Pre-Cruise Testing

OK, so once again I fell for hype. Since CCL had announced they will stick to the maximum 2-day prior Covid testing through the end of March, and since now read that tests are getting hard to come by, I hurriedly ordered our Binax AG home tests today for our 3/6 cruise. This is the test where you have to log in with a "Telehealth Specialist" who will witness you administering the test, then validate the results.

I thought for sure I would receive an email stating something to the effect that "due to the "crisis" of lack of available tests, their normal 2-3 days delivery would be extended to 4-6 weeks".

They already shipped, and according to FedEx they will be delivered tomorrow.

45 Answers

Fingers crossed for you!

(New poster - usually just lurking) My husband also got an email from Princess this week with a survey about masking, testing, vaccine requirements for cruises. But I did not get a similar email. We both cruised on Majestic Princess Dec 11-18, 2021. I guess they don't care what I think!

Thanks for contributing. Please feel free to join in any time.

Got my Binax this week, ordered a bu cya.

That's good news. I've seen one site backlogged and not taking orders, but eMed was still taking orders. I had to get in the queue for March.

Be prepared to test at the port when sailing to Hawaii. Per state Health Rules.

Starting to stress over testing.. I am worried the home test will be messed up or not work..my BFF just told me CVS is charging $129.00 per test now.. I just wanna go on my darn vacation!!! I have a little time but want to be prepared.

How did everyone who just recently cruised test?

I think the chances of the proctored home test being unusable are slim, although it did happen to us. In our case, the test kit was expired but according to the FDA it was still usable, but in reality it wasn't. I doubt that the home test kits available now are expired, so much less of a chance of getting a bad one.

I don't know what state you live in, but some offer free testing. Here in Florida, the state offers "free" antigen tests with documented results within 30 minutes. The operator of these public sites bills your insurance company for the outrageous amount of $200+ (of which the insurance co. pays about $40), or if uninsured, bills the federal government. There's no out of pocket cost. Now that Covid is on the decline, there are a lot fewer of these state sponsored public testing sites - down to just 1 or 2 per county.

Another option is to find a local testing center or clinic that charges a reasonable amount. Not CVS, Quest, or LabCorp, but an independent clinic that specializes in Covid testing. Use Google to find one. There's an independent diagnostic lab in our area that does a rapid antigen test for $40, and that's what we'll be using for our cruise in 2 weeks.

On another note - I think it's criminal that some of these organizations charge outrageous fees to conduct a test using a kit (BinaxNow) that has a wholesale cost of about $5. I'm not sure why the government allows them price gouge like this. I was in Asia recently, and the test kits there retailed for about $1.50.

Thank you! I will look into an independent clinic that offers the NAAT test.. I just hate to spend money on something that may not work, or at a pharmacy. I am already anxious about testing and getting it done correctly...and getting it back negative for all of us LOL This trip has been canceled and rescheduled so many dang times I want everything to go right for a change.

Sorry, I was assuming you wanted to get an antigen test. If you need a NAAT (RT-PCR) test, then that's a much more complicated lab procedure, and will be considerably more expensive. On Carnival, for example, vaccinated passengers need only a rapid antigen test, while only un-vaccinated guests are required undergo a PCR test (and get a vaccination exemption from the cruise line).

If you're sure you need a NAAT (PCR) test, then $129 is actually a good price, especially for less than 72 hour turnaround.

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