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Richard Fain

Royal Caribbean Group CEO celebrates cruise ships sailing again

In:
14Jul2021

Cruise ships are sailing again from North America and Europe, and it has the top executive at the Royal Caribbean Group quite happy.

Richard Fain, Royal Caribbean Group Chairman and CEO, shared a new video update with travel agents on Wednesday, celebrating that twenty one ships in his company are now back in the water and offering cruises.

Mr. Fain returned recently from sailing on Celebrity Edge and Freedom of the Seas, and sees a positive outlook for the industry, despite some challenges.

Thus far, the 21 ships sailing break down as follows:

  • 5 from Royal Caribbean International
  • 6 from Celebrity Cruises
  • 2 from SilverSea
  • 5 from TUI Cruises
  • 3 from Hapag-Lloyd

Getting so many ships back into service was no simple task, and Mr. Fain talked about how they got things moving, "I've been asked why our restart is happening so fast, how we are getting so many of our ships sailing so quickly.

"The answer is simple. We believed in our people, and we believed in the science. We prepared, we started preparing early because we knew what was happening and because we wanted to get the flywheel of demand going early."

"I've never seen the level of enthusiasm, of excitement and of gratitude that I've experienced on these cruises," Mr. Fain said after being able to sail again.

Mr. Fain saw equal enthusiasm from guests and from crew members. He said crew members saw the return of cruising as a "literal lifeline" after months of no work.  Guests celebrated the return of cruising as a way to escape all the isolation and letdowns of the past months.

The cruise industry is far from clear of any concerns or dangers to their businesses, but Mr. Fain said there will always be challenges to overcome, "There are always immediate issues. Covid-19 is not going away, but it is slowly getting under better control."

"The vast majority of people onboard our ships are vaccinated. And this percentage will only climb. In addition, the testing regimens and the available therapies mean that cruising can properly aspire to be not only as safe as other vacations, but more so."

According to Mr. Fain, that is not to say that they are disregarding thing such as the delta variant, "We shouldn't ignore the present challenges. We should be concerned about the recent increase in cases and the impact of the variants."

"We need to manage today carefully. But if we only obsess about the present, we will fail to prepare for the future and we must keep our eye firmly on that future that we can all see is coming."

Royal Caribbean Group CEO: "majority of our fleet to be back operating" before end of 2021

In:
29Jun2021

With a handful of Royal Caribbean Group ships sailing again, how soon will more ships be able to return to the water?

Celebrity Edge just began sailing from the United States this past weekend, and Freedom of the Seas is slated to begin cruises from Florida as well, so how soon can cruisers expect more ships to return.

Royal Caribbean Group Chairman and CEO Richard Fain told Bloomberg he expects a "majority of our fleet" to be operating by the end of the year.

"We really feel that it's important to get the flywheel going," Mr. Fain explained. "Our objective is to bring our ships back fairly quickly."

"I would expect the majority of our fleet to be back operating before the end of the year."

The majority of ships very likely includes other brands within the Royal Caribbean Group brand, which includes Celebrity Cruises and SilverSea.

Thus far, Royal Caribbean International has announced restart plans for 13 of its ships to sail from the United States, Europe, and England.

Quantum of the Seas has been sailing from Singapore since December 2020.

Mr. Fain added that getting enough crew members to return has not been a problem, although he did say outbreaks in certain countries added restrictions on the traditional recruitment process.  

"We do have problems because some of the countries that we recruit from, such as India, have had outbreaks, have put in place certain restrictions, but even having to overcome those kinds of problems, our crew is so anxious to get back."

According to Fain, 22,000 crew members have been fully vaccinated already.

Which Royal Caribbean ships will restart first?

Royal Caribbean has a gradual restart plan in place to bring back ships into operation.

The summer months of June, July,  August & September will see the first cruise ships returning, and more could be announced later.

Things kick off with Freedom of the Seas from Miami on July 2.

Royal Caribbean plans to resume Caribbean cruises out of Port Everglades on July 31 with Odyssey of the Seas.

Symphony of the Seas will resume departures out of Miami on August 14.

Two ships will sail from Port Canaveral this summer. Allure of the Seas will resume departures out of the port on August 8 followed by Mariner of the Seas on August 15.

Outside of Florida, Royal Caribbean will restart sailings from Galveston on Independence of the Seas on August 15.

Alaska cruises will also restart this summer with Serenade of the Seas from Seattle on July 19. Ovation of the Seas will also sail to Alaska from Seattle, beginning on August 13.

Read moreRoyal Caribbean Summer 2021 Cruise Planning Guide

Royal Caribbean Group CEO talks about vaccine and Florida's vaccine passport ban

In:
Category: 
07Jun2021

Royal Caribbean Group Chairman and CEO Richard Fain has a new video update this week, where he tackles the hot button issues everyone is talking about related to cruises restarting.

Mr. Fain started out by stating he is "a very happy camper" following the restart plans that have been announced for Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises.

The predominent question over the last two weeks has shifted from "when will cruises begin?" to "how and can cruise lines require the Covid-19 vaccine?".

Mr. Fain has been a major supporter of the Covid-19 vaccines, and even went as far in his newest video to implore more Americans to get vaccinated, especially those that think they do not need to get one.

"But today, as we get vaccinated, we're not only helping ourselves, we're helping the people around us."

"Even if we don't feel that we need the protection for ourselves, we should still do it to help our friends and neighbors."

The bulk of his update was addressing if Royal Caribbean would require the vaccine, and Florida's law prohibiting businesses from asking anyone if they are vaccinated.

When Royal Caribbean announced their return to service last week, they did not say the vaccine would be required, but instead "strongly recommended" getting vaccinated.

The announcement says, "guests are strongly recommended to set sail fully vaccinated, if they are eligible."

"We want all of our guests to be vaccinated."

"We want that because we believe it makes us all safer, and we want that because our guests want that."

He pointed to survey data from cruise guests that show "the vast majority" are either already vaccinated or about to do so.

Mr. Fain admitted there are some exceptions from everyone being vaccinated on a cruise ship, such as children under the age of 12.

He did not say come out and say explicitly Royal Caribbean International would require the vaccine. Instead, he seemed to lean on the fact their data shows most adults will be vaccinated.

"Our plan, therefore, continues to be that virtually everyone who's eligible for a vaccine will have one."

"On some of our ships with fewer children, including Celebrity and SilverSeas and some Royal Caribbean international ships, we will ensure that the percent vaccinated will exceed 95 percent."

"On other ships, we expect that almost everyone over 12 will be vaccinated."

"The specifics are confusing and they will undoubtedly be movement of the various details during the coming weeks."

Florida's vaccine ban

In his first public statement about Florida's ban on companies asking for proof of vaccination against Covid-19, Richard Fain shared his thoughts about the regulation.

"This unique law only applies within Florida. While we obviously have to comply with the law of the land, we do not believe that we will have significant numbers of unvaccinated for several reasons."

Mr. Fain explained most want to be vaccinated, and the additional hurdles for the unvaccinated would perhaps be a catalyst to get them vaccinated.

"Remember, the vast bulk of our guests want vaccinations and in most cases already have them. In addition, due to the health and legal requirements of many jurisdictions, those who are unvaccinated will need to undergo additional testing and other restrictions. That necessarily adds to their cost, and adds limitations on the cruise for those people who choose to be unvaccinated."

He added that there would be no additional costs for children who are not eligible for the vaccine.

Royal Caribbean Group CEO talks about changes we can expect on a cruise this summer

In:
24May2021

After a few weeks absence, Royal Caribbean Group Richard Fain is back with a new update with his most optimistic outlook yet for cruises to restart.

Mr. Fain started off his video update to travel agents by stating how good things are looking, "we can now state with a high level of confidence that ships from the Royal Caribbean group will be operating out of US ports as early as next month."

Cruises restarting as early as next month follows up on the news that Royal Caribbean applied to the CDC for test cruises to begin, which Mr. Fain repeated again, "Last week, we formally submitted our request for sailing authorization to the CDC."

"We're hopeful that they will issue that permission shortly."

The opportunity for cruises to restart again from the United States is something Fain sees as the result of widespread vaccine distribution, public pressure on government officials, and a change in the relationship with the CDC.

While the cruise industry's relationship with the CDC was tenuous after some early requirements, things have changed, "over the past weeks, that level of dialogue has improved one thousand percent and that dialogue has allowed us to understand their concerns. But in addition to that, dialogue has enabled the CDC to understand our concerns."

"It has also enabled the CDC to review so much helpful data that we have acquired from our sailing's abroad."

Vaccines

Mr. Fain talked about how vaccines will work, and he said Celebrity Cruises and Silversea will follow the CDC's option to have 95% passengers vaccinated and 98% of crew members vaccinated, but Royal Caribbean International will go a different route.

Mr. Fain echoed a new policy posted on its website that says everyone who is eligible to get a vaccine will be expected to get one. However, since Royal Caribbean is so family oriented and there are often large numbers of children, he does not think reaching 95% is possible.

"On these cruises[with many children], we may not reach the ninety five percent threshold, but even here the vast majority will be vaccinated."

Health protocols and changes onboard

So what will a cruise be like once they can sail again?

"As we restart, there will be some more restrictions than before," Mr. Fain explained, "but we expect there will be temporary and similar to what we've all become used to on land.

Mr. Fain talked about what to expect, and here are some key takeaways.

  • Buffets will be full service
  • No masks for fully vaccinated, "We're optimistic that masks won't be required anywhere if you're vaccinated and since most people will be."
  • Some ares where social distancing required, but with lower capacity onboard initially, it should not be an issue.
  • Upgraded air conditioning
  • Guests will have choice of going on their own shore excursions, "In most cases, our guests can also arrange their own excursions and these will be regulated by by local rules."

These updates are exactly what Celebrity Cruises announced last week for what guests could expect, and a good sense that those rules are going to be the reality.

Royal Caribbean Group CEO: "We will not need to be wearing masks" on cruise ships

In:
24May2021

Everyone wants to know what the health protocols will be like on a cruise ship when they restart sailings, and it appears expectations are changing.

With Royal Caribbean quietly changing its Covid-19 vaccine requirements on its website over the weekend, it appears the cruise line is preparing to pivot some of its onboard policies based on the changing science we see in the world today.

Royal Caribbean Group Chairman and CEO Richard Fain was interviewed by the BBC over the weekend, and he spoke about a few topics related to cruise ship restart plans, including wearing a mask.

Having to wear a mask on a cruise ship has been one of the most polarizing topics among cruise fans and if they feel comfortable going on a cruise ship and wearing one.

Mr. Fain was asked if mandatory mask wearing as set to continue, "as the vaccine is rolling out, and certainly in the cruises from the States where pretty much everybody will be vaccinated on board, I think you're right."

"I think we will not need to be wearing masks. And I think very quickly we'll be going back to cruising, which will be virtually indistinguishable from what it was two years ago."

Mr. Fain pointed out that on the limited cruises that have been able to operate with masks required onboard (such as Quantum of the Seas), guest satisfaction levels are actually higher than they were before in a regular cruise.

"Not sure I can explain that," quipped Mr. Fain.

Last week, Celebrity Cruises told travel agents fully vaccinated passengers are not required to wear masks inside or outside while maintaining a safe distance from other passengers.

Unvaccinated guests, such as children, would need to wear a mask in certain situations, such as walking between venues.

Royal Caribbean has not announced a similar policy change yet on its ships, but did say masks will not be needed at all at Perfect Day at Cococay.

Even the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has relaxed some of its mask requirements for cruise ships recently.

On May 12, the federal agency said fully vaccinated passengers are no longer required to wear a mask outside.

Mr. Fain also talked about the role of vaccines on cruises, and dismissed the idea a vaccine passport would be needed, but did mention there are other options to use.

"I don't think we're talking about a vaccine passport. I think we are talking about people who are vaccinated. There are lots of different ways to show that."

"In terms of one of these computerized passports, we're certainly not seeing that in the States and in other countries, there are different forms that we'll be looking at."

The topic of having to show proof of a vaccine has been contentious in certain states, such as Florida, where businesses are prohibited from asking customers to show proof of a vaccine.

Royal Caribbean Group CEO on 2021 Alaska cruises: "reason for some hope"

In:
30Apr2021

Is the Alaska cruise season not totally dead for 2021?

During Royal Caribbean Group's first quarter earnings call on Thursday, Royal Caribbean Group Chairman and CEO Richard Fain was asked about the prospect of return to Alaska for this year, and while "slightly complex", he did not rule it out.

The Alaska cruise season faces two hurdles: the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) ban on cruise ships, as well as Canada's own ban on cruise ships from its waters.

Mr. Fain said even if the CDC relents on its ban, they would need would need a waiver from the Passenger Vessel Services Act (PVSA), or Canada would have to allow at least technical stops.

The Passenger Vessel Service Act (PVSA) of 1886 requires foreign flagged cruise ships to call on a foreign port if sailing a closed-loop cruise form the United States.

This means, cruise ships cannot sail from Seattle and only visit Alaska ports.  It must make a stop outside the country, and Canada is the only place between Seattle and Alaska for that.

The justification for both the PVSA is to protect the U.S. Merchant Marine (the licensed (officers) and documented (trades) personnel on the ships) and to protect U.S. shipyards that both build and repair the ships.

Mr. Fain said during the earnings call that Royal Caribbean and "others" are working on resolving the issue with the CDC and Canada, "we're working on both and others are working on both, but we can't be certain where that will end up."

"I think given the momentum, there's reason for some hope, but that's a sufficiently complex and confusing situation that I don't think we're going to put odds on it one way or the other."

"But as to Alaska specifically, while we're optimistic and we're working to make that happen, there are these other factors."

"We do think that will be in time for the Alaskan season. And we're obviously hopeful that we'll be able to solve the issue with Canada in either one of these two ways."

U.S. Senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan, both R-Alaska, introduced a bill in late February 2021 that proposes alleviate the Passenger Vessel Services Act (PVSA) restrictions for cruise ships transporting passengers between the State of Washington and the State of Alaska.

The Alaska Tourism Recovery Act (H.R.1318) was introduced in the House on February 24, 2021 and was referred to the House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation the next day.

When the bill was introduced, Royal Caribbean International President and CEO Michael Bayley posted on social media in support of the bill, "If passed, this would represent a step in the right direction for the Alaskan communities that depend on the tourism industry."

"If you support the bill, please reach out to your representatives to make your voice heard!"

So far, that bill has not moved past that point.

Besides Royal Caribbean's lost cruise revenue, the state of Alaska is facing dire consequences for a second cancelled cruise season in a row.

Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy (R-AK) said over the course of the lost 2020 and 2021 cruise seasons, Alaska will have a $3.3 billion loss in Alaska, "that's in a state with about a fifty six billion dollar GDP, so it's going to be significant."

"We're going to lose millions of dollars in local revenue for our communities, especially along the coast. Unemployment rates will remain stubbornly high when we can actually lower them through this process."

Meanwhile, Royal Caribbean's Alaska cruises are not cancelled yet.

Royal Caribbean did remove bookable Canada-related cruises from its website, but existing bookings are still on hold.

Royal Caribbean talks about CDC letter and what it means for kids

In:
Category: 
29Apr2021

Royal Caribbean Group Chairman and CEO Richard Fain started off his call with Wall Street analysts with extremely positive news regarding a new update from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Late last night, the CDC provided cruise lines with an update that opens up the possibility of cruises to restart this summer.

Mr. Fain said the letter is an example of "a significant improvement in the extent and the quality of our dialogue with the CDC."

According to Fain, the CDC has recently significantly increased its efforts in terms of improved communication between the cruise industry and the federal agency.

The updates were described as "very constructive clarifications and the amplifications" which addressed many issues Royal Caribbean had with the Conditional Sale Order (CSO). These are the same instructions that were described by the cruise industry as "unduly burdensome, largely unworkable" when they were first announced.

Mr. Fain sees the new update from the CDC as a major step forward, "We believe that this communication really helps us to see a clear and achievable pathway forward to a safe and healthy cruising in the near future."

Cautious optimism

While the news very welcomed by the cruise industry, Mr. Fain was quick to point out there are still questions to sort out.

"There are still a great many details to be provided in the future and others that need to be resolved. We need to be cautious about all of those. Nevertheless, we now have high hopes that these details can be resolved quickly."

However, Mr. Fain did not rule out a July restart, "It could be possible to restart cruising by mid-July."

"I would also emphasize that the restart does not mean that we will immediately go into full operation. We are hopeful about restarting. That restart will be gradual and deliberate."

Equal treatment

Another positive outcome from this letter is what Mr. Fain sees as a shift in how the CDC treats the cruise industry.

Fain was happy with the tone of the letter, and the CDC's increased communication, "We are pleased that the CDC letter really does reflect an intention to treat us similarly to other industries in similar circumstances."

"Our goal throughout this pandemic and then to make a cruise ship where we can control the environment safely and Main Street, USA. We've already demonstrated our ability to do that, and we are now eager to resume life, as so many other businesses are doing."

What about kids?

While the CDC has opened up the possibility for cruise ships to restart this summer, many cruise fans realized requiring 95% guests to be vaccinated means little to no children onboard in the short term.

During the earnings call with analysts, Royal Caribbean International President and CEO Michael Bayely spoke about what to expect as it relates to kids.

Both he and Mr. Fain cautioned the letter is new, and there are follow up questions to determine, but Bayley felt kids are not out of the question, "We really do have to sit, study and and discuss with the CDC and understand all of these these different nuances."

Mr. Bayley believes the age restriction for kids, which now stands at 16, will be lowered shortly, "We've been told that in the coming weeks and months that that age limit will likely drop to 12. And and we're encouraged by that."

So what about kids below 11?

Mr. Bayley said that age range is not enormous, "obviously we carry a lot of kids 11 and under, but relatively speaking, as a percentage of our total guest counts, it's quite a small number. So we're not overly concerned with that."

Royal Caribbean Group CEO: "we're more optimistic than ever" for summer cruises

In:
Category: 
19Apr2021

Royal Caribbean Group Chairman and CEO Richard Fain shared a very positive message to start everyone's week.

For many months, Richard Fain has shared quick video updates with the travel agent community to keep them abreast of what is happening, and his own thoughts on the state of cruising.

In his latest video update, Mr. Fain shared an incredible amount of optimism that cruises will be allowed to sail in the United States sooner, rather than later.

Mr. Fain alludes to positive discussions with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), as well as talks with the federal government, and even goes as far as to say summer cruises to Alaska are still possible this year.

In short, positive news regarding the treatment of Covid-19 and the vaccine rollout, coupled with strong data from cruise ships around the world that new health protocols on cruise ships are effective have given the cruise lines a compelling dataset to use in discussions with the CDC and other health authorities.

"Based on that data, over 30 countries have already granted permission for cruising. And we're optimistic that the CDC will too."

"Based on the advances in science and the data provided by our experiences abroad, the CDC is engaging in a constructive dialogue with us in the industry to enable a return to service in a safe and healthy manner."

In regard to summer cruises, Mr. Fain said that the possibility still remains for there to be a summer cruise season this year.

"We're also pleased that the science and the data have advanced so far in just a few months. The CDC has publicly stated that this could enable cruising to restart as early as mid-July."

"We agree with that assessment and we're more optimistic than ever that a realistic path forward can be achieved in that time frame. That would enable a summer season in Alaska and elsewhere."

Mr. Fain says the final decision on when cruises will be able to restart lays with the CDC, "as they should be, and I caution you that we can't prejudge their decisions."

"The new leadership seems ready to have the kind of dialogue that could lead to a constructive outcome."

Part of the optimism for this forward progress in having productive conversations with the federal government comes from the support the travel community has shown recently.

Mr. Fain points to the public statements of support for cruise lines have, "demonstrated that there is a strong desire to see cruising treated like so many other businesses and allowed to operate under safe guidelines."

"That loud voice has been clear and it seems to be being heard in Washington and in Atlanta."

Mr. Fain's comments follows a groundswell of public support recently for cruise ships to be able to sail again.

Leading the charge has been the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), who has spearheaded a campaign to tell lawmakers people want cruise ships to be able to resume service.

In addition, a series of public statements (and even a lawsuit) from local officials, as well as bills in Congress have been introduced with the singular goal of compelling the CDC to allow cruise ships to sail again.

Cruise ships have been shutdown in the United States since March 2020, when the cruise industry volunteered to stop cruising in the early days of the global health crisis.  Since then, the CDC instituted a ban on cruise ships.

Since then, many other aspects of travel have either not been halted, or been allowed to restart, including airlines, hotels, theme parks, and casinos.

Royal Caribbean Group CEO shares hopeful message for end of cruise industry shutdown in the U.S.

In:
Category: 
12Apr2021

Royal Caribbean Group Chairman and CEO Richard Fain compared the year-long shutdown of cruises to a basketball game, where the most activity occurs at the end of the game.

In a new video update, Mr. Fain talked about the major milestones happening right now, and how it all correlates to getting cruise ships back into service.

"Like the frenetic last minutes of that basketball game, and I think that there are signs that we are approaching the end," Fain said in his remarks.  "We all want the same thing, safe and healthy cruising."

Included in his comments was mention of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recent update to its Framework for Conditional Sail Order (CSO), which Mr. Fain characterized as, "tougher restrictions on cruising out of U.S. ports."

He talked about the fact the CDC said they see a way to restart in the U.S. as early as July, which he added Royal Caribbean Group is "eager to work with them towards that goal."

"My fondest desire is that we can follow President Biden's target of July 4th as a major reopening milestone. The evidence is that we can do it. Now is our opportunity to work together towards that common goal."

"We look forward to such a constructive dialogue with the CDC and others to make that success even broader."

Positive signs happening now

Richard Fain sees a lot of key milestones happening now that point to the fact things are moving in the right direction.

First, he sees the fact almost 45% of eligible Americans have already received at least their first dose of the vaccine is exciting.

Second, the cruises Royal Caribbean Group has been able to carry out abroad has provided a lot of valuable data for crafting a safe way to offer cruises going forward.

"We're able to see what actually happens and draw conclusions based on empirical evidence rather than random hypotheses. And that empirical evidence is overwhelmingly positive."

Third, combination of widespread testing and effective contact tracing gives Mr. Fain the confidence that they can, "reduce the risk of an outbreak on a ship to levels below that on land."

Fourth, people are frustrated with the restrictions of life right now due to the virus.

Royal Caribbean Group CEO talks "question that everybody is concerned about" on a cruise ship

In:
Category: 
25Mar2021

Ever since the cruise industry shutdown in March 2020, executives have been looking for ways to restart cruises safely, but there is one concern that is at the top of everyone's mind.

During a webinar with travel agents this week, Royal Caribbean Group Chairman and CEO Richard Fain spoke on a variety of topics, including how the cruise line is working with governments to ensure everyone onboard and in the communities they visit safe.

In his discussion, Mr. Fain touched on the one question that he says everybody is concerned about: an outbreak on a ship.

Between Royal Caribbean, the Healthy Sail Panel, and government officials, Mr. Fain said the issue of how to handle a case onboard is at the top of the list of tasks associated with cruises restarting.

"We don't want to have a situation where somebody has a case, because you don't go anywhere without somebody having a case on land or sea, but where somebody can have a case and infect other people."

"You end up in a situation where you have an outbreak and that disrupts the vacation of everybody on board."

"We had preplanned programs for taking care of that...we have contact tracing of amazing sophistication, so we're able to catch the case early, isolate it, and not disrupt either the vacations of the other guests, but also not cause a problem to the local community."

This plan that Mr. Fain refers to has been a success so far with local governments, and he believes the buy-in from government is allowing more ships to return to service this summer.

"It's been very successful. And you can see this, the momentum is building. It is very much speeding up. More and more places are seeing the value of this and seeing that the system works. And so we're moving forward."

Role of vaccines in cruises this summer

While Royal Caribbean says it has not made a determination on if the Covid-19 vaccine will be required across the fleet, ships that have been announced to restart cruises this summer all require it.

Will vaccine be required for all sailings in the future or simply those specific international homeport?

Mr. Fain said right now it depends on the port.

"It's determined on a case by case basis in cooperation, in dialogue with the local authorities."

However, the role of vaccines today, June, or later this summer could change.

"As the science continues to progress, I think we will change and we will adjust to that. And I think we're now trying to predict the future. Remember, these cruises don't start till June. And so we're starting on this basis that they will require vaccines, but that could change tomorrow."

"We do respond to the facts and the evidence, and so we started out on the new cruises that we've announced and they are going to require initially vaccines. But we don't know how long that will be a feature."

What about the CDC?

The road to cruise ships restarting in the United States runs right through the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Mr. Fain spoke about the status of things with the CDC.

Taking a slightly different tone than previous comments about the CDC, Mr. Fain called the current situation with the Conditional Sail Order as "pretty unworkable".

Fain cited the fact four and half months after the Conditional Sail Order was announced, cruise ships are still in phase one.

"You can see that's pretty unworkable for us and for the CDC. And we think that that the science is simply moved ahead of the Conditional Sail Order."

"It's now out of date. And we, and the Healthy Sail Panel, and I think others in the industry, feel that the time is to move on in light of the dramatic changes we've seen in three areas, the vaccine, the testing and the contact tracing."

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