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RT PCR Requirements for Celebrity out of St. Maarten


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I am so confused.   Leaving out of St. Maarten on Saturday on the Summit.      Once again I get an email from Celebrity saying all passengers must be tested 72 hours prior to boarding, but then go on to say all non-US and Canadian visitors.    Also PCR tests take longer to get the results, because they go out to a LAB.   So like 48 hours and celebrity told me on the phone just now 15 minutes.        Does anyone know if Celebrity still requires tests for US passengers?    Why do they have to be so cryptic?

 

Test requirements for entry into St. Maarten: US & Canadian visitors must present a negative naso-pharyngeal RT-PCR test results taken within 120 hours prior to departure or an antigen test taken 48 hours prior to departure. This requirement differs from Celebrity boarding requirements which are 72 hours prior to arrival at the terminal.
All non-US and Canadian visitors must present negative naso-pharyngeal RT-PCR test results taken within 72 hours prior to departure. Be sure to bring a printed copy. Name on test results must match those on government issued identification.

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7 minutes ago, GeekWithMuscles said:

I am so confused.   Leaving out of St. Maarten on Saturday on the Summit.      Once again I get an email from Celebrity saying all passengers must be tested 72 hours prior to boarding, but then go on to say all non-US and Canadian visitors.    Also PCR tests take longer to get the results, because they go out to a LAB.   So like 48 hours and celebrity told me on the phone just now 15 minutes.        Does anyone know if Celebrity still requires tests for US passengers?    Why do they have to be so cryptic?

 

Test requirements for entry into St. Maarten: US & Canadian visitors must present a negative naso-pharyngeal RT-PCR test results taken within 120 hours prior to departure or an antigen test taken 48 hours prior to departure. This requirement differs from Celebrity boarding requirements which are 72 hours prior to arrival at the terminal.
All non-US and Canadian visitors must present negative naso-pharyngeal RT-PCR test results taken within 72 hours prior to departure. Be sure to bring a printed copy. Name on test results must match those on government issued identification.

Celebrity requires a negative RT-PCR test taken no more than 72 hours before boarding.

 

As of July 1 Sint Maarten requires a negative RT-PCR test taken no more than 72 hours (currently 120 hours for US and Canadian citizens, but that changes on July 1) before your flight's departure to Sint Maarten.  US and Canadian citizens can also use a negative antigen test taken no more than 48 hours before your flight's departure to Sint Maarten. 

 

So depending on when you fly into SXM and your risk tolerance for hoping your PCR test results come back in time, you may need separate tests for your Sint Maarten health visa and to board the ship.

 

https://stmaartenehas.com/travel-requirements/

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Thanks so very much for this clarification... you saved me a huge headache and possibly my vacation!  The St. Maarten website stated that the requirement for US "remains the same" at 120 hours, but now I see how they've organized this screen... the bottom half meaning current information, future changes at the top.   The celebrity email didn't help, since it validated the current info and didn't take into account our sailing is on the 3rd (we get there on the 1st) putting us into the 72 hour window.   Walgreens and CVS around me do not offer RT-PCR tests, only regular PCR with results taking two days.     I'm taking back to back RT-PCR tests, next week, (one of which I hope is covered by insurance) to cover both requirements.  

 

I'm almost embarrassed at the level of confusion I'm experiencing with all of this... as an IT professional of over 30 years, blogger and podcaster, we're usually seeing this from the other side and wondering why it's so complicated for some.  LOLOL  I guess it's geek karma? LOLOL   I think it's just also the combined stress of organizing this vacation when we've re-booked with RCCL and Celebrity Probably five times already due to cancellations, etc.    In any case, your advice / info / clarity is very much appreciated!!!!

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Posted (edited)
18 minutes ago, GeekWithMuscles said:

 Walgreens and CVS around me do not offer RT-PCR tests, only regular PCR with results taking two days.     I'm taking back to back RT-PCR tests, next week, (one of which I hope is covered by insurance) to cover both requirements.  

 

Just for one last clarification.  All PCRs for SARS-CoV-2 are RT-PCR; the RT isn't real time, it's the enzyme that translates the viral RNA into DNA to amplify. What you're looking for is an inhouse PCR so you don't  have the lab delay. Most of those are going to be small, single specimen, point of care systems that can run the test in about 45-60 minutes. I thought one of the national pharmacies was running those on site. But almost no one not heavily into diagnostic systems is going to refer to that as a RT-PCR; it's just a PCR to most people.

 

If people are having to call around to find a rapid PCR, the St. Maarten requirement is for a "Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction" from a nasopharyngeal swab. And apparently they're looking for specimen type and type of test on your report. Not something you as a patient would ever care about if the test were for actual diagnostic purposes!

Edited by markeb
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11 minutes ago, markeb said:

And apparently they're looking for specimen type and type of test on your report. Not something you as a patient would ever care about if the test were for actual diagnostic purposes!

Multiple reports on here that Sint Maarten has been accepting test results without the specimen type. I imagine they started out wanting nasopharyngeal but realized (1) most places in the US (including CVS and WalgreenS) only do nasal swabs and (2) most US lab results don't list the specimen type, so they gave up fighting a losing battle.

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FEF21465-8CB4-46C2-ACB7-8B0081448B91.thumb.png.8c95be3cc28e09e1063d59993fd41757.png

 

It looks to me that, based on the above chart on Celebrity’s website, their requirement is 72 hours before arrival in SXM, not boarding the ship.  I am staying a couple of days before getting on board so this relieves us from getting a 2nd PCR test.

 

Please correct me if I’m wrong. I surely don’t want to miss the cruise!

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8 minutes ago, OKIslandGirl said:

FEF21465-8CB4-46C2-ACB7-8B0081448B91.thumb.png.8c95be3cc28e09e1063d59993fd41757.png

 

It looks to me that, based on the above chart on Celebrity’s website, their requirement is 72 hours before arrival in SXM, not boarding the ship.  I am staying a couple of days before getting on board so this relieves us from getting a 2nd PCR test.

 

Please correct me if I’m wrong. I surely don’t want to miss the cruise!

Celebrity has repeatedly bungled the messaging for testing requirements on the SXM cruises.  Celebrity's current requirement is a negative PCR test taken no more than 72 hours before your check-in at the cruise terminal, not your arrival in Sint Maarten. 

 

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On 6/27/2021 at 4:45 PM, OKIslandGirl said:

In that case, I will be hoping they change requirements again before then! Thanks for the info!

 

Celebrity keeps sending out emails with incorrect information.    We'll be sailing on Saturday and they keep saying the requirement is 120 hours for St. Maarten.   Trouble is, that information changes on Thursday to 72 hours.    Just amazing how they're messing this up as DallasGuy pointed out.    I got my first COVID test today, taking another tomorrow for Celebrity.  

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In case this helps anyone else - we were able to get our St. Martin EHAS form accepted with an ID Now test from Walgreens, which took us less than an hour to get results.  The EHAS confirmation came back quickly!

 

We are also taking our test tomorrow for Celebrity and going with a PCR test that gets sent to a lab since no one at Celebrity can confirm whether an ID Now test will be accepted.  We will be biting our nails waiting for the results to come back in time!!!  

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This morning Eric and I got our approval to enter St. Maarten.  His approval took probably less than five minutes, mine came about an hour later.    When filling out Eric's form, I didn't click the AIR / SEA travel button, which then gives you the option of saying you're on a cruise ship part of the time, select the line, etc., and then asks if you're staying more than one night on the Island... which we are.    When I filled out my form, I saw the options that didn't display before (I will explain this) and I selected Celebrity Cruises, etc.    My approval looks just like his, apparently we're both staying nine nights in St. Maarten, the ship selection didn't matter and isn't even listed.

 

This form has major bugs in it, maybe due to the browser.   I used Google Chrome and it's always updated and current.     After filling out the form, I would submit the info to go to next page, and suddenly a ton of red errors would display indicating there was missed information... lots of information that wasn't there before.    In fact, an entire section was omitted on the screen.    Don't panic, I just filled out what was missing and the system took it.    I was actually surprised we both got approved on the first try. 

 

We didn't take chances for testing, we did a same day PCR test that we had to pay extra for.   Our CVS here and our Walgreens don't offer this... there was a testing place that offered results in an hour, and they wanted $300+ for it.    This 72 hour window is really playing with us, we have to take another test today at 5 for our Celebrity requirement, since we'll be staying on the Island for two nights prior. 

 

WOW!  This entire process was super scary, but in the end really easy.   Doesn't help that Celebrity's emails don't reflect the changes that go into effect tomorrow... they are still emailing us that we can get tested 120 hours prior.     Tomorrow that changes to 72.    We didn't want to chance that immigration wouldn't honor tests taken before the change went into effect... we' just want something to be easy after a very difficult 2020.      So don't stress out, just push forward!

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On 6/27/2021 at 4:08 PM, DallasGuy75219 said:

Celebrity has repeatedly bungled the messaging for testing requirements on the SXM cruises.  Celebrity's current requirement is a negative PCR test taken no more than 72 hours before your check-in at the cruise terminal, not your arrival in Sint Maarten. 

 

This is the part that stumps me. Are they really looking for a rolling 72 hours of PCR tests according to your check-in time? SXM says 72 hours from departure of last leg. There can be a four hour gap here. 

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Hi, 

 

Thanks for the information. 

 

I am booked on the Celebrity Summit's cruise that is scheduled to depart on July 10. I am flying from Chicago to Miami on the afternoon of July 9 and from Miami to St. Maarten on the morning of July 10. I have made an apportionment for the rt-PCR test in Chicago on July 7 at 3:00 pm. I am supposed to receive the test results within a few hours. Because I selected a boarding time of 2:00 pm, the test is within 72 hours of boarding. However, I need to receive my test results and approval from St. Maarten before my flight on Friday afternoon. This is the part that makes me nervous.

 

Chuck 

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35 minutes ago, ustasmom said:

This is the part that stumps me. Are they really looking for a rolling 72 hours of PCR tests according to your check-in time? SXM says 72 hours from departure of last leg. There can be a four hour gap here. 

I'm not taking a chance, and it seems like most people are being cautious and getting two separate tests, at least if they're not flying in on embarkation day.  

 

I fly in the Friday before and am not comfortable counting on my PCR test results coming back within 36 hours to submit to EHAS in time to be approved for an early Friday flight and also to use for boarding. So I'll be getting an antigen test for St. Maarten and PCR test for Celebrity both on the Wednesday before.

 

What I would really like to know is whether Celebrity will accept ID NOW as a PCR test. It's a rapid DNA (not antigen) test but I believe not technically a PCR test. Those results would come back soon enough to use for both SXM and Celebrity, but from the posts on here no one has been able to pin down Celebrity on whether they'll accept it.

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15 hours ago, PetiteBerg said:

In case this helps anyone else - we were able to get our St. Martin EHAS form accepted with an ID Now test from Walgreens, which took us less than an hour to get results.  The EHAS confirmation came back quickly!

 

 

Do you know if the ID Now is considered an Antigen (48 hours) or a PCR (72 hours) test?

Thanks for posting this by the way.  I am looking hard at Walgreens for our test.

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2 hours ago, seacruise9 said:

Hi, 

 

Thanks for the information. 

 

I am booked on the Celebrity Summit's cruise that is scheduled to depart on July 10. I am flying from Chicago to Miami on the afternoon of July 9 and from Miami to St. Maarten on the morning of July 10. I have made an apportionment for the rt-PCR test in Chicago on July 7 at 3:00 pm. I am supposed to receive the test results within a few hours. Because I selected a boarding time of 2:00 pm, the test is within 72 hours of boarding. However, I need to receive my test results and approval from St. Maarten before my flight on Friday afternoon. This is the part that makes me nervous.

 

Chuck 

For this reason, we canceled the cruise out of St. Martin and rebooked to cruise out of Ft. Lauderdale.   I did not want to see the Summit leaving the dock while we were still waiting for the test results to show up from the lab in St. Martin. 

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1 hour ago, caymancouple said:

Do you know if the ID Now is considered an Antigen (48 hours) or a PCR (72 hours) test?

Thanks for posting this by the way.  I am looking hard at Walgreens for our test.


It’s actually neither, but closer to a PCR. I’m a little surprised it’s being accepted, but I haven’t looked to see if St Maarten has changed their test information recently. 

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