Cruise industry jobs sail from Florida as port departures remain dormant

PORT CANAVERAL, Fla. — The COVID-19 pandemic continues to keep cruises out of Port Canaveral.

Now the jobs traditionally created on Central Florida’s coast are being moved elsewhere.

Canaveral Port Authority CEO Capt. John Murray said Thursday that the cruise industry has been stalled long enough.

Watch: ‘We are ready to take this step’: Florida expands COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to 40+ starting Monday, all adults April 5

“I can get on an airplane tomorrow, go to Atlanta, chance airplanes, fly to Las Vegas, check into one of the casinos stay there all week long in the same building in the same room people and gamble get on the plane and go home, yet I can’t get on a cruise ship,” Murray said.

On Wednesday, the Cruise Lines International association urged the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to lift its framework for conditional sailing order, which is currently scheduled to remain in effect until November.

Read: Here are ways teens can find seasonal work in Central Florida

Earlier this month, Royal Caribbean announced it would resume operations in June from the Bahamas.

“The ships are sidelined and unable to operate out of the United States, so they’re looking for other operations that are not preferable to operate out of the U.S.,” Murray said.

Watch: 2 teens alone in Tesla, no one in driver’s seat when it backed into patrol car, deputies say

But after a year without a single cruise departure, Gov. Ron DeSantis recommended allocating roughly $260 million in federal funding to assist Florida seaports.

See the full report in the video above.