Florida sues US federal govt over cruise sailing moratorium

Florida has sued the US federal government in order to force the immediate return of sailing from the state’s ports, with the governor of that state contending the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has no scientific data to support its moratorium on cruise ship sailing.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis revealed Thursday that the lawsuit was filed. DeSantis said in an Associated Press (AP) article that he does not believe the CDC has the right to keep the cruise lines out of business for more than one year now.

“We don’t believe the federal government has the right to mothball a major industry for over a year based on very little evidence and very little data,” said DeSantis.

He added that the CDC’s conditional sail order, which sets out an enormous laundry list of items cruise lines need to tick off before they can begin sailing, is outdated and stymies a billion dollar revenue earning industry for Florida.

Some cruise lines have already enacted their plan B, selling cruises leaving from home ports outside of the US.

Royal Caribbean International and Crystal Cruises both plan to home port at Nassau’s Cruise port.

Corporate Manager for Crystal Cruises Kevin Jones told Guardian Business last week that his company’s all-Bahamas cruise caters to only high-end clients and its ship has only 900 luxury staterooms.

He explained that the cruise vessel is the most spacious ship on the market and will have more health professionals per passenger than any other cruise line, to ensure guest safety.

Crystal’s all-Bahamas cruise, which will home port at Nassau’s cruise port and in Bimini, starts at $2,000 per person, according to the company’s website.

Jones added that the company has a loyalty program with more than 200 members, some of whom have cruised between 50 and 100 times with them.

“We have such an emphasis on service that they trust us,” Jones said.

“We selected locations in The Bahamas that are off the beaten path, that offer a unique type of curated experience and so the feedback we’re getting from our customers is, ‘we know Crystal, Crystal knows us, so we trust that you have chosen locations and itineraries that meet the high standard of luxury that we have come to expect’.”

The cruise vessel will visit islands like Harbour Island, Great Exuma, San Salvador, Long Island and Bimini on its seven-night itinerary and the ship will be provisioned only in Nassau.

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Chester Robards

Chester Robards rejoined The Nassau Guardian in November 2017 as a senior business reporter. He has covered myriad topics and events for The Nassau Guardian. Education: Florida International University, BS in Journalism

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