Florida cruise industry getting ready to set sail

PORT CANAVERAL, Fla. — Fresh off a legal victory in federal court on Friday, Gov. Ron DeSantis took a moment during a Jacksonville news conference to talk about the ruling in favor of Florida’s Motion for Preliminary Injunction against the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The ruling means that on July 18th, the agency’s conditional sailing orders will become non-binding guidelines for Florida ships.

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“I think it’s important for the folks in this industry to be able to have a path forward , but I also think it’s beyond this. In this country we’ve seen government overstep its bounds in response to the Coronavirus Pandemic,” said DeSantis.

In response to the decision, the Cruise Lines International Association stated: “As the only industry prohibited from operating in the United States for the last 15 months, we appreciate Governor DeSantis’ support of the cruise industry and his recognition that the cruise industry needs to be treated similar to other transportation, hospitality and tourism sectors.”

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Florida Senator Marco Rubio recently waded into the topic, saying, “If you want to take a cruise and you’re worried about COVID, go get vaccinated, get your second shot wait the allowable time and go on a cruise. If you don’t get vaccinated you know the risk , it’s up to you to protect yourself . it’s up to them to decide if they want to do it or not.”

The CDC has until July 2 to propose a narrower set of guidelines to safeguard the public’s health. While Port Canaveral’s CEO, Captain John Murray, has not commented about the federal judge’s most recent ruling, he has told us in the past that there’s no lack of demand for cruises.

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“It’s just the timing of getting the crew on the ship getting them vaccinated and then getting started,” Murray said.

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