It is getting busier by the day on the Florida skyline as more and more vessels arrive back in the United States after being anchored for eight months. Slowly but surely, it looks like the return of cruising is getting closer.
To qualify for the CDC’s approval to sail, the vessels will need to undergo testing and mock cruises while also implementing new protocols on board the ships.
All cruise ships sailing from US ports will need to have medical facilities that include intensive care beds, cabins available for isolation of passengers and crew suspected or confirmed to be infected with COVID.
Also, the airconditioning systems onboard the vessels will need to be fitted with specialized air filters, and the vessels will need to be prepared to handle social distancing.
Crew members will also need to board the vessels and receive the necessary training that comes with the new protocols. Only then will the vessels be allowed to start running mock voyages, which will be evaluated by the CDC.
Florida’s Skyline Is Getting Busier With Cruiseships
Last week we already reported on Carnival Horizon, which arrived back in her homeport Miami.
In Port Miami, we can see MSC Seaside just outside the port at anchor. She will be sailing on January 3 on a five-day voyage to the Bahamas from Port Canaveral. While inside the port, we can see Carnival Horizon, Celebrity Silhouette, and Celebrity Reflection.
Carnival Horizon’s first cruise is set to depart Miami on February 14 on a 6-day itinerary in the Western Caribbean, including calls to Montego Bay, Grand Cayman, and Cozumel.
In Fort Lauderdale’s Port Everglades, we can see Celebrity Edge, while in Port Canaveral, Disney Wonder sits just outside the port entrance at anchor. Disney Wonder will not start sailing until March 2021; her first cruise will be a 3-day voyage from San Diego.
Underway To Their Homes
In the meantime, more and more vessels have started up their engines and set a course for the Sunshine State.
Liberty of the Seas is steaming towards the Port of Miami with a steady 11 knots and is bound to arrive in the port area today around 7 AM, today, December 2. Liberty of the Seas will be sailing from Galveston, Texas, after the CDC clears her, on January 3, it is one of the first ships to sail after the New Year.
Navigator of the Seas also seems to have taken a course towards Miami, although a slow one at 3.6 knots. This comes as no surprise as she is the first ship to sail on January 1, 2021. Her first voyage back in operation will be a 4-day Bahamas cruise, which includes a day in Nassau and a day at ‘A perfect Day at CocoCay’.
Holland America Line announced mid-November it would start moving its vessels towards the US coast; however, at this moment, it looks like all ships are still at their anchorages and docks in various places around the globe. This could have something to do with the announcement that all voyages on the HAL ships were canceled until April 2021.
With ships already sailing in Europe, a return to cruising in the Canary Islands, TUI planning a 35-day Caribbean cruise, and two ships sailing from Singapore, we can only wait and see what happens in the United States. All these vessels returning to Florida are a great thing to see and confirm our hopes for a return to cruising.
The situation remains fluid though; As we have experienced many times before this year, cancellations are just around the corner. However, while the resumption of cruising has been set back many times this year, the positive news is it is starting to look now like we might have some cruises happening in January 2021.