Thursday brought some great news out of Florida. The state of Florida filed a lawsuit against the CDC demanding they immediately lift the Conditional Sailing Order issued last October. This order has prevented the cruise industry from restarting here in the US.
Florida AG Ashley Moody filed the suit against the CDC due to the severe economic impact the shut down has had on Florida. Gov. DeSantis, who said this was coming, sited Florida is the largest hub for cruise ships in the United States. Stating “We’re an 800-pound gorilla when it comes to tourism,”
Just to give you an idea of how big the cruise industry is here in Florida. There are 5 ports here in Florida including Jacksonville, Tampa Port Canaveral and of course Ft Lauderdale and Miami. On a Saturday or Sunday, there could be upwards of 20 ships sailing out of these ports.
To turn these ships and take care of guest, you need people unloading and loading luggage, taking care of the lines, fueling, loading provisions, safety and not to mention the great people in the terminal checking in guest. As a note, a lot of the guest care agents are seniors looking for additional income who love what they do.
Then you have the tourism that comes with the passengers staying one or two nights prior to or after the cruise. And some stay longer. That impacts hotels and attractions. Again more jobs.
You can see why cruising is so important to the state of Florida. And the pent up demand to cruise is also there. Future bookings are up, including for late 2021. The cruise lines are ready to go and are now finding other home ports like Royal Caribbean in the Bahamas and Celebrity in St. Maarten.
The cruise lines are committed to a safe restart with protocols in place to keep crew and passengers safe. NCL on Monday sent a letter to the CDC laying out their plan which was developed by the Healthy Sail Panel created by NCL and other lines consisting of experts in medicine and science. But the requirements from the CDC in the Conditional Sailing Order is really unreachable.
We will watch and see what the next bit of news is surrounding this topic, hopefully it will be the lifting of he CSO.
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