TWT: PreCheck Gets Cheaper, Cruise Lines Drop Vaccine Mandates

Royal Caribbean Cruises cruise ship on the ocean

Editor’s note: This Week in Travel (TWT) is your essential guide to smoothing the road from here to there for your attendees and yourself.

TSA PreCheck Gets Cheaper

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced today that its current enrollment provider, IDEMIA has reduced enrollment and in-person renewal fees from $85 to $78.

Renewal online is still $70. The membership is for five years if approved.

“For individuals and families with plans to fly this holiday season, now is the time to enroll or renew in TSA PreCheck,” said TSA Administrator David Pekoske. “TSA PreCheck offers significant benefits to those who meet its enrollment standards—less physical contact, fewer items on the conveyor belt and faster screening.”

There are over 500 enrollment centers nationwide. Following an in-person enrollment appointment, most applicants will receive their Known Traveler Number (KTN) in about three to five days. Passengers must add their KTN to their flight reservations to get the expedited security screening, which allows travelers to leave on shoes, jackets and belts. TSA PreCheck screening lanes move more quickly than standard screening lanes and passengers who have TSA PreCheck may keep their electronics and 3-1-1 compliant liquids in their carry-on bags.

Read More: Industry Watch: Cruise Lines Looks Ahead to Bright Future

The agency says that in September 2022, 93% of TSA PreCheck passengers waited less than five minutes at airport security checkpoints nationwide.

Travelers enrolling online can visit tsa.gov/precheck.

Universal Closes Some Attractions

Universal Orlando Resort announced on Nov. 1 that it would be closing Fieval’s Playland, Woody Woodpecker’s Nuthouse Coaster, Curious George Goes to Town, DreamWorks Destination and Shrek and Donkey’s Meet & Greet. The attractions will permanently close on Jan. 15, 2023. E.T. Adventure, Animal Actors on Location!, SpongeBob StorePants and KidZone Pizza Company will remain open.

Read More: Orlando: A Meetings Destination for the Ages | Smart Meetings

The closing attractions are making way for “exciting new family entertainment” and Universal said that details of the new experience would be revealed “in the coming months.”

Cruise Lines Roll Back Covid Rules

Royal Caribbean has announced that it will no longer require pre-cruise testing on most sailings. Vaccine requirements were dropped for most sailings in September, however, travelers who were not vaccinated needed to test before sailing.

The cruise line says that at this time, only the following sailings have pre-cruise testing requirements: cruises from the U.S. and Caribbean with stops in Colombia, Haiti, or Honduras; Transatlantic cruises; cruises from Australia.

Guests age 12 and up who are not fully vaccinated have three days to take a test before their cruise, regardless of the duration of the cruise, guests under the age of 12 do not have any testing requirements.

Required testing can be completed using any type of PCR or antigen Covid test. It can be professionally proctored at doctor or drugstore, or it can be a test administered at home without supervision.

Tests must be arranged by customers and are at their own expense.

The cruise line says guests are considered fully vaccinated 14 days after the required number of doses in their vaccine series have been fully administered (e.g. two shots of Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, etc., or 1 shot of Johnson & Johnson). Vaccines must be approved for use by the WHO or U.S. FDA, with the exception of CanSino.

Disney is reporting on its website that for sailings from the U.S. beginning on or after Nov. 14, 2022, the “Cruise Line will no longer require guests to be tested for Covid-19 regardless of vaccination status.”

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