November 3rd, 2020 - The COVID-19 pandemic claims its victims among the cruise brands. Small, financially weak companies like the Spanish Pullmantur Cruceros, the British CMV including the subsidiary brand TransOcean and FTI Cruises were hit hard. The list is not exhaustive. They were forced to cease operations. The industry giants Carnival, MSC, Norwegian and Royal Caribbean are hit no less hard. With a few exceptions, their ships will be on hold until December 31, 2020.
The time of the tropical cyclones, the hurricane season, is drawing to a close. That would be reason enough for US cruise companies to increasingly use their ships in the Caribbean. The US National Hurricane Center estimates that the hurricane season ends on November 30th of each year.
A carefree start of the cruises from Miami, Fort Lauderdale and from other ports is out of the question. The reason: After the so-called No-Sail-Order of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) was recently repealed, the new Conditional Sailing Order forces the companies to implement certain measures.
Cruise ships in Port Everglades harbor
With a number of measures, the CDC calls on the cruise lines to meet certain requirements before a new start. This includes:
- Introduction of test procedures for all crew members in US waters.
- Implementation of 15 simulated test trips with the aim of mitigating COVID-19 outbreaks on board the ships.
- Introduction of certification processes.
- The resumption of cruises is only conceivable after the above provisions have been met. The focus is on the objective of preventing the spread of COVID-19 on board the ships.
After the conditions became known, the Carnival Cruise Line canceled all trips planned for December 2020 from Miami and Port Canaveral. Six ships are affected. MSC sees itself in the same situation. The voyages of MSC Meraviglia and MSC Armonia departing from Miami as well as the voyages of MSC Seaside from Port Canaveral will be suspended until December 31st. Affected passengers receive the industry-standard replacement services. Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings suspends all travel of the three brands Norwegian, Oceania and Regent worldwide. Royal Caribbean, the world's second largest cruise company, has also canceled all trips affected for the rest of the year with reference to the CDC's package of measures. There is one exception: The Quantum of the Seas starts from Singapore, in December to travel to Asia.