The CDC extended their No Sail Order for the second time today (July 16, 2020). This extension restricts cruising in U.S. waters until at least October 1. While this extension isn’t exactly a surprise since Carnival’s and Norwegian’s resume dates had already been on this timeline, it does call into question whether cruises from the US will resume in 2020.
Official CDC No Sail Order Extension Announcement
The original order shall continue until the earliest of (1) the expiration of the Secretary of Health and Human Services’ declaration that COVID-19 constitutes a public health emergency; (2) the CDC Director rescinds or modifies the Order based on specific public health or other considerations; or (3) September 30, 2020.
Read: Entire (20 pages!) No Sail Order official announcement
Read: Updated (10/1/20) Official CDC No Sail Order (Opens a PDF from CDC.gov)
What does the extension mean for cruising in 2020?
This is the big question. The truth is, any answer is a guess, no matter who is answering it. The honest answer is nobody knows when cruises will begin or if they will at all in 2020. My personal guess is there will be cruises in 2020 but probably not until December. When cruising resumes there will be limited itineraries and health and safety guidelines and protocols will limit the number of people on board. I personally have cruises scheduled in mid-October and late-December but feel much more confident about the later one actually sailing.
My advice to clients is simple: if you’re comfortable going on a cruise take advantage of the promotions and special offers to book a cruise in October and beyond but be aware that your vacation plans may change. Whether you are able to go or get reschedule you win by either going on a great vacation or taking advantage of the future cruise credit (or refund if you choose) offers.
Bottom line is this No Sail Order doesn’t change the timeline very much and gives all the cruise lines an opportunity to work with their health and safety panel’s to plan and implement measures that will keep guests and crew safe while continuing to provide a great vacation experience.