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Coronavirus: Updated Cruise Ship Policies and Cancellations Because of COVID-19 (2021)
Coronavirus: Updated Cruise Ship Policies and Cancellations Because of COVID-19 (2021)
Miami Port
Miami Port

Cruise Critic Members React as Lawmakers Urge CDC To Reinstate No-Sail Order

Miami Port
Miami Port

November 16, 2020

Aaron Saunders
Senior Editor, News and Features

(2:50 p.m. EST) -- Cruise Critic members are reacting to the news that several U.S. lawmakers have called for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to reinstate the agency's "No-Sail" order for cruise ships after seven passengers and a crew member aboard SeaDream I tested positive for COVID-19 on a Caribbean cruise from Barbados.

The CDC's "No-Sail" order expired on October 30 in favor of the newer "Framework for Conditional Sailing", which still includes numerous unanswered questions and missing technical details that prohibit lines from restarting operations from, to, or via U.S. ports of call.

SeaDream's ill-fated Caribbean voyage aboard SeaDream I would not have been covered under the CDC's guidance even if a No-Sail order would have been in place. The vessel departed from Bridgetown, Barbados and did not call on any U.S. ports of call, placing it outside the CDC's jurisdiction.

That didn't stop Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal and California Congresswoman Doris Matsui from calling on the CDC to reinstate its "No-Sail" order and introduce a sweeping ban on cruise in the United States.

"Multiple COVID-19 cases on the first cruise ship in the Caribbean fulfills our worst fears,"

writes Blumenthal

on Twitter. "They’re a compelling reason for the CDC to reverse course & restore its no-sail order. Bon voyage is very bad policy."

Cruise Critic Members React

Exterior Deck on Zuiderdam
Exterior Deck on Zuiderdam

Reaction from Cruise Critic members has been varied, with some supporting a further suspension of cruises in light of rising COVID-19 infection rates within the United States, while others have pointed out that, while mistakes had been made aboard the SeaDream voyage, having a No-Sail order would not have stopped this particular instance from occurring.

"CDC can do nothing about ships sailing in the Caribbean that do not touch the U.S.," writes Covepointcruiser. "They have advised against non-essential overseas travel and against all cruising for U.S. citizens. Since quite a few were on the SeaDream, it doesn’t seem to matter what the U.S. government says as our citizens will do exactly what they want to."

"These cruise lines need to reinstate it themselves with COVID cases running so high," writes HaveWeMetYet. "Cancel through Feb 15, 2021 right now. Forget the "test cruises" the bad PR from an outbreak would set them back 3 more months or longer. The risk is just too high right now."

"All of the people that depend on travel and tourism depend on that industry to pay their bills and feed their families believe it's an essential industry," writes ipeeinthepool. "These industries are essential to a lot of people. Resuming travel and tourism is critical not because you or I want a vacation, but because many people and the local economies depend on this industry."

Other members point out that the CDC's current Conditional Sail Order (CSO) is essentially a repackaged extension of the previous No-Sail order.

"The CSO provided no clear path to glory by design," writes twangster. "Lots of milestones and checkpoints with unclear requirements how to get there…. it was created so that the same result occurred. No ships sailing.

"The unfortunate reality is that a No-Sail Order is appropriate right now. Politics aside, our numbers don't support getting people together for Thanksgiving. Going on a cruise? Nope."

"I think we might have to come to terms that this is the new normal," writes shof515 in reference to having a handful of COVID-positive cases onboard.

Passenger cruises within the United States have been halted since March. The United States currently holds the highest number of daily COVID-19 cases worldwide, with over 100,000 new cases on average being reported each day.

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