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Carnival Cruise Line Travel Insurance

Carnival Cruise Line is the next cruise company that has set specific travel requirements for unvaccinated passengers. Similar to terms recently issued by Royal Caribbean, Carnival will require travelers who decide to forgo vaccinations to purchase a travel insurance policy in advance of setting sail from a port in Florida. Here’s what you need to know if you plan to travel on a Florida-based Carnival cruise and don’t plan to get vaccinated before doing so.

In this article, we’ll cover:

  • Travel requirements for unvaccinated passengers
  • Carnival’s COVID-19 specific policies
  • What’s included in a travel insurance policy
  • Choosing the right travel insurance policy
  • Understanding travel insurance reimbursement for COVID

Carnival’s Travel Insurance Requirement for Florida Passengers

Per an executive order issued by governor Ron DeSantis in May, no business or government entity can require proof of COVID-19 vaccination in Florida. That means while travelers from other US ports are required to show proof of vaccination, it’s unlawful for cruise lines to require passengers to prove their vaccination status in Florida.

Carnival will continue to set sail from Florida ports and has put requirements in place to protect the safety of all passengers. Unvaccinated passengers can travel but will need to purchase a travel insurance policy in their name before doing so. Starting July 31st, travel insurance is necessary for all unvaccinated passengers that are age 12 and over traveling from a Florida port.

Policies can be purchased through Carnival’s Vacation Protection program or from an independent insurer as long as they cover:

  • All guests ages 12 and up
  • $10,000 per person in medical expenses
  • $30,000 per person in medical evacuation coverage related to COVID-19

The policy must also not have any COVID-19 exclusions.

In addition to requiring travel insurance for unvaccinated passengers, Carnival has other specific COVID-19 policies in place that guests must follow.

Carnival’s COVID-19 Policies

Fully vaccinated passengers will not need to be tested for COVID-19 before cruising. But unvaccinated passengers over age two must show proof of a negative PCR COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of embarking. The test results will need to show:

  • Full name
  • Date of birth
  • Type of test
  • Date/time of test
  • Result
  • Healthcare provider or testing site details

In addition to the pre-cruise PCR test, unvaccinated passengers will also receive an antigen test on the day of embarkation provided by Carnival. To perform the testing and additional health screenings, Carnival will assess a charge of $150 per person if you’re cleared for departure.

If you or a traveling family member test positive for COVID-19 within 14 days of cruising, you’ll be entitled to receive a Future Cruise Credit (FCC). That includes if you would receive a positive antigen test on embarkation day. To receive an FCC, you’ll need to show proof of your positive COVID-19 test if a non-Carnival provider administered it.

However, you may not receive a refund if you show up on embarkation day, cannot prove vaccination status, and have not purchased the requisite travel insurance policy.

It’s also important to know that any refund requests should be submitted within six months of the scheduled date of embarkation to be considered.

What’s Included in a Travel Insurance Policy?

Carnival Cruise Line’s travel insurance requirements specifically call out coverage for medical and medical evacuation. But the reality is, there are plenty of other benefits to travel insurance.

And if you’re planning to cruise unvaccinated, you might as well be aware of what else your policy may cover and get the most benefit from the plan you’re already purchasing.

Travel insurance policies typically include coverage for:

  • Medical evacuation and treatment
  • Lost, damaged, or stolen baggage
  • Emergency medical coverage
  • Trip delays, interruptions, and cancellations

But each policy is unique, and there are plenty of other unexpected circumstances that travel insurance policies can cover. That’s why it’s best to research and compare coverage and cost when shopping for the right travel insurance policy.

How to Choose the Right Travel Insurance Policy

What each policy covers, especially as it relates to COVID-19, may vary. Follow the below steps as you’re preparing to purchase a travel insurance policy before cruising.

  • Gather your travel information: To research the price of a policy accurately, you’ll need to have your travel dates, destination, age of each passenger, and total cost of the trip, including your travel to the cruise and the price of the cruise itself.
  • Decide what you must have covered: While you’ll have an eye out for the Carnival-specific requirements, it’s also important to outline what else you want your travel insurance policy to cover.
  • Research policies: Get a quote from a reliable site and perform a side-by-side comparison of travel insurance companies and policies. Note that before jumping into purchasing the least expensive policy available, you’ll want to be sure it satisfies all of the requirements as outlined by Carnival.
  • Check the COVID fine print: Before you agree to purchase a travel policy, be sure you understand the COVID-specific coverage. If you aren’t sure if a particular aspect of travel is covered for COVID, be sure to reach out to the insurance provider directly for clarification before you buy. When quoting and buying on, click on the “COVID FAQs” link next to each policy to open a window with an explanation of COVID-19 coverage included in the policy.

Understanding Travel Insurance COVID-19 Requirements

After you find a policy covering the Carnival requirements for unvaccinated passengers, it pays to understand how the travel insurance company will reimburse you if you or a traveling companion contract COVID-19 during the cruise.

One of the most common situations for unvaccinated passengers is a mandatory quarantine following a positive COVID test. The benefit of your travel insurance policy is that it may provide daily financial assistance for meals and accommodations during the quarantine period.

The travel policy may also financially support you by offering to reimburse you for non-refundable expenses following a positive COVID test. For example, say you’re taking a 7-day cruise, and on the second day, you test positive for COVID.

If your policy has appropriate coverage, you may be able to receive a reimbursement for the medical care required, plus a potential refund for the days you were unable to continue with the activities of your cruise.

If you need to submit a claim related to COVID-19 costs, make sure you keep:

  • Proof of your positive COVID-19 test
  • Medical bills for COVID-related testing and illness
  • Receipts from accommodations and other expenses as a result of COVID-19
  • Documentation that you were required to quarantine during travel
  • Proof of exposure to someone that tested positive for COVID-19

Each travel insurance policy may differ in what you need to submit to be appropriately reimbursed. But certainly, keeping excellent track of your expenses related to COVID-19 medical care can increase the likelihood of receiving money back after filing a claim.

The Bottom Line

Cruise lines, including Carnival, are looking forward to getting back to business as usual. And as long as unvaccinated passengers obtain an adequate travel insurance policy before sailing from a Florida homeport, both the cruise lines and passengers can protect themselves.

Remember that if you do contract COVID during travel, you’ll need to keep a detailed log and receipts for all expenses incurred. Doing so will give you the best shot at being reimbursed so you can focus on getting better.


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