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First test cruise sails as CDC control over cruises sits in limbo

Royal Caribbean’s Freedom of the Seas returns to Florida today after its first test cruise – part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) requirements to return to cruising from the U.S. – just days after Florida was granted an injunction against the Conditional Sail Order (CSO) that mandated the simulated voyage in the first place.

Royal Caribbean opens bookings for U.S.-based cruises from Florida and Texas

The cruise industry has reached another milestone in its efforts to resume cruising from U.S. homeports.

Royal Caribbean announced it will start sailing with paying passengers from Florida and Texas homeports in July, and has opened bookings Caribbean and Bahamas cruises for five (soon to be six) ships.

"This is it. Vacationers can finally plan to take their precious time off this summer and truly get away after what has been a challenging time for everyone," Michael Bayley, president and CEO, Royal Caribbean International, said in a statement on Facebook.

Cruises to Alaska look to be the first sailings to start from the U.S.

In an unexpected reversal of fortune, Alaska has gone from the destination least likely to host cruise ships in 2021 to the first destination to welcome cruise ships from U.S. ports.

CDC releases what cruise ships need to do for test cruises

Cruise lines have gotten a new update from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) with what they need to do on test cruises so they can get back into service.

The CDC released Phase 2B instructions that include all the steps required for a cruise line to conduct a simulated voyage, which include requirements such as mask wearing, vaccines for volunteers, social distancing, and more.

What do the CDC's latest cruise ship updates mean for passengers?

Last Wednesday, the CDC sent a letter to cruise lines, updating guidance on restarting cruises from the U.S. as early as this summer.

But what do all the policy updates mean for cruisers anxious to return to the high seas?

Here are the top four takeaways we gleaned from the CDC’s message.

CDC tells cruise lines cruises could restart by mid-July from the U.S.

Perhaps the best hint that cruises could actually restart from the U.S. came in a new update from the CDC.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) sent a letter to the cruise lines late on Wednesday night providing additional insight and guidance for how cruise ships could restart sailings.

The letter was sent by Aimee Treffiletti, who is the CDC's head of the Maritime Unit for CDC's COVID-19 response within its Global Mitigation Task Force for COVID-19.

Disney Cruise Line Releases New Protocols for UK Sailings

This summer, Disney Cruise Line will resume sailing with a series of cruises from select UK homeports aboard Disney Magic; as expected, the line has put a slew of new requirements in place for passengers.

Although the line has suspended North American sailings through at least the end of June and Americans aren't currently allowed on the UK sailings, DCL's health and safety protocols are worth noting, as they could eventually be extended to ships departing from U.S. ports.

Norwegian Cruise Line to Require Vaccines for All Passengers

Norwegian Cruise Line is the first major cruise brand to require all passengers to be fully vaccinated in order to sail from the United States.

Fact check: Did the CDC say no cruises until November?

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has been in the crosshairs of the cruise industry this week for lack of any kind of progress, but did the agency say it would not allow cruise ships to sail until November?

During this past week, the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) sent a letter to the CDC asking them to lift the Framework for Condition Sail Order (CSO) so that cruise ships could sail in July.

These Cruise Lines Now Include Covid-19 Terms in Their Passenger Contracts

If you're itching to sail as soon as the cruise industry restarts, you could have even more information to absorb when you read your cruise contract, depending on the cruise line you choose.

All lines have contracts of carriage, to which every passenger is required to agree before sailing. However, Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, Disney Cruise Line and Costa Cruises have added contract wording specifically addressing covid-19.

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