I’m taking a cruise on Sunday and based on recent CDC guidelines you’re now required to provide a negative Covid test (can be a rapid test) that was taken max 2 calendar days prior to the sailing.
Since I’m currently in Las Vegas I was a bit nervous if I’d get this done on time but I shouldn’t have worried as my experience with Walgreens was extremely easy and pleasant.
When I took my last Alaska cruise on July 30th there wasn’t any test requirement in place yet but since then there have been some changes implemented to ensure the integrity of the cruise’s onboard population as Covid free, especially since my cruise line of choice Celebrity has a no-mask policy for passengers (voluntary of course, you can always wear one if you want).
I checked testing options with two providers, CVS and Walgreen which both have presence on the Las Vegas Strip.
Link for Covid testing with CVS
Link for Covid testing with Walgreens
Both tests are free of charge but they differ in style. CVS would be a walk-in at the Minute Clinic, however they didn’t have any testing appointments available anymore today or tomorrow, probably due to Christmas.
Walgreens did have appointments however it’s a drive-through testing and they require you to have a vehicle in order to facilitate it. You’re not allowed to walk up to the window similar to not being able to order at a McDonalds drive-through by walking up. Luckily a friend is in town who has a rental car or I would have probably tried an Uber or used a rental car myself for an hour.
I made the appointment with Walgreens:
Walgreens instructs you to carry the following when you come:
I took my California ID, SSN and passport but all the lady at the drive-through wanted to see was an ID. She didn’t ask for any of these vouchers (usually issued by employers) or other forms of insurance.
I was instructed how to do the swab myself in the car, to place the swab specimen back in the envelope, and hand the box back to the employee behind the window. The results were advised to arrive within a couple of hours.
We went to lunch and roughly an hour later the email arrived:
It allows you to print a detailed protocol as well as download a verifiable QR code which I find is rather neat and fits most purposes.
Thankfully the test was negative or I would have to initiate Plan B for my holidays (and the cancellation of the cruise trip).
You do need to schedule these tests about a week in advance these days. It’s almost impossible to get a last-minute test at any of the pharmacies here in Las Vegas.
I took a Covid test at Walgreens today and the experience was rather good. Other than being required to have a vehicle to be eligible for the test it was extremely easy and straightforward. Most of all it was free of charge while other private providers in Las Vegas charge around $150 for such a test.
I have now taken a couple of these tests, not as many as John though who has been traveling much more since Covid started but this was definitely one of the more pleasant experiences.