In a startling turn of events, all cruise lines departing from Florida will now require passengers over the age of 12 to be fully vaccinated. The move comes as numerous Caribbean ports begin clamping down on unvaccinated Americans. Most notable is the Bahamas, which has two of the busiest cruise ports in the entire world: Nassau and the Out Islands ports.
In a new emergency measure, the Bahamas has stated that cruise ships without 100% vaccinated passengers won’t be allowed to dock at any port in the nation. This rule also has jurisdiction in any of the private islands owned by cruises in the Bahamas, such as Royal Caribbean’s CocoCay. The country states that cruises will be ordered to hand over a passenger manifest before docking, with the vaccination results and information for all passengers on board.
Seeing as almost every cruise departing from Florida stops in the Bahamas, the cruise lines had no choice but to require passengers to be vaccinated. Royal Caribbean was the first to make the announcement, and now even cruise lines who were extremely hesitant to require vaccination, like Carnival, have come out and stated they too will be requiring all passengers from all ports to be fully vaccinated before boarding. Exemptions are in place for children under 12 and adults with medical difficulties who can’t receive the vaccine.
This is also a critical blow to Florida governor Ron DeSantis’ attempts at outlawing vaccination requirements for the cruise industry. All summer long, he’s been on a personal crusade to defame Dr. Anthony Fauci and any cruise line that speak in favor of vaccination, such as Norweigian. However, with the new ruling by the Bahamas, DeSantis’ push has lost all steam and “credibility”. His excuse has been that vaccines would hinder the economic gains of the cruise industry, but if cruises can’t go anywhere without vaccinated passengers his argument is now dead.