Miami, FL

Would You Get Vaccinated to Cruise This Summer?

Melinda Crow

The argument over vaccines heats up social media as South Florida potentially loses more cruise tourism to the islands.

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Photo courtesy of Royal Caribbean

MIAMI, FLORIDA-- As a third ship announced a return to cruising this summer by homeporting away from the U.S. and the CDC's rules, this one a Celebrity ship sailing from St. Maarten, cruisers and anti-vaxers are duking it out on Facebook. Two of the ships shunning U.S. ports belong to Royal Caribbean Group, a Miami-based company.

In a press release and in an email sent to Celebrity's frequent cruising Captain's Club members, President and CEO, Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, expressed her excitement about a return to cruising in North America.

I am forever grateful for a lot of things today. I am grateful for the loyalty and support you, our most loyal guests, have shown us over the past year. Your words of encouragement, concern for our crew and willingness to work through these challenging times with us means more than you will ever know. I am grateful for the leadership and collaboration of the St. Maarten Government for working with us to welcome our guests back to their beautiful island safely. And I am grateful for the entire team at Celebrity Cruises for working day and night to make this a reality.

The ship bound for St. Maarten was supposed to have sailed Alaskan waters

The ship that will sail from St. Maarten, Millineum, was scheduled to sail Alaskan waters during the 2021 summer season, but with a Canadian halt to cruise ships calling in Canadian ports, and no vote scheduled on the Alaskan Tourism Relief Bill that would have enacted a short-term modification to penalties under the long-standing Passenger Vessel Safety Act in an attempt to restart the cruise season, Celebrity made the decision to partner with St. Maarten instead.

Besides the disappointment that this move signals the certain death of the Alaskan cruise season, the announcements of three cruise lines requiring vaccines for most (children under 16 will be required to present negative PCR tests) passengers has sparked a flood of social anger.

The battles rage on Facebook

Celebrity's announcement has a moderate number of comments at only 142, most of which are celebratory, along with 611 shares. Royal Caribbean's announcement has a whopping 2.9 thousand comments. And while the line's social media staff moderates, many are entirely unfiltered, like this one:

so truly sad you in the end decided to get in line with evil. You clearly know the agenda. Transhumanism. It all begins with the mRNA stuff. Ask Elon Musk since my words have zero influence. Disgusting.

The nastiest arguments about vaccines and cruise lines, in general, are on two Facebook posts from Cruise Critic-- one announcing the Royal Caribbean sailings from Nassau, the other announcing Celebrity's sailings from St. Maarten. Both posts have close to 400 posts ranging from excitement to downright mean. Facebook thus far has not fact-checked any of the commenters, including these three:

covid has a 99.7% survival rate for those under 70 with no comorbidities yet you think it's a terrific idea to force people to get an experimental vaccine in order to live their lives in any normal way. The mark of the beast.
your “vaccine” will not end this LOL does the flu vaccine end flu season LOL your kidding your self if you do. This thing is here for the long haul stop being afraid and live your life. It’s been well proven it is not “causing” the casualties our Govt wants you to think it is. Being in the profession I am I saw first hand who they labeled as “COVID-19” deaths and the numbers are way skewed. A 95 year old in hospice dying from kidney failure before COVID comes out and then they test every death even when the test were shown to be flawed tested “positive” was labeled a COVID death.....
Vaccinations are killing people and many people couldn’t get them if they want to, also vaccines don’t do nothing to stop the spread and it’s all a hoax!!! Good luck

And many posts from those who hope the cruise lines fail at this new venture.

What a bunch of straight BS. Forcing people to take an experimental vaccine is absurd. But let’s let kids onboard who haven’t been vaccinated?? Yeah that makes sense. I hope it fails miserably

Others are questioning the logistics of the procedures that will be needed to disembark passengers in ports, as well as the tests required to return to the U.S. One concern, of note, is that flights will be required to get to the Caribbean homeports. Many are skeptical of doing that, though those flights present the slim hope for at least a few tourist dollars for Miami.

hmmm how will that work most islands need covid negative test 72 hours before you can get on the island ..Then you need covid negative test to get back Into the US .. This should be a circus ..I don't see that happening ..
Make sure you check USA regulations for reentry.. be prepared to quarantine abroad in the event of a false positive.

Where do you stand? To cruise or not to cruise in the near future? And will you vaccinate in order to go?

Here are additional News Break stories you might enjoy:

South Florida Loses Out on Cruising Tourist Dollars as Royal Caribbean Opts for a Home Port in Nassau

What Alaska's Senators Are Doing to Save Seattle's Cruise Season

The Only 6 Cruise Itineraries You Might Be Able to Take from Ft. Lauderdale This Summer

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