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Which Cruise Ships Will Be Doing Test Cruises and When Do They Set Sail?
Carnival Vista (Photo: Carnival)

Which Cruise Ships Will Be Doing Test Cruises and When Do They Set Sail?

Which Cruise Ships Will Be Doing Test Cruises and When Do They Set Sail?
Carnival Vista (Photo: Carnival)
Aaron Saunders
Contributor
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As cruise lines prepare to resume service from U.S. homeports, those without mandates for near full-ship vaccinations against COVID-19 are required by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to operate so-called "simulated voyages," or test cruises, before setting sail with paying passengers.

These simulated voyages -- mandated by the agency's Framework for Conditional Sailing Order -- are required to test a number of aspects prior to being certified by the CDC for restricted operations with paying passengers.

Things like dining, bars and lounges, entertainment, and shore excursion offerings will all be tested to ensure they comply with the agency's parameters on social distancing, signage, mask usage, and more.

The list of cruise ships approved by the CDC to conduct test cruises continues to grow and as of early June, a total of 11 cruise ships have been given the green light to proceed. Note that this list does not include vessels that are mandating fully-vaccinated passengers only, as is the case with all big-ship sailings from Seattle to Alaska this year, or Carnival's July sailings out of Galveston.

So far, these test sailings are not open to the public or media. In most cases, corporate employees will be used as passengers. The lines have also not released dates for all of their test cruises either.

Here's a rundown of which ships have been approved to set sail on simulated voyages, and when the first passenger sailing is set to occur:


freedom of the seas

Freedom of the Seas

Departure Port: Miami

Test Cruise Date: June 20-22, 2021

First Passenger Sailing: July 2, 2021


Odyssey of the Seas is greeted by a water salute in Haifa

Odyssey of the Seas

Departure Port: Port Everglades / Fort Lauderdale

Test Cruise Date: June 21, 2021

First Passenger Sailing: July 3, 2021


Carnival Vista (Photo: Carnival Cruise Line)

Carnival Vista

Departure Port: Galveston

Test Cruise Date: Unknown

First Passenger Sailing: July 3, 2021

Note: Now that Carnival Vista is requiring passengers to be vaccinated, it does not need to have a test cruise, under CDC guidelines.


Carnival Horizon (Photo: Cruise Critic)

Carnival Horizon

Departure Port: Miami

Test Cruise Date: Unknown

First Passenger Sailing: July 4, 2021


Grand Classica (Photo: Cruise Critic)

Grand Classica

Departure Port: Palm Beach

Test Cruise Date: June 25-27, 2021

First Passenger Sailing: July 2, 2021


Disney Dream

Disney Dream

Departure Port: Port Canaveral

Test Cruise Date: June 29-July 1, 2021

First Passenger Sailing: August 9, 2021


MSC Meraviglia

MSC Meraviglia

Departure Port: Miami

Test Cruise Date: July 17, 2021

First Passenger Sailing: August 2, 2021


Ship Exterior on Allure of the Seas

Allure of the Seas

Departure Port: Port Canaveral

Test Cruise Date: July 27-29, 2021

First Passenger Sailing: August 8, 2021


Ship Exterior of Mariner of the Seas (Photo: Cruise Critic)

Mariner of the Seas

Departure Port: Port Canaveral

Test Cruise Date: August 1, 2021

First Passenger Sailing: August 23, 2021


Symphony of the Seas (Photo: Royal Caribbean)

Symphony of the Seas

Departure Port: Miami

Test Cruise Date: August 1-3, 2021

First Passenger Sailing: August 14, 2021


Ship Exterior on Independence of the Seas

Independence of the Seas

Departure Port: Galveston

Test Cruise Date: August 11, 2021

First Passenger Sailing: August 15, 2021


Cruise Critic will continue to update this article as more ships are approved for simulated test cruises by the CDC.

Updated June 08, 2021

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