PORT CANAVERAL, Fla. - Cruise industry officials are reacting to the latest developments in Florida’s lawsuit to get cruising to return to the Sunshine State.
Royal Caribbean’s Explorer of the Seas sailed into Port Canaveral on Wednesday. It was a sign of the start of crew member vaccinations for the cruise line.
"You will start seeing ships coming in and out," Royal Caribbean Group VP Worldwide Port Operations Captain Hernan Zini said. "Which, I think is a very good message and will hopefully get the whole society excited that we’re coming back."
Royal Caribbean’s Vice President of Worldwide Port Operations said the plan is to vaccinate about 4,000 crew members over the next month, but the cruise line started with about 200 on Wednesday.
However, there are new questions about whether the plan to resume cruises this summer will be delayed.
A federal judge has reportedly recommended mediation between the state and the CDC over the lawsuit the state filed to get the cruise industry back up and running.
Cruise officials said they are going to follow whatever directions they are given.
"I think all of that is coming in line together," Captain Zini said. "I’m sure we have many more challenges to come, but I’m sure that the fact that this is all positive and the momentum is very fast and we’re going to start very soon."
The CEO of Cape Canaveral agrees.
"We don’t have any specific targets for any of the cruise lines right now, but as things evolve, the big component for the cruise lines is to get the crews vaccinated, have the two weeks behind them and then they’re ready to go," Port Canaveral CEO Captain John Murray said.
Reports say the state and the CDC must begin mediation by June 1.
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