Despite Carnival Cruise Line on hold in the U.S. for more than a year, the cruise line is still in discussions with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to restart cruises in July 2021.
The cruise line’s president and CEO Christine Duffy has been speaking to NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt on the impact the suspension is having on its operations and that active discussions continue with the CDC.
Carnival Cruise Line in Active Discussions with CDC
In an exclusive interview with NBC Nightly News, Carnival’s president and CEO Christine Duffy talks about the cruise industry not wanting to be treated differently from other tourism sectors. She also goes on to talk about restarting operations in line with President Biden’s July 4 reopening of the country. Duffy said:
I think, again, we don’t want to be treated differently than any other part of travel tourism, entertainment or society. And so I think that’s where we have the challenge of working through the details because. For our cruise line, children under 12 or a big part of the cruise experience and a summer, you know, a family vacation.
Carnival Cruise Line, along with other cruise lines that operate out of the US, are working through the guidelines set out by the CDC as part of the Conditional Sailing Order that was first introduced at the end of October 2020.
You can watch the full Carnival segment on NBC Nightly News below:
The good news is that the CDC is now starting to change the instructions that cruise lines need to work through for a safe return. Just days ago, several new sections were added in relation to testing passengers and crew. Duffy has also confirmed that they are in active discussions with the CDC in the hope to resume in July.
Carnival plans on restarting this July with up to four vessels. It does also depends on if Alaska can be saved. With the Senate passing a bill to allow cruise ships to visit without visiting Canada, the situation is looking more positive.
It is a very tricky dilemma for Carnival Cruise Line as it’s very family orientated, and if all guests need to be vaccinated, that could be an issue. Duffy said on the matter:
“Well, again, there’s no mandate, um, in, for any other business to have that requirement, we certainly are encouraging everyone to get a vaccine and our crew members that have been.”
The big question really is if Carnival will issue a vaccine mandate for all passengers, and the cruise line has not yet committed to any decision. With the CDC set to releases further updates to its instructions later in the week, holding on to any decision could be the way to go.
Carnival is yet to release any health protocols for passengers. However, for the crew, they are being vaccinated, and new health measures for them have been sent.