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Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Line CEOs call for cruises to be allowed to sail

In:
09Apr2021
By: 
Matt Hochberg

The cruise industry is an all-out offensive to do what they can to get the word out there for cruise ships to be able to sail again.

Royal Caribbean Group and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings (NCLH) CEOs both took to television interviews in the last couple of days to highlight the different rules the cruise industry faces compared to other forms of travel.

Over the last few weeks, the cruise industry has gone on the offensive to demonstrate to the public the lengths the cruise lines are going to keep everyone safe on a ship while the proposals falling on deaf ears.

NCLH CEO Frank Del Rio spoke on CNN and talked about how cruise lines simply wanted to be treated fairly, "There are many, if not all, travel, tourism and hospitality venues that are open throughout the country, that never shut down or certainly open today."

"The CDC is is not cooperating up to now. And so I think it's time that the cruise industry, the people, understand the plight that we're under."

"Why should we be different?"

Mr. Del Rio pointed out NCLH's proposal to U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to require every person on its ships be vaccinated so that its ships can cruise by July, but Del Rio says they have heard nothing back.

Their plan calls for 100% vaccination of guests and crew onboard, as well as strict health and safety protocols for all sailing sailing through October 31, 2021.

"I challenge you to tell me another venue on Earth where you can be guaranteed that everyone inside that venue, whether it's a grocery store or an office building, a school, a resort, a casino, a hotel, everyone is vaccinated, protected. And on top of that, you layer in this multi pronged seventy four protocols developed by the best scientific minds in America. What could possibly be safer than that?"

Mr. Del Rio's comments come just a day after Royal Caribbean Group Chairman and CEO Richard Fain spoke on CBS about his cruise line's preparations to sail again.

"All the cruise lines are working towards the best protocols that includes new ways of circulating air and filtration, includes cleanliness, ways to clean areas. It includes testing," Fain said.

Mr. Fain points to the extensive safety protocols cruise ships are proposing as being superior to anywhere else on land, "Nobody can guarantee anybody is safe from COVID anywhere in America or anywhere else. Actually, the irony is, if you go on a ship, you're going to reduce your risk of coming down with the virus."

The cruise industry offensive against the CDC's inaction has seen strong and stronger rhetoric following months in which executives avoided discussing the CDC's approach.

Read more5 ways the CDC proves it doesn't understand cruise ships

After five months of no updates, and even a token update last week with no tangible changes, the industry has been turning up the heat.

The Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) called on the U.S. government to once again lift the Conditional Sail Order (CSO), rather than continue with the CDC's plan.

Moreover, CLIA is imploring everyone in the cruise industry, as well as cruise fans) to tell Congress cruise ships deserve to sail.

CLIA has set up a form that anyone can use to contact their representatives at http://bit.ly/ReadytoSail

Royal Caribbean sent an email to past cruisers on Friday asking for their support, "If you’re ready to see cruising return, we urge you to call, email and tweet your Senators and U.S. Representatives in support of lifting the CDC’s Conditional Sail Order (CSO) and allowing healthy cruising to resume from the U.S. by the beginning of July 2021."