Eighty percent of cruise goers want to resume sailing on ships that require Covid-19 vaccinations, according to a recent study by CruiseCritic.com. The results generated 5,025 responses from ‘cruise enthusiasts,’ sixty-five percent of the respondents reported taking 10 or more cruises.
Of the 80% who favor boarding ships where passengers and crew are vaccinated, 89% said they would feel more safe sailing on a ship with fellow vaccinated passengers and 69% said they want a more traditional cruise experience, without masks, social distancing or testing requirements. Only 14% of respondents said they would prefer to sail on a ship without a Covid vaccine requirement.
So, what does this tell us? Essentially, the majority of cruise goers want the vaccine. The CDC recommends everyone 12 years and older get a COVID-19 vaccine to help protect against COVID-19.
Governor Ron DeSantis has been fighting to prevent Florida-based businesses from requiring vaccination.
“In Florida, your personal choice regarding vaccinations will be protected and no business or government entity will be able to deny you services based on your decision,” the governor said when signing the vaccine passport bill on May 3.
Meanwhile, the number of cruise lines requiring passengers be vaccinated increased last week. Celebrity Cruises said it had secured the CDC’s approval to launch a seven-day cruise from Port Everglades on June 26. That followed earlier announcements of vaccine requirements by other cruise lines, including Silversea Cruises and Norwegian Cruise Line, for Florida-based voyages.
In April, DeSantis declared cruise lines be included under the new Florida law, even though most of these ships operate in international waters. A key reason cruise lines should be exempt from the Florida business vaccine passport ban. This is contradictory, as it comes just days after he appeared with cruise industry leaders in Miami in late March to demand that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provide clear ground rules for a resumption of cruising from Florida by summer.
The CDC provided the guidelines requested by the industry: Ships can bypass required “test cruises” if they verify that 95% of passengers and crew members are vaccinated. It appears DeSantis unknowingly found himself opposing a clear path to resuming cruise ship operations, as laid out by the CDC. Banning these so-called vaccine passports may keep cruise ships anchored in Florida.