Carnival Cruise Line has declared its plans to restart its cruises in July from the US state of Texas. The first cruise will set sail from the port of Galveston when the Carnival Vista departs on July 3rd. After that, Carnival Breeze will return to operations on July 15th.
Carnival Cruise Line also hopes to restart sailing from PortMiami in July, but they are still in discussions with the State of Florida and the CDC. In recent weeks, Florida has introduced a law prohibiting companies from needing vaccination proof from its passengers. That has caused some confusion, but Carnival Cruise said it would give an update by Friday this week.
The Statement From Carnival Cruise Line
The president of Carnival Cruise Line, Christine Duffy, stated: “We appreciate the progress and support for our US restart from the CDC and other key federal agencies; however, the current CDC requirements [in Florida] for cruising with a guest base that is unvaccinated will make it very difficult to deliver the experience our guests expect, especially given the large number of families with younger children who sail with us.”
She also suggested the alternative is to operate ships from the United States with fully vaccinated guests. Christine Duffy thanked the governors and Texas and Florida for offering vaccinations to all cruise line staff. The vaccination offer has helped to speed up the restart process.
The Florida Vaccine Passport Ban
The recent changes in Florida law have caused some confusion for cruise companies wanting to set sail out of Florida. If a cruise company wants to start sailing during the current pandemic, they need permission from the CDC. However, since Florida has banned vaccination passports, it caused confusion over when Florida cruises can restart.
It remains unknown whether cruise ships will be able to sail from Florida with the new vaccination passport ban. Cruise companies are uncertain about the ramifications if they ask for vaccination proof in Florida. In contrast, cruise companies are unsure about the ramifications if they don’t ask for vaccination proof in Florida, which the CDC currently requires.
The CDC needs 95% of passengers and crew onboard to have received a vaccination, but Florida has threatened legal action against cruise ships if they enforce this.
The Cruise Safety Requirements
Carnival Cruise Line expects all passengers to have received a vaccination. As of yet, Texas has not banned asking for proof of vaccination, and that’s why Carnival Cruise Line has decided to plan cruises in Texas. However, due to the confusion in Florida, Carnival Cruise Line is yet to announce any plans for Florida.
The Plans Of Other Cruise Lines
Royal Caribbean International set out its plans for the summer, with six ships launching from various US ports. Initially, they required vaccinations for passengers to board the ship, but they’ve now removed the policy to recommended not required.
Due to the change in vaccination policy, Royal Caribbean has decided to implement fresh filtered air, medical-grade cleaning standards, and improved medical facilities with onboard doctors and nurses.
In addition, Norweigan Cruise Line confirmed their intention to return to the US this summer and fall from various US ports. However, as of now, they are requiring all passengers and crew to be fully vaccinated. MSC Cruises have also announced a US restart in August, with sailings taking place from Port Canaveral and Miami.
The Costs Of The Pandemic
Carnival Cruise Line – the world’s biggest cruise company – lost $10.2 billion last year. So, the news that the US is allowing cruise ships to return – albeit with some confusion – is incredibly welcome to the cruise ship industry and the millions of people who love cruise vacations.
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