New CDC Order Requires Face Masks on Cruise Ships and Other Public Transportation

It has almost been a year since cruise ships around the world halted sailings.

Disney Cruise

Some cruise lines have released itineraries for dates as soon as Fall 2021, and through Spring 2022. Although there haven’t been too many details about when cruise ships may return to normal operations, the CDC has provided additional guidelines for procedures on board.

The CDC has released an order that requires guests and crew members to wear masks when traveling on public transportation in the United States, including cruise ships, buses, trains, and more.


The statement noted that “Persons must wear masks over the mouth and nose when traveling on conveyances into and within the United States. Persons must also wear masks at transportation hubs as defined in this Order.”


Persons who wear masks are the only ones who will be allowed to board. Guests onboard will be monitored to see that they are complying with safety measures and will be disembarked if they refuse to comply. The only exempt passengers are children under 2 years old and people with disabilities who cannot wear masks or cannot safely wear masks, because of a disability defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act.

©Carnival Cruise Line

Guests should be aware that noncompliance with this guideline is a violation of Federal law. Back in September 2020, multiple cruise lines proposed the same measures during their Healthy Sail Panel.

Enchanted Garden on Disney Dream

Royal Caribbean has stated that guests are required to wear masks in all public places, unless they are stationary while eating or drinking in distanced dining areas. Restaurants will have seating arranged for distancing, and tables and chairs will be disinfected. Face masks will be required at bars and nightclubs when guests aren’t seated and actively drinking or eating.

©Royal Caribbean Cruise

The few exceptions where guests are not required to wear masks on Royal Caribbean cruises is when they are engaged in activities where masks may become wet, like pools or strenuous activities like jogging. Guests are not required to wear masks inside their staterooms.

Disney Dream

Crew members will also wear masks and gloves at all times. The new CDC order goes into effect on February 1st, 2021. As we wait for more information about cruise lines reopening soon, we’ll be sure to update you on everything you need to know!

Find out the details of the Disney Cruise Line canceling sailings through April!

Have you been on a cruise previously? Let us know in the comments below!

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Rachel Franko has been going to Disney Parks since she was a baby, and her love of Disney has only grown into a SLIGHT obsession since! She's been writing for AllEars since 2019 and loves sharing the magic with all the readers. When she's not writing, you can catch her heading to Disney and Universal Studios with a heart full of dreams and a backpack full of themed ears!

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2 Replies to “New CDC Order Requires Face Masks on Cruise Ships and Other Public Transportation”

  1. I suppose guests could have meals delivered to their staterooms and wear masks when anywhere else but, I don’t see the cruises resuming until vaccines have made covid-19 more manageable.