Royal Caribbean posts summer schedule as debate to resume continues

Cruise Traffic Picking Up

The future of cruises in Florida remains in rough water, though many cruise lines are making plans now and are hopeful for a busy return.

“I’ve spoken with executives on almost every cruise line, and they’re ready to go,” said Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.

Royal Caribbean has now put out its summer cruise lineup, including one of its first comeback trips leaving from Port Canaveral, a 7-night trip to Eastern and Western Caribbean beginning on August 8.

The company said all crew members will be vaccinated and that guests are “strongly recommended” to get the vaccine, but not required.

But those who don’t will have to get a COVID-19 test.

Hundreds watched from Port Canaveral as Carnival’s largest cruise ship -- Mardi Gras -- made its way to the Space Coast Friday.

“We are one giant step closer to the day that we will sail again with guests on board,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line.

Mediation efforts recently failed after Gov. Ron Desantis sued the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention over allowing cruises to resume.

The CDC issued guidance to cruise lines, including doing test cruises or requiring most passengers and crew members to be vaccinated.

“They were very unreasonable about some of the things they were asking,” DeSantis said. “You don’t need to discriminate against people and you shouldn’t.”

A district judge will have to decide if and when cruise lines can move forward and resume cruises.

About the Author:

Jerry Askin is an Atlanta native who came to News 6 in March 2018 with an extensive background in breaking news.