The seas have been turbulent for the major cruise lines that depart from US ports, and the Royal Caribbean International (RCL), Carnival Cruise Lines (CCL), and Norwegian Cruise Line (NCLH) are all facing difficulties. Since March 2020, when COVID struck, their future has remained shrouded in uncertainty. 

Despite the continued pandemic, all three cruise lines have returned to near-normal operations, but that does not negate the problems. The epidemic still casts a shadow, in form of CDC regulations.

The CDC adopted an adversarial attitude towards the cruise lines during the cruise shutdown. It banned sailing, effectively shutting down the cruise industry in the US. Despite significant efforts by the cruise lines to demonstrate that they could operate safely, it refused to reconsider the decision.

However, the CDC then proceeded to introduce rules permitting sailings to resume via the conditional-sail order, and, henceforth the rules have been relaxed. Currently, the CDC is collaborating with the three primary cruise lines under a voluntary plan. That has allowed the industry to fully resume operations while ensuring that they ensure complete safety.

The CDC might be working more closely with the industry, yet it has a lot of power when it comes to cruise lines that sail from North America. It’s most recent advice, while not an alarm bell, is at least something that the passengers of the Royal Caribbean, the Carnival, and the Norwegian should be informed about.

Cruise Lines’ Current Mode of Operations

It’s worth noting that the CDC currently has not issued a warning for going on a cruise. That means, in addition to instructions regarding COVID prevention and at-risk passenger instructions, it is not advising Americans against cruising (which it did for quite some time after the return).

The three cruise lines, on their part, have requested their personnel and passengers to have been fully vaccinated prior to boarding. Passengers who are aged 12 years or older must provide evidence of immunization as well as a negative test taken no more than two days before the sailing.

There are plans in place for dealing with infections aboard, as well as for testing clients taking consecutive sailings. Masks are now optional on board, and after you’ve boarded, most of the pandemic-related regulations have been lifted.

There are no restrictions on the cruise lines’ various ports of call, according to both cruise lines and the CDC. Because of that (and for Americans flying to these locations), the CDC has issued alerts about travel destinations for two well-known cruise ship ports.

New Cautionary Notice Issued by CDC

Many countries still have COVID protocols still in place, which means that cruise lines will have to adhere to them. Indoor masks are necessary in some countries, and masks are required in certain public areas. The CDC keeps track of the situation in each nation and provides recommendations for Americans who may travel there.

According to the CDC, the three popular Caribbean island getaways have been elevated from Level 2 to Level 3. Anguilla, Turks & Caicos and Jamaica stand elevated to the high-risk category at present, as per Cruisehive.

This new warning advises that people who haven’t had all of their vaccines should avoid traveling to areas classified as Level 3. The CDC advised that people who are at greater personal risk owing to a weakened immune system or other health concerns should avoid visiting Level 3 regions.

The alerts and high levels of COVID at many ports might persuade some passengers to postpone their trip. Many other, have been apprehensive about visiting areas where COVID risk is high, while some have been concerned about security procedures and the need to wear a mask while in port.

This latest CDC policy may encourage more people to postpone their trips, which will depress rates even more.

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