• Write a Review
  • Boards
  • Log In
You may also like
CDC's No-Sail Order for Cruise Ships Expires; New Date Is October 31
Center for Disease Control and Prevention website (Photo: g0d4ather/Shutterstock.com)

CDC's No-Sail Order for Cruise Ships Expires; New Date Is October 31

CDC's No-Sail Order for Cruise Ships Expires; New Date Is October 31
Center for Disease Control and Prevention website (Photo: g0d4ather/Shutterstock.com)

October 02, 2020

Aaron Saunders
By Aaron Saunders
  • Facebook
  • Pinterest
  • Twitter
(Updated 12:32 p.m. EDT) -- The No-Sail order issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has been extended for another month, until October 31 2020.
The CDC's No-Sail order was first issued on March 13 as the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic became a global concern. On April 9, the order was extended again for a period of 100 days, and was set to expire July 24. On July 16, the CDC extended the order again, this time until September 30, 2020.
The new date matches that put forth by the Cruise Line Industry Association (CLIA), which set October 31 as an end for the voluntary suspension of its member lines. The CDC specifically said that it was extending the order so lines that aren't members are CLIA can't cruise before that date.

An article published by Axios cited sources as saying that CDC Director Robert Redfield had initially wanted the No-Sail order extended through February 2021, but was overruled by the White House.

A mmeeting between the White House and representatives from the cruise industry that was supposed to take place Friday has now been put in doubt following President Donald Trump's COVID-19 positive diagnosis. A CNBC reporter
that the meeting has now been postponed.
Cruise Critic reached out to CLIA to confirm but has yet to receive a response.

Under the terms of the No-Sail order, the ban on cruises from American ports of call is in effect until one of the following occurs:

  • The expiration of the Secretary of Health and Human Services' declaration that COVID-19 constitutes a public health emergency,
  • The CDC Director rescinds or modifies the order based on specific public health or other considerations, or
  • September 30, 2020.
The Cruise Line Industry Association released the following statement:
"We are confident in the industry’s ability to resume operations from U.S. ports in a responsible, phased-in manner.
"Our actions will build off of the continued success the cruise industry has experienced with recent sailings in Europe and other parts of the world, as well as the guidance we’ve received from some of the world’s leading experts in medicine and science.
"We look forward to engaging in a thoughtful and productive dialogue with our partners and regulators in the United States to return to cruising in the region."

CDC Expresses Continued Concern Around Cruising

Zoom Background: Aft Wake from Cunard's Queen Victoria (Photo: Cruise Critic)
In a press release issued to media, the CDC doubled-down on its assertion that cruise ship travel remains a threat to spreading COVID-19 infections within the United States. To-date, the CDC has recorded "at least 3,689 COVID-19 or COVID-like illness cases on cruise ships in U.S. waters" between March and September 2020.
"Recent outbreaks on cruise ships overseas provide current evidence that cruise ship travel continues to transmit and amplify the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19,—even when ships sail at reduced passenger capacities—and would likely spread the infection into U.S. communities if passenger operations were to resume prematurely in the United States," notes the CDC.
The press release goes on to indicate that recent "passenger voyages in foreign countries continue to have outbreaks, despite cruise ship operators having extensive health and safety protocols."
The CDC, however, makes no mention of fact that new health and safety protocols have successfully detected potential COVID-19 cases onboard other ships and limited their possible exposure. It also does not take into account those voyages with suspected COVID-19 cases that turned out to be false-positives, nor does it mention those voyages where transmission was limited due to the health and safety protocols in place.
Both MSC Cruises and Costa Cruises, as well as smaller lines like Ponant, have restarted cruising in Europe successfully. MSC and Costa have rapid-response testing available in the terminal, and require mask wearing, social distancing and even restricted shore excursions to ship-sponsored "bubbles."
The CDC release also makes no mention of the Healthy Sail Panel's multitude of recommendations to the organization that were submitted to the CDC on September 21. It also omits any mention of the multitude of comments from the public to the CDC on the resumption of cruise that also closed that same day.

Cruise Lines Hoping November Date Sticks

Exterior on Carnival Conquest
In the order, the CDC noted the number of coronavirus cases worldwide and in the United States, and maintained a skeptical view toward cruising.
"Cruise ships continue to be an unsafe environment with close quarters where the disease spreads easily and is not readily detected," it said. It also noted crew outbreaks on various ships and said that a reduction in capacity alone does not necessarily get rid of the virus. 
But pressure has been coming against the CDC from several different directions. Florida's senators have put forward a bill to jumpstart cruising safely, and the Federal Maritime Commission released a report on the cruising ban's steep financial impact on the Florida economy.
Last week, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings and Royal Caribbean Group delivered their Healthy Sail recommendations to the CDC. CLIA held a subsequent press conference saying their member lines could be ready to sail in as little as 30 days.
"We have to fly crew back in, they have to go through rigorous testing, it takes about 30 days," said Carnival's Arnold Donald on a potential restart,
"30 days sounds great," chimed in MSC's Pierfrancesco Vago.
Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings president and CEO Frank Del Rio stated that the submission of the Healthy Sail Panel's recommendations paved the way to a healthy and responsible restart.
"We have great confidence in the comprehensive and layered approach our health and safety panel has put forward," said Del Rio. "That's why we're going to have a phased approach, we're going to test it, we're going to make adjustments along the way…so that we can get back to what we do best."
When cruises do resume, executives from every major brand have stated it will be done in a phased approach, likely with a handful of vessels sailing from a few key U.S. homeports. It will not be a full-scale restart of cruising by any means, and further sailing cancellations should be not only anticipated but expected.
Already Carnival Cruise Lines has canceled all 2020 cruises from ports other than Miami and Port Canaveral, as a sign of its limited beginning.
How was this article?
Popular with cruisers like you
Princess Cancels Australia, New Zealand Cruises Through May 2021

(9:45 a.m. EADT) -- Princess Cruises announced early Wednesday it would cancel all cruises in Australia and New Zealand through May 31, 2021, as a result of uncertainty over international travel restrictions imposed because of the ongoing global health pandemic.

The move cancels the remainder of Princess Cruises' deployment in Australia for the 2020-2021 cruise season. Sailings in Australia and New Zealand typically run from November through May during the spring and summer seasons.

According to Princess, booked passengers will receive future cruise credits equal to 125 percent of the voyage fare paid automatically. Passengers can also elect to request full refunds by completing <a hre

Virgin Voyages Postpones Sailings Into January

(Updated 12:20 p.m. EDT) – Virgin Voyages has pushed back its anticipated restart of cruise operations into January 2021. Scarlet Lady is now expected to debut on January 3, 2021.

The line had previously canceled voyages into the fall as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, and has rolled out generous measures to ensure booked guests continue to sail with the line once it enters service.

Virgin notes that all passengers -- which it calls "sailors" -- on affected voyages will receive a 200 percent future cruise credit, equivalent to double the amount currently paid by booked guests. It is a sum that is among the most generous in the i

Live From SeaDream: What It's Like To Be a Passenger On the Only Transatlantic Cruise Sailing

(12:55 p.m. EDT) -- SeaDream Yacht Club has done it again: The small cruise line made industry headlines when it became the first luxury outfit to return to sailing in June, making a quick pivot with its two ships to Norway for a successful summer season.

And now SeaDream is the only cruise line making a transatlantic sailing with passengers onboard. SeaDream I's 21-day trip left from Oslo with its first guests, before picking up more in Rotterdam, Portsmouth in the U.K. and Funchal in Madeira. The ship is heading for Barbados, where it will run weeklong Caribbean cruises through April.

(As a note, Cruise Critic will be sailing on SeaDream in

CDC No-Sail Order Potentially Set to Expire Saturday

(4:30 p.m. EDT) -- The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's long-standing No-Sail Order is set to expire at midnight Saturday, once again raising the question as to whether the order will be extended, or expire and allow cruise to resume from select ports in the United States.

Originally issued March 13 as the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic swept across the globe, the CDC's No-Sail Order was extended April 9, July 16 and September 30.

In the case of the latter date, the CDC opted to extend the No-Sail Order just hours before it was due to expire.

Saturday, October 31 is also a big day for other cruise industry restrictions: It is the day that [CLIA's volun

Stressed? So Are We. Let's Plan a Cruise

(6 p.m. EDT) -- Who else out there needs something to look forward to?

I know that I do. The crisp and sunny fall days are getting shorter. Colder temperatures are making outdoor dining and social-distanced deck dinners unfeasible. And we're finding it hard to figure out a way to make Thanksgiving and the December holidays safe for an extended family gathering.

Meanwhile, the news is a constant stream of anxiety. No matter what side you're on, the U.S. election looms large in the collective consciousness. Coronavirus cases continue to rise, not just here in the United States, but in Europe and the rest of the world. And if we feel this way now, how on earth will we get through winter?

Want to cruise smarter?
Get expert advice, insider tips and more.
By proceeding, you agree to Cruise Critic’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.