Cruise lines’s vaccine mandates had recently been torpedoed by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
Royal Caribbean International will no longer require any of its cruise passengers to be vaccinated for COVID-19, revering its previous stance after push-back from Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
Vaccines are not required for passengers, but all ship crew members will be vaccinated. Guests who are unvaccinated “will be required to undergo testing and follow other protocols,” according to a news release from the company.
The company’s first cruise since the coronavirus pandemic began will launch on July 2 in Miami, more than a year after the US Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention’s (CDC) no-sail order brought cruises to a halt, said the release.
“This is it. Vacationers can finally plan to take their precious time off this summer and truly get away after what has been a challenging time for everyone,” said Michael Bayley, president and CEO of Royal Caribbean International, in the release.
DeSantis’ threats of imposing fines on cruise lines asking for those mandates appeared to be highly persuasive.
The about-face is an apparent submission to Gov. Ron DeSantis, who has insisted that there will be no exception made for cruise companies to a newly passed Florida law that fines companies $5,000 each time they ask a patron to provide proof of vaccination.
Royal Caribbean International’s sister brand Celebrity Cruises (both owned by Royal Caribbean Group) is still requiring all passengers 16 years old or older be vaccinated on its seven-night Caribbean cruises that are restarting from Port Everglades on June 26.
Lyan Sierra-Caro, a spokesperson for Royal Caribbean International, said the plans to require passengers be vaccinated that the company submitted to the CDC only applied to its test cruises. According to CDC rules, cruise ships that don’t meet certain vaccination thresholds for passengers and crew must first do a successful test cruise before they can restart revenue cruises.
“Our intention is to comply with all federal, state and local laws,” she said via email.
DeSantis is so good that the Royal Caribbean International CEO personally thanked the governor during the announcement of the reversal.
In a statement, Royal Caribbean International CEO Michael Bayley thanked Gov. DeSantis and fellow Florida politicians for “their steadfast support of our industry.” Despite removing the proof of vaccination requirement, he pointed to company data that claims 90% of Royal Caribbean consumers are “either vaccinated or planning to get vaccinated in time for their cruise.”
“This is it. Vacationers can finally plan to take their precious time off this summer and truly get away after what has been a challenging time for everyone,” Bayley said in a statement. “I would like to sincerely thank our guests and travel partners for their incredible patience and understanding during this very difficult period.”
Given the extent of government duplicity regarding the coronavirus policies found in the Anthony Fauci emails, more personal freedom going forward would be the optimum choice.
I applaud the decision of the cruise line to allow everyone to assess their level of risk when arranging their travel plans. After all, if you are truly concerned about getting COVID on a cruise from someone unvaccinated, you can get the vaccine yourself.
After all, based on science, that’s how vaccines work.DONATE
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