After months of struggle and wrangling with the CDC, it seems that now the ball is firmly in the court of the cruise lines, after the CDC granted Carnival with permission to resume their sailings from three different US ports.
However, whilst the CDC has made concessions in recent weeks to allow sailing to resume, it seems Carnival may have new opposition in the form of Florida. Here’s a breakdown of what has been a busy week for Carnival Cruises, and other developments that are bound to affect the cruise industry.
Cruise Agreements Granted – Information For Travelers
A couple of weeks ago, it was revealed that several Carnival Corporation brands gearing up for an extensive summer of sailing, with several cruises planned in both Europe and the Caribbean. It may well be time to add US-based cruises to their portfolio, following the news that Carnival have been approved to resume cruises from three American ports.
The approval was granted for the port of Galveston in Texas, and for Port Miami and Port Canaveral in Florida, meaning we could soon see Carnival cruises departing from these locations in the coming weeks. It has been a positive week for cruising enthusiasts, following the news that Celebrity Cruises will be sailing from next month, and Carnival is now well poised to follow suit.
Earlier in the month, it was revealed that Carnival was planning to resume cruises on its Carnival Vista and Carnival Breeze cruise ships from Galveston, whilst they had planned to sail the 3,960 capacity cruise liner Carnival Horizon out of Miami. It is yet to be confirmed whether the cruise line will sail simulated test cruises from these locations, or if they will proceed with majority-vaccinated paying cruises – but news coming out of Florida may take one of those options off the table.
Fined For Asking About Vaccination Status
Cruises are extremely important to the state of Florida, so much so that the state considered legal action against the CDC in a bid to get them restarted once more. However, it is another Covid-19 related legal matter instigated by Florida that may yet end up harming them in the coming weeks.
In April, Florida’s governor Ron DeSantis signed an executive order that banned the use of “vaccine passports” in the state, fearing that their use may result in the creation of two classes of citizens – the vaccinated, who can take part in everyday life, and the unvaccinated.
The state has no plans to exempt cruise lines from this requirement and could end up charging them $5000 for each passenger who is asked to provide proof, which could lead to some pretty major problems. Without being able to check a passenger’s vaccination status, the cruise line would be forced to go ahead with simulated cruises rather than paying cruises, which would cause a longer wait for paying cruises to begin. The worst-case scenario could see Carnival leave Florida, as Norwegian threatened to do a few weeks ago.
However, cruise enthusiasts were handed some positive news in the form of the CDC’s updated mask requirements. The rules now state that cruise lines can advise passengers not to wear masks during outdoor activities and extended meal services, whilst vaccinated crew members also do not have to wear a mask when they are in areas of the ship that passengers don’t have access to.
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