Cruisers wish daily for good news about the restart of cruising, but sometimes emotions override reality. Misinformation and disinformation about the cruise industry creates difficulties for the cruise lines. Anxious passengers start blaming anybody in the way without thinking of the consequences of the resumption of cruising before entirely ready. Blame gets placed on agencies like the CDC, anti-vaxxers express their anger at vaccination requirements and threaten cruise lines with their complaints of rights abuse or even worse, wish them to fail. As much as we personally want to sail, we don’t want to take any risk and wish the cruise lines the best in this difficult situation. Just one case of COVID could put them out to sea for another extended period of time. The cruise industry already has a hurdle to jump just because of the ignorant perceptions of cruise ships and cruising. People with zero cruising experience express anger and spread misinformation creating strong divisions in the cruising world. The situation isn’t a simple one and the misinformation abounds in even the highest places.
Big stick, little knowledge
Incidents like this one reported by AP show some of the ignorance of government officials, in this case, the governor of Florida. For just a bit of background, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings proactively is doing whatever it can to get its ships back to sailing. To protect themselves, their crew and their guests, they are requiring 100% vaccination, a rule that will make their guests feel confident cruising with them. However, Governor DeSantis banned businesses in Florida from demanding any type of proof of vaccination, specifically a vaccination passport.
Just the first part of this article said enough about the ignorance of those in government:
Does the Governor’s office not have aides? Did nobody research the cruise industry before making such inaccurate statements? NCLH consists of three brands: NCL, Oceania and Regent. With 28 ships in its fleet and six more on order, this cruise line is the third largest in the world. So for DeSantis to claim it’s “not one of the bigger ones” exhibits a shameful disconnect with the industry in Florida, an industry that supplies plenty of jobs for Floridians. These remarks from DeSantis were in response to Frank Del Rio, the CEO of NCLH, stating that if Florida forbids evidence of vaccinations, that the fleet would start sailing from other ports outside of Florida. Already ships will be sailing from ports in Europe and the Caribbean.
We hope that on the trial cruises, that members of the CDC will be invited to come a sail and experience first-hand all of the precautions that the cruise lines are taking. Cruise ships have been inspected regularly for years by the CDC and must report any incidence of disease outbreak such as Norovirus, so called because it originated at an elementary school in Norwalk, OH and not on a ship as some people claim.
With the new temporary suspension of the PVSA passing and ready for the President to sign, it’s possible that Alaska cruises could start by mid-July. The CDC still needs to give cruise lines the go-ahead to sail from a US port. With the requirement that all passengers and crew be vaccinated, it sounds as if it good be a go. The vaccination requirement and testing prior to boarding and before disembarkation makes it look like the much maligned cruise vacation may just be one of the safest ways to vacation right now.