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Bahamas Visa and negative covid tests.


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Was just reading Bahamas Gov covid requirements and fines. Sadly I saw none of this covered in the crystal information about the Serenity Bahamas cruises, and our travel club coordinator also did not disclose.  I realize things will change but it is hard to make decisions about cruising when so much is left unspecified.  Any clarification would be appreciated since Crystal,  unlike other cruise lines, does not appear to offer 100 % refund if cancel more than 60 days before cruise. Questions are about Visa and requirement for negative covid test. TIA

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I am on the July 17th sailing. The travel insurance I am taking out will cover cancellation if you test positive for covid, it's considered an illness. Same as to trip interruption due to covid.

Nyloc(Colyn) on cc is a resident of Nassau who will be on this sailing. Below is what he wrote on our roll call.  

 

TESTING REGIME:  We have traveled twice to the US over the last year (medical reasons) as well as to Spanish Wells Eleuthera where we have a cottage (my Mom was from there).  One must, indeed, currently have negative PCR test taken 5 days prior to travel.  The day the test is administered is counted as day zero.  Upon receipt of results, these need to be uploaded to the travel.gov.bs site along with passport and other legit traveler information.  You may get an approval back in hours with instructions to pay $60 which covers the day 5 antigen test as well as health insurance to cover quarantine/hospitalisation should that turn out positive.  Once that's paid the actual "health visa" is e-mailed automatically and super quickly.  IF there is any delay I recommend calling the number they provide within 24 hours of the upload.  I believe the number is manned 24 hours a day and the folks are super accommodating and will likely clear any log jam in minutes.  Please know it is not cheap to call the Bahamas from the US so I'd recommend using something like Google Voice, or Skype or one of the other services which will allow prepayment.  In any event, check what it will cost per minute before simply dialing unless you have deep pockets!  

 

There has been some discussion around the eventual dropping of the PCR for fully vaccinated airline passenger arrivals in exchange for a rapid antigen test ... but I wouldn't hold my breath.

 

While the procedure(s) laid out above may seem complicated or even daunting, it's really amazingly smooth and efficient.  Would that everything here were as well thought out and functional!  But like one of my (European) expat friends used to say ... "Zas is life on a  tropical island."

 

 

 

 

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What is the day 5 antigen test? Also in US tests take up to 3 days to turn around still. What insurance did you use?  Am finding to hard to find insurers that cover covid and trip cancellation for covid.

Thanks for the info.

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I am not sure about other cruise lines but final payment is due 60 days prior to the cruise. So the exposure is your deposit and if you cancel 61 days before that all comes back. 
 

as to the Bahama requirements Crystal has said testing requirements to enter the Island is based on local requirements. This is no different than when you fly to a port of embarkation and need a visa. It is our responsibility to figure that out. 
 

ive not heard of a cruise line telling me what I need to do to gain entry to a country for embarkation. 
 

Am I missing something 
 

Keith

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Point taken that it may not always remain this way, but with testing demand way down in my part of the country, 24 hour PCR tests are widely available and are pretty much the standard here now.  Are there still parts of the country where there aren't 24 hour PCR tests advertised by at least certain providers in the region?

 

Vince

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, kibutzer said:

What is the day 5 antigen test? Also in US tests take up to 3 days to turn around still. What insurance did you use?  Am finding to hard to find insurers that cover covid and trip cancellation for covid.

Thanks for the info.

Just google  "Houston quick travel PCR test" and you will get several --

including the first that does an RT PCR with next day if you do it before 2pm...

 

https://emergenttesting.com/houston-covid-19-testing/

 

5 day antigen is the test you must take in the Bahamas, 5 days after arrival. It is a quick rapid test with results in 30 minutes.  It will likely be done on board ship.

 

Edited by PaulMCO
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4 hours ago, Bellaggio Cruisers said:

We have had the two shot Pfizer vaccine. We have our vaccination cards. Will this be acceptable for the visa or do we still need the testing?

sheila

sheila, at the present time you will need to take the COVID-19 test and it cannot be taken more than five days before you arrive to Nassau and proof of the test will be needed as part of getting the travel visa on line.

 

At present time they do not require vaccinations to enter the country but Crystal does to board so you will want to bring the vaccination cards with you.  When you arrive to the pier you will be given another COVID-19 test as part of the embarkation process.

 

All of this is how things currently stand so you'll want to keep up to date on this.

 

Keith

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Another option for getting the required RT-PCR test (in the US, at least) is a company called VAULT HEALTH.  I emailed them yesterday and received the following response:

 

Thank you for contacting Vault.
I understand you would like to know if our test kit can be used for traveling to the Bahamas.
Please note that Infinity Biologix (IBX) is a CLIA and CAP accredited reference laboratory. The Vault/RUCDR test kit is a NAAT test (nucleic acid amplification test). This test is an RT PCR test and meets guidelines for most interstate and international travel, but please refer to the guidelines specified for entry to your destination.
Our goal is always to provide a complete resolution and offer the highest level of service possible. Please let us know if you have any additional questions or require further assistance.

 

This is actually a self-administered saliva test conducted on your laptop via ZOOM with a rep at their headquarters.  You order the test kit in advance - do the ZOOM - then send back via prepaid UPS overnight.  You get an email with the results within a day of them receiving your testing vial.  My husband used them twice over the last several months when he had to go to Alaska to work.  Testing system seems to work quite well. website is vaulthealth.com if anyone is interested (I have no connection or investment with this company - just trying to help others who may need an option if there are not any convenient test sites nearby).

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17 minutes ago, Kwaj girl said:

Another option for getting the required RT-PCR test (in the US, at least) is a company called VAULT HEALTH.  I emailed them yesterday and received the following response:

 

Thank you for contacting Vault.
I understand you would like to know if our test kit can be used for traveling to the Bahamas.
Please note that Infinity Biologix (IBX) is a CLIA and CAP accredited reference laboratory. The Vault/RUCDR test kit is a NAAT test (nucleic acid amplification test). This test is an RT PCR test and meets guidelines for most interstate and international travel, but please refer to the guidelines specified for entry to your destination.
Our goal is always to provide a complete resolution and offer the highest level of service possible. Please let us know if you have any additional questions or require further assistance.

 

This is actually a self-administered saliva test conducted on your laptop via ZOOM with a rep at their headquarters.  You order the test kit in advance - do the ZOOM - then send back via prepaid UPS overnight.  You get an email with the results within a day of them receiving your testing vial.  My husband used them twice over the last several months when he had to go to Alaska to work.  Testing system seems to work quite well. website is vaulthealth.com if anyone is interested (I have no connection or investment with this company - just trying to help others who may need an option if there are not any convenient test sites nearby).

Do you plan to use this for your Bahamas visa application?

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6 hours ago, Kwaj girl said:

Another option for getting the required RT-PCR test (in the US, at least) is a company called VAULT HEALTH.  I emailed them yesterday and received the following response:

 

Thank you for contacting Vault.
I understand you would like to know if our test kit can be used for traveling to the Bahamas.
Please note that Infinity Biologix (IBX) is a CLIA and CAP accredited reference laboratory. The Vault/RUCDR test kit is a NAAT test (nucleic acid amplification test). This test is an RT PCR test and meets guidelines for most interstate and international travel, but please refer to the guidelines specified for entry to your destination.
Our goal is always to provide a complete resolution and offer the highest level of service possible. Please let us know if you have any additional questions or require further assistance.

 

This is actually a self-administered saliva test conducted on your laptop via ZOOM with a rep at their headquarters.  You order the test kit in advance - do the ZOOM - then send back via prepaid UPS overnight.  You get an email with the results within a day of them receiving your testing vial.  My husband used them twice over the last several months when he had to go to Alaska to work.  Testing system seems to work quite well. website is vaulthealth.com if anyone is interested (I have no connection or investment with this company - just trying to help others who may need an option if there are not any convenient test sites nearby).

I hope this is not a dumb question but am I right to do the saliva test you would insert a long swab into the throat.  Is the advantage of Vault that they can turn this around within a day versus 24 to 48 hours for other companies?  

 

I am only asking to gain knowledge on this.

 

Thank you.

 

Keith

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19 minutes ago, Keith1010 said:

I hope this is not a dumb question but am I right to do the saliva test you would insert a long swab into the throat.  Is the advantage of Vault that they can turn this around within a day versus 24 to 48 hours for other companies?  

 

I am only asking to gain knowledge on this.

 

Thank you.

 

Keith


I did the saliva test and it didn’t require any size swab inserted in my throat.

 

Nancy

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32 minutes ago, Keith1010 said:

I hope this is not a dumb question but am I right to do the saliva test you would insert a long swab into the throat.  Is the advantage of Vault that they can turn this around within a day versus 24 to 48 hours for other companies?  

 

I am only asking to gain knowledge on this.

 

Thank you.

 

Keith

Most labs will turn the test around in 24 hours.  Issue with CVS they have to send it out to a central lab that has many tests to do.  Small labs can do it quickly.

 

HOWEVER PLEASE READ THE BAHAMAS REQUIREMENTS (I hate to shout).  It clearly states SWAB test.

 

image.png.91d23d3ab96ca656dd2ebcb18c701142.png

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42 minutes ago, PaulMCO said:

Most labs will turn the test around in 24 hours.  Issue with CVS they have to send it out to a central lab that has many tests to do.  Small labs can do it quickly.

 

HOWEVER PLEASE READ THE BAHAMAS REQUIREMENTS (I hate to shout).  It clearly states SWAB test.

 

image.png.91d23d3ab96ca656dd2ebcb18c701142.png

 

EEK....swab only ?!?! I just emailed Vault again for more details.

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9 hours ago, Kwaj girl said:

Another option for getting the required RT-PCR test (in the US, at least) is a company called VAULT HEALTH.  I emailed them yesterday and received the following response:

 

Thank you for contacting Vault.
I understand you would like to know if our test kit can be used for traveling to the Bahamas.
Please note that Infinity Biologix (IBX) is a CLIA and CAP accredited reference laboratory. The Vault/RUCDR test kit is a NAAT test (nucleic acid amplification test). This test is an RT PCR test and meets guidelines for most interstate and international travel, but please refer to the guidelines specified for entry to your destination.
Our goal is always to provide a complete resolution and offer the highest level of service possible. Please let us know if you have any additional questions or require further assistance.

 

 

I would also Google "rt-pcr covid test for travel". I found plenty of local labs near me that perform this test with quick results. 

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On 4/13/2021 at 3:21 PM, Keith1010 said:

I am not sure about other cruise lines but final payment is due 60 days prior to the cruise. So the exposure is your deposit and if you cancel 61 days before that all comes back. 
 

as to the Bahama requirements Crystal has said testing requirements to enter the Island is based on local requirements. This is no different than when you fly to a port of embarkation and need a visa. It is our responsibility to figure that out. 
 

ive not heard of a cruise line telling me what I need to do to gain entry to a country for embarkation. 
 

Am I missing something 
 

Keith

Keith our contract says we have a fee, so we would not get 100% of our deposit back, if I read it correctly. 

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6 hours ago, PaulMCO said:

Suggest you call or email the Bahamas as they set the requirements...

 
Travel Compliance UnitTel. +1 (242) 502-0829Email: healthvisa@bahamas.com

You actually can do a chat with them.  It must be a swab test and the results must clearly show the name of the lab, your name, labs phone number, etc. etc etc.

 

This is why I asked if the test with the throat is a swab test.  Their site shows a swab but to me it seems better just to go with the nose and the swab the way the test is normally conducted.

 

And for all it can not be the 15 minute test.  It must go to a lab.

 

Keith

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7 hours ago, nancygp said:


I did the saliva test and it didn’t require any size swab inserted in my throat.

 

Nancy

Thanks Nancy.

 

Should this be the case with the company which was mentioned then it would not satisfy the Bahama requirement of a swab test.

 

Keith

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4 hours ago, kibutzer said:

Keith our contract says we have a fee, so we would not get 100% of our deposit back, if I read it correctly. 

If you have the administrative fee you are right. 

 

You could roll that to another cruise and I believe (someone will correct me if I am wrong) you have one year to roll it to another cruise from the time you cancel.

 

On newly booked cruises I thought they weren't doing the administrative fees but I haven't looked at my recent bookings to know for sure.  Again I am sure someone can verify that too.

 

Keith

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, Keith1010 said:

 

On newly booked cruises I thought they weren't doing the administrative fees but I haven't looked at my recent bookings to know for sure.  Again I am sure someone can verify that too.

Keith, 


i just looked at my recent bookings and there is NO administrative fee.  I’m sure your bookings are the same.

 
perhaps the OP, Kibbituzer, is charged a small cancellation/admin fee from his or hers TA??
 

nancy

Edited by nancygp
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23 minutes ago, nancygp said:

Keith, 


i just looked at my recent bookings and there is NO administrative fee.  I’m sure your bookings are the same.

 
perhaps the OP, Kibbituzer, is charged a small cancellation/admin fee from his or hers TA??
 

nancy

Nancy, agree with you on both counts.  After I posted I noticed no administrative fee on our new bookings and agree it might be a fee charged by the TA and/or Agency.

 

Keith

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I questioned about admin fees vis a vis 3.0 last week but I am still waiting for an answer. On our actual booking for 2021 and 2022 it does not mention administration fees.  However if you press on the link under the highlighted  “This reservation is subject to terms and conditions“: it reads


CANCELLATION & PENALTY FEES 


2021 - 2023 Voyages of 13 days or less 
121+ days prior to first date of service:  $100 (thru 2021) / $200 (begins 2022) Administration Fee*  

 

However  there is not a link to the Asterisk.

 

My TA’s cancellation fee is listed elsewhere and not on this document.

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