Carnival Cruise Passengers Grow Frustrated by COVID-19 Protocols

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Passengers returning from a Carnival cruise are frustrated by COVID-19 protocols they said they were unaware of prior to boarding.

The passengers said it is a tough lesson they learned themselves and want to make sure others know what to expect before setting sail.

The passengers set sail from PortMiami on a one week cruise through the Caribbean that returned on August 14.

NBC 6 spoke with some passengers who were all vaccinated but traveled with kids under 12 who were not. They said they did not expect the trip to be so strict and they wish they took a closer look at the policies.

“There was nothing for the kids to do at all, besides the pool,” said Ashaad Emamdee.

Emamdee said he did not know there would be restrictions for kids leaving the ship. He said upon arrival, he learned anyone unvaccinated, even kids under 12, had to adhere to specific guidelines.

 “If I knew my kids couldn’t get off, I would have planned differently,” said Emamdee.

A spokesperson from Carnival Cruise lines tells NBC 6, a small percentage of unvaccinated guests are allowed on-board if they file an exemption. They said those guests were emailed guidelines ahead of time detailing the restrictions on-board and at the destinations.

“This information has also been posted on our website and communicated to guests via a series of emails after the booking is made leading to the departure.”

One passenger who spoke with NBC 6 did receive this email and signed a form acknowledging the rules upon boarding, but he said after receiving multiple emails from the company, he overlooked this particular one.

It is a lesson he learned and hopes others do not make the same mistake before spending thousands to cruise with young children.

Tatianna Garcia said there was a misunderstanding of the rules. She told NBC 6 she called customer service ahead of time and was still under the impression that her kids would be able to leave the ship as long as they’re with a vaccinated adult, but that was not the case.

 “The excursion desk was bombarded with parents having to return tours,” said Garcia.

Both Garcia and Emamdee were able to eventually snag a few sports and excursions that are reserved for unvaccinated passengers, but they said not everyone was so lucky.

“We had some fun. It definitely was an experience and we learned from it. We won’t do it again,” said Garcia.

In that email, it does clearly state the policy for shore visits and excursions. It said all unvaccinated guests must remain on-board unless you are able to book a spot on a ‘bubble’ cruise that are for unvaccinated guests.

But other passengers said, even though they were well aware of these policies, what they were not made aware of is how limited those spots on the ‘bubble’ cruises would be.

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