The CDC’s “No Sail” order for cruises, which has been in effect since March, most recently was extended on October 1st. Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the CDC, wanted the order to be extended through February 2021, however vice president Michael Pence overruled him and decreed that the order would only go through October 31st.
Many think the White House’s judgment on this matter is based more on politics and the economy than cruisers’ health, but what else is new, right?
Anyway, despite a strong possibility that they will be allowed to sail again on November 1st, several cruise lines are still voluntarily postponing multiple cruises. For example, Carnival, Disney, Norwegian, MSC and Royal Caribbean have all delayed their first cruises until late November or even early December. On top of that, most have significantly decreased how many cruises they’ll offer at that time, despite vast interest from cruisers.
So what’s up with that?
Welp, cruise vlogger Bruce Frommert believes the cruise lines are purposely putting themselves into a holding pattern. They’re waiting until the Presidential election results are in.
There are, obviously, 2 scenarios at stake:
- If Trump is reelected, his focus will be on the economy, and he’ll undoubtedly allow cruise ships to start sailing ASAP.
- If Biden wins, he and his team will start making announcements in November and December about his plans after Inauguration Day. Cruise lines suspect that since the Biden team follows the science and medical professionals’ advice, the “No Sail” order would most likely be reinstated after Inauguration Day and continue through late February, like the CDC originally wanted. It’s also been suggested on other cruise-centric publications that since Florida’s COVID numbers are so high, perhaps a modified order could come through, perhaps with Florida ports closed for an extended period of time, until the state’s COVID numbers improve to more manageable numbers.
At best, cruises will only sail with 50% to 60% occupancy to allow for social distancing. So financially, they might break even. Meanwhile, it costs millions of dollars to get a crew transported and a ship ready to set sail. It doesn’t make sense for cruise lines to invest all that money to begin cruising on November 1st if Biden wins a few days later and then tells them on January 22nd that they have to shut down again.
So for now, they sit and wait.
As does the rest of the country.
Feature Photo (cropped): Jared / flickr
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary