Weekly cruise news update: May 8, 2021
It’s time to find out what’s going on in the cruise industry this week with the latest cruise news update, including the situation regarding the resumption of operations outside the United States.
Cruise news update
Here we go with another busy week of cruise news, and yes, that includes the current situation between the cruise industry and the CDC. New instructions have been issued as part of the conditional navigation order, and phases 2b and 3 have not gone so well with the cruise lines.
So we have all of these details from the CDC plus two Carnival ships returning to Galveston, crew vaccinations on multiple cruise lines, Texas is joining the Florida lawsuit against the CDC, and Holland America announces its restart.
New CDC technical instructions
The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published new technical instructions on May 5, 2021, as part of its framework on the conditional navigation order. This now opens the two-way door to resume cruise operations outside the United States.
There is a way where cruise lines do not need to perform crossing simulations as long as 98% of the crew are fully vaccinated and 95% of passengers are fully vaccinated. How this affects Florida’s vaccine passport mandate remains to be seen, as cruise lines are still working on these issues.
Cruise ships that plan to follow the path of the simulated crossings will have much more stringent requirements such as ornate masks at all times, including meals, with limited open deck space, more self-service food. with a focus on take out, and much more. After. We will discuss shortly how the cruise industry reacted to this.
It appears that the cruise experience for vaccinated cruises is the best option, but the big question is how this affects departures outside of Florida. Cruise lines have already started vaccinating crew members at the Port of Galveston, PortMiami and Port Canaveral as they plan to make a comeback this summer.
Two ways to resume cruising: what you need to know
In addition to the new instructions which you can read on cruisehive.com, the CDC said it remains committed to restarting cruises by mid-summer and in fact has twice-weekly meetings with leaders of the cruise industry since April 12.
Response to CDC phases 2B and 3
While the CDC appears to be more positive and optimistic about the situation since the release of the new instructions, the cruise lines have not. There have been continued frustrations in the industry due to unrealistic requirements.
Various interpretations of the rules are possible and the rules seem unnecessarily restrictive. While other industries in the United States appear to be returning to normal, consistent with the goals of the Biden administration, the cruise industry is distinguished and treated in a way that no other industry is.
Norwegian Cruise Line CEO Frank Del Rio has spoken very clearly about the latest requirements in recent interviews. He said the new instructions are “absurd” and come as all brands of NCL cruises are already planning a 100% vaccination operation for guests and crew. It’s just too much for cruise lines, and Del Rio has said the August cruise resumption is in jeopardy.
Also Read: Norwegian Cruise Line CEO Says CDC Demands ‘Absurd’
The interpretation of the rules is certainly something that has been disputed over the past 48 hours. While some believe the new rules only apply to cruises without a vaccination warrant and not to cruises with that warrant, others believe the rules apply to all ships and all cruises. The point is, the mask rule can be found under the section on simulated and restricted travel.
CDC’s message is undoubtedly confusing, even the International Association of Cruise Lines has said there is a lot for cruise lines to go through in order to meet the goal of resuming cruises from the States- United this summer.
Texas joins Florida trial
There are now three major US states against the CDC to allow the resumption of cruise operations. Texas just joined the Florida trial after the state filed a motion to intervene in a new filing on May 5, 2021, submitted by Attorney General Ken Paxton.
The Texas filing, which you can read in full at cruisehive.com, comes the same day the CDC released new technical instructions under Phases 2B and 3 of the Conditional Navigation Order.
Even though the agency is starting to work with cruise lines and aims to allow cruising by mid-summer, there is still pressure to move the industry as quickly as possible from Florida, to Alaska and Texas, especially now with even more unrealistic requirements. .
The record mentions that nearly 1.1 million cruise passengers embarked in 2019 and that cruise ships accounted for 47% of the Port of Galveston’s revenue that year. The ripple effect of the cruise industry is impacting hotels, restaurants, tours and more, but now that has all stopped.
Port of Galveston losses are estimated at $ 1.2 billion in direct expenses, 23,000 jobs and $ 1.6 billion in statewide wages. Whether the trial is successful or not, we’ll just have to wait and see.
Two carnival ships arrive in Galveston
Hundreds of people lined the pier at Galveston Harbor last weekend to accommodate two carnival cruise liners at home who were based at the port before the cruise suspension in March 2020.
There has been a huge wait for the Carnival breeze, a Dream class ship, and the slightly larger Vista Carnival, which is the top of its class. The day finally arrived when the two ships entered the port at around 1:00 p.m. local time.
Many people posted the ship’s arrivals on social media, and hundreds lined the quay. There was also an escort from the Bay Houston Towing Company tug Wesley A and the Texas City Pilot.
The two Carnival cruise line ships arrived a day before a cruise rally was held to discuss the economic impact on the state of Texas, including Galveston.
Cruise lines begin crew vaccination
Royal Caribbean, Celebrity Cruises, Carnival Cruise Line and MSC Cruises have all started vaccinating their crew members.
On May 1, the Royal Caribbean crew Sea explorer began to be vaccinated in PortMiami and since then the crew of more ships have received their vaccines with Freedom of the seas and Celebrity Equinox on May 2 Freedom of the seas, and Sea navigators May 5 and even more ships docking at the port.
Carnival Cruise Line began vaccinating crew members on Carnival breeze and Carnival Vista after arriving in Galveston, as they are likely to become among the first ships in the fleet to resume operations this summer.
In addition, MSC Cruises has gone further than any other cruise line with a large-scale vaccination program. Crew members have already received vaccination on board MSC Bellissima and these crew members on MSC Virtuosa will be fully vaccinated ahead of the UK’s new flagship launch on May 20. Even more ships will have vaccines, including the 10 that will restart operations across Europe this summer.
Holland America to restart from Greece
Holland America Line will finally make a comeback this summer after being hit hard by the suspension of operations that began over a year ago. Canada’s one-year cruise ban has also had an impact on Holland America’s future cruise operations.
the Cruise line to begin departures from Athens, Greece in August with departures on Eurodam. The ship will depart on August 15 and 29 on an itinerary with stops in Montenegro, as well as the Greek islands of Corfu, Santorini and Mykonos.
On August 22, the ship will depart on an “Ancient Wonders” voyage calling in Haifa, Israel, as well as Mykonos and Rhodes in Greece. The two different itineraries can also be combined into a longer 14-day cruise.
Customers can even book a seven-day itinerary departing September 5, which will sail from Piraeus to Italy. The new cruises outside Greece were opened for bookings on May 6, 2021.
Eurodam will offer Mediterranean cruises to Italy and Greece through the fall, which the cruise line will detail in the coming weeks. The ship will then redeploy to the United States to offer Caribbean itineraries from mid-November 2021.
Even more cruise news
These are just some of the biggest news of the week. There has been even more coverage, including Holland America’s new ship complete sea trials, Star Trek and the ’80s charters sell out, new contactless restaurant presented by Princess Cruises, AIDA Cruises restart operations in Germany, Carnival Cruise Line at roll out a new livery across the entire fleet and much more news on cruises.
You can read and watch update last week’s news here.