U.S. Justice Department filed a lawsuit against the cruise industry alleging they have been engaging in price fixing to keep prices high, it is one of many cases brought by federal prosecutors worldwide that make up a large percentage of antitrust lawsuits around the globe.
Two congressmen from the United States are continuing their battle to shut down the cruise industry. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Representative Doris Matsui (D-CA) have requested the CDC to re-evaluate the Conditional Sail Order, a voluntary program that cruise companies must implement from January 15, 2022 onwards.
The delegates also wrote to CLIA, the cruise line representation association, expressing their “grave worry” about the cruise companies’ safety. The letter, which is based on hearsay and lacks firsthand knowledge, highlights the injustice that the cruise sector faces while doing more than many land-based businesses.
Contrary to popular belief, there is a difference between fact and fiction.
The expiry of the Conditional Sail Order, as announced by CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky earlier this week, has spurred two US politicians, Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Representative Doris Matsui (D-CA), to once again advocate against the cruise industry.
While the CDC director praised the cruise industry’s handling of cruising in the current era, the two representatives drafted two letters and a press release that were riddled with falsehoods. We thought it was past time for some fact-checking at Cruise Hive.
“Transitioning to a voluntary program too soon may enable businesses to avoid required public health actions.”
The Conditional Sail Order has been in effect in Florida voluntarily since July 23, 2021. There hasn’t been a single vessel found to have broken any of the Conditional Sail Order’s rules. In reality, every cruise company has said that it has followed and will continue to follow the CDC’s standards.
“Passengers on board ships affected by outbreaks claim they don’t have much precise information on positive COVID-19 cases, and those who test positive describe horrible circumstances.” While ships continue to sail, cruise operators must take all essential steps to ensure the passengers’ and crews’ health and well-being.”
Kelly Bell / Shutterstock / Kelly Bell / Shutterstock / Kelly Bell / Shutterstock / Kelly Bell
The level of guest input has never been greater than it has been in recent months, according to cruise companies. Because cruise lines are, for the most part, publicly listed, they are required to provide open and honest feedback on what passengers think.
What Happens if You Test Positive on a Carnival Cruise? Worth Reading
Additionally, visitors who test positive are segregated. Guests, on the other hand, get 24-hour room service, free food and beverages, free internet and movies, and continual medical care from aboard medical staff and police, as this Youtube report demonstrates.
The overwhelmingly favorable comments on social media and discussion forums indicates that, even if this did occur, it was a little blip on an otherwise really great experience for the vast majority of individuals.
Criticism that is uninformed
When the reps begin asking questions, it becomes clear how ignorant they are about the problems at hand. While the letters are harshly critical of cruise companies, the questionnaires ask a lot of questions.
- Is it necessary for passengers and personnel to be completely vaccinated?
- Is it necessary for passengers and personnel to test negative before embarking on a trip?
- Is wearing a mask required on cruise ships?
The lawmakers want the CDC to tighten the guidelines for cruise companies, but they are unaware of the severe steps taken by cruise lines. Before yelling from the rooftops, one would expect elected leaders to grasp the facts. Especially when, as CDC Director Rochelle Walensky put it, “the industry has stepped up and is now interested in surpassing compliance with the Sail Order without the order actually being in existence.”
Hearing in the Senate
Few sectors in the world are as tightly regulated and subject to as stringent reporting requirements as the cruise industry in respect to the CDC. The portion where authorities dispute cruise ships’ reporting and the CDC’s ‘yellow status’ that ships get if they fulfill inquiry requirements is perhaps the most shocking:
“At the moment, ships report to the CDC the number of passengers and crew members who test positive for COVID-19 or who have COVID-19-like symptoms.” All cruise ships with passengers in U.S. seas have enough positive COVID-19 instances to fulfill the CDC’s threshold for an inquiry, according to the most current data on the CDC’s website.”
What is left out, maybe on purpose, is what these requirements are, which we discussed in a prior piece. Over the course of seven days, 0.1 percent of passengers aboard, or one staff member, had COVID-19. Senator Blumenthal’s home state of Connecticut had 176,364 cases per million.
How many instances per million are there on cruise ships? Royal Caribbean has witnessed 150 incidents of above 500,000 passengers up till October of 2021.
Microfile.org / Shutterstock.com / Microfile.org / Shutterstock.com / Microfile.org / Shutterstock
The cruise industry has gone above and beyond to safeguard the safety of its crew and passengers, going well beyond any other business. Isolation aboard a cruise ship is not enjoyable; unfortunately, it is required by the CDC’s standards, which the cruise line reps urge cruise companies to observe.
Senator Richard Blumenthal and Rep. Doris Matsui have been vying for attention since the cruise industry halted operations in March 2020, and even before that. One has to wonder what these authorities were thinking when they wrote these letters.
Also read: What Happens Now That the CDC’s Conditional Sailing Order Is Lifted?
The current situation is that the reps criticize the cruise industry for obeying the CDC’s standards while also informing the cruise companies that they must follow the same laws.
The industry has shown that it is safe; nonetheless, there are other aspects, such as being secluded, that are not ideal while on vacation. The cruise companies, on the other hand, are committed to sailing under the CSO, even if it is optional. The only issue is how long the CDC’s restrictions will be in effect, given it’s doubtful that the cruise companies will be the ones to abandon them.