BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – Cruising into the new year, thousands of passengers are rejecting the CDC’s advice not to sail as COVID-19 cases reach record numbers. The CDC issued this guidance despite every passenger 12 and older being required to be vaccinated.
‘’We’re praying to God that everything works out OK,’’ Independence of the Seas passenger Miriam Delapaz said.
The Port St. Lucie family said when they heard the new guidance Thursday, they considered canceling their Royal Caribbean trip, but ultimately still wanted to ring in 2022 at sea.
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‘’We decided, life is life,’’ Delapaz said. ‘’We’ve got to live it and just have a good time as a family.’’
More families who still boarded the Independence of the Seas Friday included the Bailey’s from Maryland who said they’ve been holding onto their tickets since the cruise industry shut down almost two years ago.
‘’I feel like we’ll be alright as long we stay to ourselves,’’ Azura Bailey said.
“We don’t like to see even one case, but our experience is a fraction of the comparable statistics of virtually any other comparable location or industry,” Royal Caribbean Chairman Richard Fain wrote in a statement Thursday.
Royal Caribbean said since restarting in the summer,1,700 of its 1.1 million guests have tested positive with 41 of those passengers going to the hospital and none of those 41 with the new variant.
‘’Cruises were kind of known for getting people sick before the pandemic,’’ Pedo Delapaz said. ‘’To me, the risk is pretty much the same.’’
After the Independence of the Seas departure Friday and the Disney Dream, six more cruise ships were scheduled to sail out of Port Canaveral over the holiday weekend.