(2:35 p.m. EDT) -- The CDC this week released new guidance around sailing requirements for cruise lines from U.S. homeports. As Norwegian Cruise Line President and CEO Harry Sommer put it, the regulations have some "good things and some less-good things."
Cruise Critic Editor-in-Chief Colleen McDaniel explains the rules and looks at reactions from the industry -- and our readers -- as we get a clearer picture of the path to cruising resumption.
In what's starting to feel a little like Groundhog Day, our top breaking cruise news story this week again comes from the CDC, which released its guidance on what cruise lines will need to do to resume sailing from U.S. home ports.
Hi everyone. I'm Colleen McDaniel, Editor in Chief of Cruise Critic. Thanks for tuning in.
A week after the CDC gave the green light for cruises from U.S. homeports to skip test voyages if crew and passengers were vaccinated, the agency laid out its rules for return. We saw a few surprises.
For one, it appears the rules will be the same for cruises no matter which route they take. That means cruise lines that opt to go with test voyages and those that instead require vaccinations will have to follow the same rules.
What are those rules? Well, for starters, masks are required to be worn in all public spaces, both indoors and out. Also, social distancing will be required throughout all ships.
The CDC also requires that all self-serve food options be eliminated, and it encourages alternatives including grab-and-go meals as well as room service.
One biggie here: Passengers will be required to take cruise ship excursions if they want to explore in port.
The Cruise Line Industry Association responded with a statement, saying that leaves "a lot of work to do in order to achieve the goal of sailing from U.S. ports this summer."
Reactions from the cruise lines -- and Cruise Critic's readers -- were a little more pointed. Frank Del Rio, head of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, called the guidelines "impractical" and onerous, while readers were left wondering why the regulations applied to dining on land or staying at a hotel were so different than the standards being applied to the cruise industry.
Make sure to click the links in our description to read reactions across the industry. Hit the thumbs up if you liked this video, and please subscribe so you never miss a beat.