated?
If your final dose was administered 270 days (180 days for Italian residents) or more prior to the final day of your cruise, you must complete a booster shot at least 14 days prior to departure.
How will you confirm if I am 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.
We do not collect vaccination cards or store proof of vaccination. Those cruise lines that have vaccine requirements to cruise will likely ask for proof at the time of boarding.
Please note that these guidelines are subject to change.
Will guests be required to wear a mask?
Ships departing from U.S. ports, masks will be recommended but not required on board in public areas for fully vaccinated guests. Guests who are not fully vaccinated (over 2 and under 5 years old) are required to wear masks on board in indoor public areas. Masks are required for all guests in the terminal at embarkation and disembarkation.
Will the self-service at the buffet be available?
yes, but all food will be plated and served by our crew at the buffet.
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 there be any restrictions to visit the ports?
Vaccinated Guests are free to go ashore in each port of call or enjoy one of many offered shore excursions.
- PLEASE NOTE: 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
- Unvaccinated Guests will not be allowed to go ashore unless purchased a shore excursion. This is to help ensure everyone is following the same health and safety protocol.
These restrictions are under the control of local government and are subject to change without advance notice, so we encourage guests to come prepared for potential mask requirements ashore.
Check here for the most up to date information on each Cruise Destination, including vaccination requirements, mask mandates, shore excursions, and insurance requirements.
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