Norwegian Cruise Line threatens to leave Florida ports over vaccine passport ban: report
TAMPA, Fla. - While Governor Ron DeSantis fought to get the green light for cruises to return, his most recent decision to block companies from being able to require proof of a COVID-19 vaccination may keep at least one cruise line from returning altogether.
Norwegian Cruise Lines’ CEO recently expressed his disapproval to the Miami Herald over the executive order that DeSantis signed into effect earlier this week, saying it throws a wrench in the cruise line’s plan to return to Florida ports. The return plan included all of their passengers and crew members being fully vaccinated.
This plan could also help the cruise line get back out on the water quicker, as the CDC is allowing cruises that have 98% of their crew and 95% of their passengers vaccinated to skip test cruises altogether and go right to revenue cruises. However, with the new executive order, cruise lines will not have a way to prove who is vaccinated and who is not.
DeSantis said the vaccine should not be a focus for cruise lines as other cruises and other parts of the world have been sailing safely despite vaccines not being widely available.
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According to the Miami Herald, Norwegian Cruise Line CEO Frank Del Rio said the safety and health of their passengers and crew are most important -- adding that if they have to pull Florida from their list of ports, they’ll stop at other ports in the U.S. and use the Caribbean for the days they would’ve spent in Florida.
So far, Norwegian Cruise Line is one of the only cruise lines that have revealed their full plan of operations for inside the U.S.
Royal Caribbean and Carnival have announced that in places like the U.K. or Israel, everyone will have to be vaccinated on board. However, they haven’t released their full plans for the U.S. just yet.