The CDC is reportedly planning to nullify its mandate limiting all US cruises to under 7 days, as part of ongoing updates to the Conditional Sailing Order.
The CDC had previously ordered that cruise lines sailing from US ports can only sell cruises under a week in length, in order to limit the spread of COVID-19.
Now, however, it is rumoured that this requirement may be dropped, along with a number of other as yet unspecific provisions.
What the CDC giveth, the CDC also taketh away, however, as it is rumoured that its updated Conditional Sailing Order will also now strongly encourage cruise lines to mandate vaccination.
Currently, Norwegian Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises have mandated vaccination, while MSC Cruises has not, and Carnival Cruise Line has not provided a definitive answer.
Carnival Cruise Line said earlier this week that it would not require passengers be fully vaccinated before sailing, but then when it was announced that Carnival Miracle would be deployed in Alaska, the cruise line said guests would have to be vaccinated.
For the past several months, Carnival Cruise Line President Christine Duffy has consistently said the cruise line has not made a decision regarding vaccine requirements.
Likewise, Arnold Donald, President & CEO of parent company Carnival Corporation has also indicated that no decision had been made, but the CDC’s Conditional Sailing Order may force the decision.
Updated verbiage is expected to strongly encourage cruise lines to sail with 100 percent vaccinated passengers and crew until the CSO is fully lifted, and of all the world’s major cruise companies, Carnival Cruise Line is the only one still on the fence.
American Cruise Lines, Celebrity Cruises, Crystal Cruises, Cunard Line, Disney Cruise Line, Holland America, Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, Princess Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Silversea, Virgin Voyages and Windstar Cruises currently all require full vaccination before boarding.
The CDC has made several updates to the Conditional Sailing Order during the past few weeks, however, and there’s no guarantee that it won’t drop its vaccination mandate, or make it even stricter.
Of all the cruise lines that have resumed cruises from the UK, only MSC Cruises does not require full vaccination, but in the United States, vaccine acceptance is far more polarizing.
When Royal Caribbean first announced that it would require full vaccination from guests, it was attacked by many of them on social media.