Highlights of the CDC's Conditional Sail Order:
1. Cruise lines will be required to hold simulated voyages before being able to obtain a "Conditional Sailing Certificate" from the CDC. On these simulated voyages The CDC will want to see that the cruise line's plans are designed to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 spreading onboard. The Conditional Sail Order had specific requirements for the simulated voyages that will test various aspects of the cruise experience such as dining, embarkation, debarkation, activities, shore excursions, and more.
2. The CDC is requiring the cruise lines to conduct laboratory testing of all passengers and crew on the day of embarkation and day of debarkation.
3. Cruise lines cannot sail or offer cruises that are longer than 7 days. The CDC reserves the right to shorten or increase the number of days the cruise is permitted to sail. At this time, it is unclear how long this is in effect or if this stipulation pertains to all cruises.
If you would like to read the full Conditional Sail Order please click here. This link will take you directly to the CDC's website and the Conditional Sail Order can be found under the 10/30 guidance.
Now that the CDC has allowed the No Sail Order to expire and has implemented a framework for the Conditional Sail Order cruise lines can have a higher degree of certainty for planning a return to cruises. I expect in the coming days and weeks more information is going to be released. Both Carnival and Royal Caribbean posted statements are after the release of the Conditional Sail Order on their websites:
Carnival Cruise Line:
"Carnival Cruise Line will continue to work with the CDC on an eventual return to guest cruise operations. We are evaluating the CDC’s new order that sets out the conditions under which cruising can resume, but there are a significant number of requirements that must be evaluated in the context of our plans to resume operations. We ask our guests, travel advisors and community and destination partners for their patience as we complete our review. We are committed to communicating more details as soon as possible."
Click Here For Full Statement On Carnival's News Blog
"Today’s announcement establishes a pathway for our ships to return to service, and that’s an important step in the right direction.While we are eager to welcome our guests back on board, we have a lot to do between now and then, and we’re committed to taking the time to do things right. This includes training our crew in new health and safety protocols and conducting a number of trial sailings to stress-test those protocols in real-world conditions.
We will continue to work closely with both CDC and the Healthy Sail Panel as we make our plans, and we are confident in our ability to mitigate the risks of the pandemic and protect the health of our guests, our crew, and the communities where we sail."
Click Here For Latest Cruise Health & Travel Updates From Royal Caribbean
There will be a lot of communication from cruise lines coming in the upcoming days and weeks. Cruise lines have likely been planning for a return to service and now will incorporate this new information into their plans to come back. There are a lot of moving parts to the process to get the ships back sailing, but as we get closer to the day cruises begin again with guests we should learn a lot more.