While it’s been a long 16-month journey, cruise travel restarted when the first big cruise ship to set sail out of a U.S. port departed from Port Everglades in late June. And the first Disney cruise ship recently conducted its test cruise, departing from Port Canaveral.
What cruising looks like continues to vary from cruise line to cruise line, and there are still unanswered questions related to vaccinations.
The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled over the weekend to temporarily keep the Centers for Disease Control’s COVID-19 pandemic restrictions on Florida-based cruise ships in place. The CDC regulations will stay in place while the CDC appeals the June decision by U.S. District Judge Steven Merryday that found in favor of the state of Florida. And in a separate lawsuit, the Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings has sued Florida’s surgeon general, challenging the state’s barring of businesses from requiring proof of COVID-19 vaccinations.
Also, a new transportation law that Governor DeSantis recently signed into law to help ensure cruise ships aren’t further restricted in their ability to conduct business, has drawn the ire of some Key West residents. Key West commissioners have directed their attorney to draft ordinances limiting local cruise ship operations, mirroring city voter-approved measures that were overturned with the signing of SB 426.
We continue to monitor all of these developing situations and will keep you apprised.