As we wait for cruising to return, please share your thoughts on the best way to plan and book your cruise.(11:10 a.m. EDT) -- Cruise line executives joined forces at a Miami public meeting this week to tell lawmakers the industry was ready to resume a return to service, based on appropriate and science-based health and safety protocols."Enough is enough," Frank Del Rio, president and CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, said in passionate remarks before the Miami-Dade County Tourism and Ports Committee meeting September 10. "The cruise industry is close to devastation. … We've got to get back to work."During the meeting, cruise line executives including Arnold Donald of Carnival Corporation; Rick Sasso of MSC Cruises; and Michael Bayley of Royal Caribbean International told lawmakers about the work the companies have been doing to develop stringent protocols to prevent COVID-19 outbreaks onboard.The meeting also included a strong rebuke of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention by some of Miami's elected officials, who criticized the public health body for unfairly singling out the cruise industry and stalling talks of service resumption while others in the hospitality industry, such as airlines and hotels and resorts, have continued operating.The CDC has issued a "no sail" order on cruising from U.S. ports through October 1, although most cruise lines have voluntarily canceled cruises through October 31. As of Sunday, cruise lines will have been out of service for six months because of COVID-19.
(6:15 p.m. EDT) -- Out on the deck of Stephen Taber, a 149-year-old schooner that is one of only two overnight passenger ships currently sailing in the United States, the wind picks up. I shiver, despite the numerous layers donned to protect against the chilly Maine night. The galley below deck, heated by a massive wood-burning stove, seems warm and inviting.
I begin the mental gymnastics that have become second nature during the pandemic, with conflicting feelings cartwheeling through my head. Everyone onboard, both crew and passengers, has been COVID tested (in some cases, twice, thanks to entrance requirements from both the state of Maine and Taber's