Port Canaveral continues normal operations through coronavirus fears

Some passengers are rescheduling cruises

Port Canaveral continues normal operations through coronavirus fears
Port Canaveral continues normal operations through coronavirus fears

PORT CANAVERAL, Fla. – America’s second-busiest port for cruise passengers reported Thursday that operations remain normal as coronavirus cases in the U.S continue to rise.

Earlier this week, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended people at higher risk for COVID-19 should avoid cruise travel.

However, Port Canaveral is still busy. On Thursday, the construction of Cruise Terminal 3 continued. The terminal is the future home of Carnival’s Mardi Gras, which will be the company’s largest cruise ship.

The port said the terminal's grand opening is still expected in July.

Port officials said in a statement if anything from construction to business to travel should change, the port is “working closely with our cruise partners on contingency plans with operational alternatives, should the need arise.”

Larry Barton visited the port Thursday.

The Canadian tourist said he also traveled to Southeast Asia three months ago before the virus became a pandemic.

"We just missed it all," Barton said.

When asked if he would go on a cruise now, Barton answered, "Absolutely not, I wouldn't go near a ship."

Throughout the week, cruise passengers at the port said they were not worried, despite the CDC warning.

By Thursday, however, a customer said his party was canceling their upcoming cruise.

Cruise lines are offering free future cruises for those canceling now.

“It’s scary but you’ve got to do what they say - wash your hands, wash the surfaces you use all the time,” port guest Denise Salberg said.

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About the Author:

James joined News 6 in March 2016 as the Brevard County Reporter. His arrival was the realization of a three-year effort to return to the state where his career began. James is from Pittsburgh, PA and graduated from Penn State in 2009 with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.