Florida Governor Ron DeSantis threatens the CDC with a lawsuit if the CDC doesn’t allow cruise ships soon. On March 26, DeSantis made this statement in front of the cruise industry executives from Carnival, Disney Cruise Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, and the Royal Caribbean.
Florida’s attorney general Ashley Moody was also in attendance. She said that they are going to look at legal options against the CDC if sailing is still banned by summer.
From No-Sail Order to Conditional Sailing Order
The cruise industry is one of the most affected sectors in the pandemic. CDC first announced its No-Sail Order on March 14, 2020. Last year, stories circulated online as passengers and crew were stranded at sea and confined inside their cabin for weeks. Countries were refusing cruises to dock leaving them stuck.
By October 2020, CDC decided to end the No-Sail Order and replaced it with a Conditional Sailing Order instead. The new parameters allowed cruises to sail once again.
Florida and Its Vested Interest
The state of Florida is a major home port for different cruise lines. Different ports are found in the state for cruise lines going to the Bahamas, the Caribbean, and Mexico. Before the pandemic, millions of travelers pass through the state’s ports just to board the ship.
Cruise Lines Defying the CDC?
Though CDC still banned international cruises from the US, major US cruise lines are looking to defy the CDC. US cruise lines are now accepting bookings for June out of Florida ports. Carnival Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean International are already accepting three-day trips from Port Canaveral to the Bahamas by June.
The same goes for Disney Cruise Line that is also leaving from Port Canaveral. It is also accepting bookings for both four and three-night trips to the Bahamas.
Recently, smaller domestic cruises have been sailing again. American Cruise Lines even announced a last-minute rule where passengers will have to be fully vaccinated for its sailings from April 30 onwards.