The barred guests on the Ovation of the Seas ship to Alaska had thought they just needed to show a negative COVID test made within 72 hours prior to departure.
According to an RCI spokesperson, passengers should have known about the company's vaccine policy that was updated on August 1. It says that all passengers on cruises departing from any US port (except in Florida) must be fully vaccinated against the Coronavirus. Younger passengers not yet eligible for vaccination must show proof of a negative COVID test.
Unvaccinated vacationers traveling from Florida are subject to regular testing and additional health protocols at their own expense.
The CDC set health guidelines and restrictions for cruise companies to follow in order to set sail over a year after being sidelined in the United States as the coronavirus crisis raged. Florida officials claimed the CDC rules were too restrictive and could prevent most cruises from hitting the water.
In June, Royal Caribbean launched its first ship out of a US port after 15 months.