Royal Caribbean’s 100,000 Volunteers – Other Cruise News: More Delays For Carnival’s Main US Brands – Key West Imposes Cruise Limits; Bar Harbor Considers
by Kevin Griffin
More news this week stemming from cruise lines trying to restart while a vaccines are developed for Covid-19. Royal Caribbean have recruited 100,000 free passengers while Carnival’s top three US lines Carnival, Princess and Holland America, have again been delayed in starting up. Elsewhere, Key West has voted to limit the numbers of cruise ship passengers arriving at that port.
THIS WEEKS STORY
Royal Caribbean’s 100,000 Volunteers
The CDC (US Center for Disease Control) requires that all major cruise lines sailing from and to US Ports are required to run a number of “simulated” cruises from the US to test their protocols. Not allowed to carry paying passengers, Royal Caribbean decided instead to set up a web site to attract applications from test passengers.
Michael Baillie, president of Royal Caribbean, accordingly announced yesterday that 100,000 people have already volunteered to sail free of charge on CDC-mandated test voyages, more details of which will be announced later.
More Delays For Carnival’s Main US Brands
Last week news broke of more delays in returning ships to revenue cruise service among Carnivals top US brands.
First off, Carnival Cruise Line, which had expected to get some of its ships sailing again late this summer, has ben delayed once more, to January 31, 2021.
Meanwhile, Princess Cruises and Holland America Line, both part of the Holland America Group, have been delayed until March 31, 2021. In addition all cruises of over 7 days scheduled for 2021 have been cancelled.
This latter follows an edict of the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
Key West Imposes Cruise Limits; Bar Harbor Considers
The residents of Key West, Florida, voted in a referendum on November 3 to approve three proposals that will effectively ban large cruise ships from calling on Key West. The amendments to the city charter have now been authenticated by the mayor and filed.
In 2019, nearly 1 million people visited Key West by cruise ship — almost half the total number of tourists. But according to statistics generated by CLIA, the Cruise Lines International Association, cruise passengers generate only only 7% of tourist spending there.
The results of the Key West vote were as follows:
• Limiting persons disembarking from cruise ships to 1,500 per day.
YES: 8,186 (63%)
NO: 4,743 (27%)
• Prohibiting cruise ships with a capacity of 1,300 or more persons.
YES: 7,852 (61%)
NO: 5,087 (29%)
• Prioritize cruise lines with the best environmental and health records.
YES: 10,587 (81%)
NO: 2,453 (19%)
From Key West, which is 105 miles from Cuba, we go to Bar Harbor, Maine, 105 miles from Canada, to find that something similar is happening here too.
On November 17, Bar Harbor Town Council voted to take steps that could also limit cruise ships calling there in 2021.
In 2020, the town expected approximately 200 cruise ship visits ranging from mega cruise ships to coastal vessels. The city has the potential to handle more than 300,000 passengers in a season, which could contribute more than $20 million annually to the Maine economy.
With more than 150 cruise ships having already requested port calls for 2021, the council agreed that it would be important to make decisions to provide the cruise lines time to respond, but the town council voted to defer any actions until into the new year. They also approved a motion to explore a potential cap on the annual number of cruise ships calling at Bar Harbor.
(Kevin Griffin is managing director of The Cruise People Ltd in London, England. For further information concerning cruises mentioned in this article readers can visit his blog)