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Crew shore leave and excursions in ports during the restart. Are cruise ship crew allowed to go out?

Submitted by kgnadmin on

During the past year, the crew was not allowed to go out in ports and most of them haven’t step foot on land for the entire length of their contract. However, with the recent developments and vaccination of the shipboard employees, things are slowly starting to move in the right direction. I spoke with my fellow crew members to find out if the crew is allowed to go out in ports and if the cruise lines organize protected shore excursions for them. 

The good news is that several cruise lines will allow shore leave for crew at their private islands in the Caribbean. The crew members are allowed to go out at Royal Caribbean’s private island CocoCay, MSC Cruises crew said they can also disembark the ship at Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve, and Carnival crew will be allowed to disembark at the private islands once the company resumes cruise operations.

Let's see what are other cruise lines doing on this subject in different parts of the world?

Costa Cruises

This year Costa Cruises is focusing on the Mediterranean with most of the cruises starting from Italy. The company has been sailing successfully with guests for couple of months already, and they have organized several protected shore excursions for the crew, similar to the ones for the guests. A crew member who attended one of these excursions described in detail.

“All was organized from begin to the end

45 minutes before starting the meeting at the luggage are

- get the excursion number

- get Water and lunch back (some strange pure chemical bread and cheese… some sweet, apple and enough of water for the full day)

- get all the information how it will be

9 am going to the bus with the first check by security

Inside the bus single seat only with mouth nose protection. During the drive, a Lady from the outside - tour guide - explained all from the port where we are to the town of Civitavecchia till Rome.

In Rome it was for me a bit too stressful because after 9 months on a ship I just wanted to walk… to be outside.. but it was more like… come on guys we must go. In my opinion to many attractions.

Before we stepped out of the bus, we passed with the bus by the colosseum and some other parts (which I saw already many times, so not my point of interest). As well the bus stopped and we got reminded to keep distance.. etc.. shopping will be done later - if you lose the group, you will be dismissed by the ship and can go home. We had 2 longer stops, one before the Vatikan at a non-crowded shadowed place with trees, coffee bar and souvenir shop (Perfect) and one by the big fountain in the center (forgot the name) after / the 3rd one by the Vatikan for all Christians from Phili or Indonesia interesting because of the pictures, pray and buying souvenirs. After we went back to the bus. Jup… that’s it. Plenty of time for Ice and shadow places.. just too many attractions which you can’t remember all and to stressful sometimes. “

Carnival Cruise Line

Carnival is set to restart cruises this month and the crew are getting ready to welcome first passengers back on board. A crew member said that once cruises start they will be allowed to go out in the private islands. “Nothing official yet. But they said we are good to leave the ship in private islands,” said a crew member working on one of the Carnival ships.

Royal Caribbean International

Royal Caribbean started with cruises in the Caribbean and according to the crew they are allowed to go out and have a Perfect Day at CocoCay. When we're at CocoCay, we have free internet on the island (good speed though). We're allowed to go out there...So, we can get off in our long break” said one crew member

We received news that the crew on Quantum of the Seas, sailing from Singapore since December 2020, that the  Singapore government granted them shore leave back in April. They were sorted by departments and allowed to visit designated malls and not allowed to leave. 


Viking has brought several ocean cruise ships back into service siling to Bermuda, Iceland and the UK however the crew member on one of the Viking ships said till now there are no shore leaves or excursions for the crew.


Silversea has so far restarted one cruise ship the Silver Moon. On June 18, the ultra-luxury ship set sail to the Greek islands and Cyprus. According to one crew member currently on the Silver Moon there are not yet announcements about shore excursions.

“Since we just started our maiden voyage last week with the Silver Moon, I haven't had any idea if we are going to conduct any shore excursions exclusively for the crew. Let's see if this will happen in the following month.” 

MSC Cruises

According to our source, MSC crew members who are fully vaccinated are allowed to go out at Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve. For the ships sailing in Europe the company use to organize crew excursions before but now they have canceled this option.

We love to hear from the crew of other cruise lines and find out if there are shore excursions organized for them. If you like to send us a message please contact us here.

Crew Insights

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