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How will Florida's ban on vaccine passports effect cruise ship requirements?


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Posted (edited)

As it stands - the cruise lines can't.  I doubt this would hold up in court if they challenge it, and if they don't challenge it, they risk a loss of a fair amount of business.  I think a lot of vaccinated cruisers - myself included - would not get on a ship that doesn't require vaccination.

 

Another article has a direct quote:

 

DeSantis, who has sued the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention seeking to reopen the cruise industry, insisted he would not make an exception.

“If you say, ‘Just let the cruises do it, no one else,’ it ain’t going to end there,” DeSantis said.

 

 

Edited by CT Sean
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I can see both sides of the argument. There is a federal case being tried on May 12th for an injunction on the CSO. That will play out however it does. Whichever way it goes, an appeal to the FL Supreme Court probably will not happen before the CSO is lifted anyway. I expect cruises to go down 2 paths depending on outcomes of the trial:

 

  1. DeSantis loses and they have to follow the CDC new guidelines. The cruise lines are already moving down this path in my opinion. It keeps the ball rolling to start mid-July. 98% of crew and 95% of passengers will have to be vaccinated. I suspect this may have some flexibility but not much. Lets say a cruise has 3,000 passengers and 200 of those are children that cannot be vaccinated. I don't see the cruise line sticking to a strict number and the CDC being flexible to say it is ok because of children.
  2. DeSantis wins and cruises can start with no restrictions. This would be cruising back to normal. The CDC would have to file an appeal with the FL Supreme Court. I am fairly certain the FL Supreme Court would not be looking to move with any expediency to even consider the case. The only recourse the CDC would have is to  get one of the other Departments to put their name and political suicide to stop cruising. 

There will be no fully vaccinated cruises in mid-July unless the cruise line comes out and says they require 100% vaccination. If they attempt that with DeSantis law in place, the cruise lines won't be able to operate out of FL. I expect TX to take a similar stance with DeSantis. I believe it is more wise to work together and compromise to get cruising back. It's a simple solution and I don't see either side too far off from each other that it can't be done. I see a working method as below.

  1. Everyone 16 and older must be vaccinated, no exceptions. To be very clear, I complete disagree with this but will accept it. I think it is going to be a requirement in order to sail in July. No excuse for religion or medical reason. Either get it or don't sail. No one in this age group can be part of the 5% number from the CDC.
  2. Everyone 12-15 will need to vaccinated as much as possible due to the timing of vaccine approval. Because it is a 6-week process, it is not something completely possible for July. The FDA needs to approve soon (by next week). That only leaves 4-5 weeks for kids in this age group to be vaccinated in time and meet the 3-week time after the second shot. The ones that can't will count into the 5%.
  3. Under 12 counts in the 5%

 

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This is an interesting article about the ban

 

https://www.sun-sentinel.com/business/fl-bz-silversea-cruises-to-require-vaccinations-20210412-7ok6fwabpndc5aop6oyla5tgvq-story.html

 

I'm quite sure the reality is "it's complicated", but these 2 paragraphs suggest he doesn't have the authority:

"Dawn Meyers, a partner with the government and regulatory team at Miami-based Berger Singerman, last week said DeSantis likely has no authority under interstate law, international law or maritime law to bar cruise lines from requiring vaccinations unless cruise ships were merely traveling from one Florida port to another.

Jim Walker, a South Florida attorney who specializes in maritime law, accused DeSantis of wanting to “have his cake and eat it too” by calling for the CDC to allow cruise lines to resume operations while prohibiting cruise lines from requiring vaccinations. “Both of these issues are well outside the jurisdiction of a state governor,” he said recently."

 

 

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I don't disagree that DeSantis has probably overstepped his authority, but it is nowhere near how much the CDC has overstepped its either. The CDC head stated emphatically that the CDC is not the only government entity stopping cruises. My take on her statement alone is to end the CSO immediately and see what other Department of government moves to stop the cruise industry. When none step up to the plate, you know who stopped it. If the CDC would just operate fairly and openly, none of this would have had to transpire. 

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Just like every other private business in Florida, the cruise lines can do whatever they want.

 

I work for the largest and busiest privately owned restaurant business in South Florida.  All of our employees are required to wear a mask while working.  

 

All of our guests are required to wear masks to enter and exit the restaurant.  If you don't have on a mask, you cannot enter.  It is a privately owned business and we can do what we want.

 

Just like we require you to wear shoes and a shirt to enter.

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3 hours ago, BlueHerons said:

Just like every other private business in Florida, the cruise lines can do whatever they want.

 

I work for the largest and busiest privately owned restaurant business in South Florida.  All of our employees are required to wear a mask while working.  

 

All of our guests are required to wear masks to enter and exit the restaurant.  If you don't have on a mask, you cannot enter.  It is a privately owned business and we can do what we want.

 

Just like we require you to wear shoes and a shirt to enter.

 

That's good and I support your business doing it - but this law isn't about masks.  This law says you are not allowed to require patrons to have the COVID vaccine- even if you wanted to. I'm not saying a restaurant would want to - seems a bit excessive - but the point is you can't.

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I suspect Governor DeSantis is playing to the cheap seats on this one.  He's in a win-win situation as far as his political ambitions for 2022 (re-election bid?) and 2024 (Presidential bid?).

 

His edict might be over turned in court, or it might stand. Either way, he has stood up to the wicked federal government un-elected bureaucrats who are choking honest business people.

 

(I don't necessarily agree with this, but I have observed how these issues unfold here in the Sunshine addled state.)

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Posted (edited)
On 5/4/2021 at 10:06 AM, BlueHerons said:

Just like every other private business in Florida, the cruise lines can do whatever they want.

The difference is that the cruise lines are not a privately owned business. They are a multi-billion dollar publicly traded business. Like I said, if the May 12th case is in favor of FL, the injunction on the CSO will allow cruises to operate restriction free. If the CDC wins, then the cruise lines will demand vaccines. Either way, the cruise lines win with the outcome. This is just to see how far the CDC or FL can reach the fence if you catch the meaning.

Edited by BoozinCroozin
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2 hours ago, BoozinCroozin said:

The difference is that the cruise lines are not a privately owned business. They are a multi-billion dollar publicly traded business. Like I said, if the May 12th case is in favor of FL, the injunction on the CSO will allow cruises to operate restriction free. If the CDC wins, then the cruise lines will demand vaccines. Either way, the cruise lines win with the outcome. This is just to see how far the CDC or FL can reach the fence if you catch the meaning.

The fact that a company is publicly traded doesn't matter. You think a McDonalds, or a Costco, for example, can't require masks on their property? Really? They can, and do. The airlines (all publicly traded)required masks before the Executive Order.

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The situation seems to be setting up to be the CDC and the cruise lines favoring all, or mostly all, passengers and crew to be vaccinated, and Governor DeSantis opposing vaccinations as a condition for service in Florida.

 

My guess is the test trips will be run with volunteers, and will be successful. And the feds will wave a pre-emptive notice.  A lawsuit demanding enforcement of Florida law will be dismissed.

 

 

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On 5/6/2021 at 3:46 AM, BoozinCroozin said:

The difference is that the cruise lines are not a privately owned business. They are a multi-billion dollar publicly traded business. Like I said, if the May 12th case is in favor of FL, the injunction on the CSO will allow cruises to operate restriction free. If the CDC wins, then the cruise lines will demand vaccines. Either way, the cruise lines win with the outcome. This is just to see how far the CDC or FL can reach the fence if you catch the meaning.

No, if the cruise lines go without a vaccine requirement and have another big Covid outbreak (a very possible if not probable outcome) the 24/7 media coverage with be the final  nail in the cruise     industry's coffin  - they really cant afford another Diamond Princess fiasco.

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2 things have to happen for FL to cruise any time soon (next 24 months in my opinion). First, they need to get the CDC straightened out. No one is cruising when a mask has to be worn 99.9% of the time outside the cabin. No one is going to cruise with that restriction, period!!! If you think anyone will, you are crazy. Second, after the CDC is taken care and sailing has reasonable rules for passengers and crew, DeSantis is going to have to amend the law. If not, the cruise lines will leave FL. It is not difficult to sail out of Galveston, NOLA, Baltimore, NY, and other places. 

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1 hour ago, bigrednole said:

2 things have to happen for FL to cruise any time soon (next 24 months in my opinion). First, they need to get the CDC straightened out. No one is cruising when a mask has to be worn 99.9% of the time outside the cabin. No one is going to cruise with that restriction, period!!! If you think anyone will, you are crazy. Second, after the CDC is taken care and sailing has reasonable rules for passengers and crew, DeSantis is going to have to amend the law. If not, the cruise lines will leave FL. It is not difficult to sail out of Galveston, NOLA, Baltimore, NY, and other places. 

Don't forget Philadelphia , they use to have a cruise port for Bermuda cruises, its sitting empty plus Philly is a hub for American so they would have plenty of flights

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One piece of data lacking in the equation is now many prospective travelers would cancel their trips if vaccinations are not required. Even folks who have received the vaccines might be reluctant to spend 10 days with unvaccinated, unmasked people at close quarters.

 

My guess is a lot of vaccinated travelers would balk...

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Let's get to the bottom line. The Desantis edict was nothing more than a political stunt. Period.  It was a dumb move and very likely unconstitutional. NCL has called the bluff and now FL is facing hundreds of job losses and many millions in lost revenues.. Other cruise lines are contemplating similar tactics. It is now only a question of how long it will take for Desantis to come up with some way to save face.

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It's not about saving face. The lawsuit has to win first. If not, cruises will not be from the US until the CSO is gone. It is as simple as that. I cannot find a single person that will get on a ship with the following 2 (of 100s) criteria:

 

  1. Mask wearing almost 99.9% of the time unless in your cabin. 
  2. No exploring the port

Do you expect anyone to cruise with that Master/Slave mentality? No and the cruise lines are not going to accept it either. If the lawsuit fails, more ships will move to Caribbean ports.

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1 hour ago, bigrednole said:

It's not about saving face. The lawsuit has to win first. If not, cruises will not be from the US until the CSO is gone. It is as simple as that. I cannot find a single person that will get on a ship with the following 2 (of 100s) criteria:

 

  1. Mask wearing almost 99.9% of the time unless in your cabin. 
  2. No exploring the port

Do you expect anyone to cruise with that Master/Slave mentality? No and the cruise lines are not going to accept it either. If the lawsuit fails, more ships will move to Caribbean ports.

OK, hyperbole is getting pretty thick here. Master/Slave? Really? Nobody is being forced to do anything here..if you don't want to wear a mask, don't cruise. You aren't being forcibly abducted and placed on a ship against your will, then abused and forced to work. 

 

Just because you, in your comprehensive polling, can't find anyone who will sail if a mask is worn, there are people. Perhaps many people. But I, like you, can't actually quantify the number, realistically.

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On 5/9/2021 at 4:51 PM, jimgev said:

Let's get to the bottom line. The Desantis edict was nothing more than a political stunt. Period.  It was a dumb move and very likely unconstitutional. NCL has called the bluff and now FL is facing hundreds of job losses and many millions in lost revenues.. Other cruise lines are contemplating similar tactics. It is now only a question of how long it will take for Desantis to come up with some way to save face.

Completely agree with you on this issue.  What most people lose sight of is that the CDC guidelines came out after DeSantis passed the edict against requirement for proof of vaccine, so I feel the restrictive guidelines were a reaction to the possibility of high numbers of unvaccinated passengers.  I personally would have no problem with wearing a mask in gatherings in close quarters, such as performances but being vaccinated should have allowed the freedom to dine without masks or have outdoor time maskless.  And to encourage cruisers to accept "grab and go meals" to be consumed in our rooms is completely absurd.  We have two cruises booked for this fall but are giving serious consideration to cancelling both unless vaccines are required.  I do not want to be on a ship where an idiot unvaxxed passenger gets Covid, infects a few other anti-vaxxers and now the whole ship is suddenly another Diamond Princess.    Can we just click our feet together and this will all be right?  

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Wednesday's CDC updated guidelines seem to address --some-- of the concerns under the original edict.  We'll have to see how the vax vs un-vax passenger questions plays out.

 

Subject to host country rules, independent travel appears permitted for vax passengers. Extended time at the dining table allowed for vax passengers. Masks need not be worn in uncrowded areas of deck, inside, etc.

 

Now, how are they going to separate the vax and un-vax folks?  In this part of  South Florida, mask wearing is dropping rapidly as many folks are vaccinated, and stores just request / suggest masks.  Not have a few line backers at the front door as greeters...

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I posted this in the Cruise News forum as well, but I suppose this forum may be more appropriate.

 

As a non-American, can someone explain the political and/or logical and/or scientific reasoning behind this bill?

I'm from Denmark, and what I have read about the bill seems like completely reversed logic.

In Denmark, we are slowly opening up business across the board; indoor dining, cinemas, fitness centers etc. However, all indoor-based non-retail businesses (ie. fitness centres, dining, cinemas etc.) MUST require valid Covid passports, either showing completed vaccination or a negative PCR/antigen test not older than 72 hours. Both test types are available completely free for anyone in Denmark. Just a few days ago, Covid immunity (from an earlier contracting of Covid) was added as a valid option in the Covid passport. The Covid passport is available as an phone app or on print. The latest major re-opening was just last week on May 6, and I couldn't even imagine BANNING Covid passports in that situation, like I understand DeSantis is aiming to do.

 

Any layman explanation about this bill is highly appreciated.

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20 minutes ago, mikkelhansen said:

I posted this in the Cruise News forum as well, but I suppose this forum may be more appropriate.

 

As a non-American, can someone explain the political and/or logical and/or scientific reasoning behind this bill?

I'm from Denmark, and what I have read about the bill seems like completely reversed logic.

In Denmark, we are slowly opening up business across the board; indoor dining, cinemas, fitness centers etc. However, all indoor-based non-retail businesses (ie. fitness centres, dining, cinemas etc.) MUST require valid Covid passports, either showing completed vaccination or a negative PCR/antigen test not older than 72 hours. Both test types are available completely free for anyone in Denmark. Just a few days ago, Covid immunity (from an earlier contracting of Covid) was added as a valid option in the Covid passport. The Covid passport is available as an phone app or on print. The latest major re-opening was just last week on May 6, and I couldn't even imagine BANNING Covid passports in that situation, like I understand DeSantis is aiming to do.

 

Any layman explanation about this bill is highly appreciated.

This dives deeply into politics, which is probably not appropriate for Cruise Critic. But DeSantis thinks he is protecting the "freedom" of people to do whatever they want, regardless of how it affects others. He sees himself as a future presidential candidate in the Trump line of politics.

 

The order he signed, and the similar state law that takes effect shortly, have NO scientific basis at all. Its all about the "freedom" issue. Its politics over science.

 

It is possible the law will be overturned. It is possible the law will adversely affect cruising resuming in Florida, so if DeSantis wants cruising back in Florida, a compromise will be required.

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1 minute ago, CruiserBruce said:

This dives deeply into politics, which is probably not appropriate for Cruise Critic. But DeSantis thinks he is protecting the "freedom" of people to do whatever they want, regardless of how it affects others. He sees himself as a future presidential candidate in the Trump line of politics.

 

The order he signed, and the similar state law that takes effect shortly, have NO scientific basis at all. Its all about the "freedom" issue. Its politics over science.

 

It is possible the law will be overturned. It is possible the law will adversely affect cruising resuming in Florida, so if DeSantis wants cruising back in Florida, a compromise will be required.

@CruiserBruce, thank you very much, that is very helpful. Unfortunately, like you described, I had a feeling that this was highly or purely politics-based. In Denmark we would call something like this "symbol politics" or in a similar term "populism politics".

I'm following the bill with interest, as we have a cruise from Port Everglades in April 2022, so any major impact on the cruise industry, in terms of the cruise lines eventually moving the cruises out-of-state will impact our trip next year.

Thanks again for you explanation.

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