Appearing on NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt last night, Carnival Cruise Line President Christine Duffy confirmed that the cruise line is working with the CDC on a restart of operation and the goal is to begin sailing again this July. There was also no mention of a fleetwide vaccine mandate for Carnival Cruise Line passengers. However, passengers on Carnival Miracle sailing to Alaska will be required to provide proof of vaccination. Holt anchored the broadcast from Orlando, Florida as part of the news outlet’s fifth installment of their “Across America” series.
On the topic of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Duffy explained that they’re working with the CDC, but that wasn’t always the case.
“We are again. So for a while we weren’t and we respect that. Obviously at the beginning the focus really was on getting vaccine in arms but they’ve come back to the table with us and in early spring I think in earnest with us and with other inner-agency groups to really get clear on what guidelines and protocols are going to be required for us to sail again from US Ports,” she said.
“I think the CDC and the interagency groups that are working with us now have that same goal in mind as President Biden said, he wants to reopen America by the Fourth of July and we want to make sure that the cruise industry can be part of that reopening of America,” Duffy continued.
Will the COVID-19 Vaccine be Mandatory on Carnival Cruise Line?
When asked about the vaccine mandate many cruise lines have implemented, Duffy mentioned the cruise line’s family reputation as a deterrent.
“There’s no mandate for any other business to have that requirement. We certainly are encouraging everyone to get a vaccine… I think, again, we don’t want to be treated differently than any other part of travel tourism, entertainment or society,” she said. “And so I think that’s where we have the challenge of working through the details because, for our cruise line, children under 12 are a big part of the cruise experience in a summer, you know a family vacation, and as it stands right now, we wouldn’t be able to have kids under 12 on board.”
Economic Impact of the Cruise Industry Stoppage
On the topic of how the pandemic shut down the cruise industry, she mentioned the many people and businesses that are involved beyond just cruise lines.
“There’s a huge impact obviously to jobs in the cruise industry but also what people don’t think about is all of the indirect impacts that we have, if you take a place like Alaska, where the bulk of tourism comes from people who sail on cruise ships … we employ about 500,000 people in the US and we’ve lost about 300,000 direct jobs at this point,” she said.
Did you watch Carnival Cruise Line President Christine Duffy on NBC Nightly News? Let us know what you thought in the comments below!