Looks like, even though I wrote that I wasn’t expecting to hear the words “no sail order extended”, it appears as though the US government can’t agree on the best timeline for the cruise industry to begin a safe return to service. Since I am a travel advisor not a political contributor, if you’re interested in the political spin you should read the original article by Axios: https://www.axios.com/scoop-white-house-overruled-cdc-cruise-ships-florida-91442136-1b8e-442e-a2a1-0b24e9a39fb6.html
Official “no sail order extended” announcement from the CDC:
This order (links to a pdf on the CDC website) shall remain in effect 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) October 31, 2020.Official CDC Announcement
Political reasoning (and arguing) aside, the no sail order extension which was set to expire September 30, 2020 has been extended a month. This coincides with the CLIA voluntary suspension so no additional sailings have been canceled as of today (9/30/20). I see the extension as a yellow light (hopefully blinking and not on it’s way to red!) in the sense that the conversation will continue soon. According to some sources, if CDC Director Robert Redfield hadn’t been overruled the “no sail order extended” would have ended with “until February, 2021.”
Related: False positives on TUI cruise ship
The question now becomes, will cruises begin on November 1st? Probably not but extending month-to-month keeps all the important people at the table. Cruise lines and their health experts, government agencies, and politicians all continue to discuss the protocols, policies, and technologies that will allow the cruise industry to return before the end of the first quarter of 2021.
I still believe now is the best time to book your next vacation whether that’s a cruise, a resort, or a quick getaway close to home and if you want unbiased assistance call me at 844-483-6669.
I also think (hope?) short cruises will still sail in late November or December of this year. With the information we gain, the testing technologies improving, and the protocols in place to ensure guests and crew are able to remain healthy and safe returning to service will soon include introducing the longer itineraries as more countries open their borders to American tourists.