PORT CANAVERAL, Fla. – After 14 months, Port Canaveral’s CEO finally has positive news on restarting America’s cruise industry.
“We’re seeing progress,” Captain John Murray said. “We haven’t seen it in a long time and we’re really excited to be seeing it now.”
In an interview following the Port Canaveral Commission meeting Wednesday, Captain Murray said pending CDC approval, Port Canaveral could have its first test cruise in June.
A test cruise is already booked for late June out of Miami where Royal Caribbean’s CEO announced his cruise line received approval for a three-day test cruise departing June 20.
“As we restart, there will be some more restrictions than before. But we expect they will be temporary and similar to what we’ve all become used to on land,” Richard Fain said in a Royal Caribbean-produced video.
The CDC said test cruise passengers need to be at least 18, and vaccinated or without a medical condition that would put them at high risk of getting severely sick.
The port said it’s helped give vaccines to 2,500 cruise line employees with 5,000 more scheduled.
If ships have 98 percent of their crew and 95 percent of passengers vaccinated, the CDC said they can skip the practice runs and resume regular cruises in U.S. waters.
“The exciting thing is getting our community back working again,” Captain Murray said.
Port officials also shared an update to Florida’s lawsuit against the CDC.
Mediation is scheduled for Thursday morning and both sides are ordered to come to a resolution by June 1.