Carnival Cruises has began staffing its first cruise ships in the Caribbean as the company looks to restart sailing in December.
According to the CTI staffing agency, crew members began traveling to St. Maarten on October 24th to join the Carnival Horizon, Pride, and Mardi Gras.
“Several Team Members of Carnival have departed today joining Carnival Horizon, Pride, and Mardi Gras to St. Maarten,” read the Facebook post as they wished the crew members safe travels.
The restaffing of ships by Carnival is a strong indicator that the cruise line is preparing for a December launch if all goes to plan.
In order for the successful restart of cruising in the U.S. the CDC will have to lift the mandatory no sail order which is set to expire on October 31st.
The order has been extended multiple times with the latest extension set to expire on October 31st.
In a confusing move on October 21st, the CDC reissued its latest travel advisory for cruise ships which stated to ‘defer all cruise ship travel‘.
Some media outlets have reported that the no sail order could expire on October 31st allowing cruise ships to return but the CDC has taken a strong stance that it will not recommend travelers take cruises.
The U.S. government reportedly has put pressure on the CDC to end the no sail order and let the cruise industry return.
Costa Cruises has successfully relaunched three cruise ships and has not reported a single case of COVID-19.
Carnival Cruises would be the third cruise line under the Carnival Corporation to restart operations.
The latest CDC warning is the highest the organization gives stating the ‘CDC recommends that travelers defer all cruise travel worldwide', and that passengers on cruise ships ‘are at increased risk of person-to-person spread of infectious diseases, including COVID-19, and outbreaks of COVID-19 have been reported on several cruise ships.'
Ongoing reports of pent up demand among passengers have shown that there is still a strong demand for cruising, even in the middle of a pandemic.
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