Trick or treat? CDC’s No Sail Order on cruising possibly set to end on Halloween

Halloween is a spooky holiday filled with candy, costumes and scares, filled with goblins and ghosts living and dead. However, in true 2020 style, the holiday acts as a “dead” line for the cruise industry. According to Axios, CDC director Robert Redfield was overruled when he pushed to extend the order on cruises next year, citing two sources with direct knowledge of the conversation Sept. 29 in the White House Situation Room.

Vice president Mike Pence reportedly oversaw the meeting in which the administration decided to extend the No Sail Order by one month. A task force member involved in the talks is quoted as saying that the administration hopes to see the cruise industry “demonstrate it has a plan to ensure ‘ships can sail in a safe and responsible manner and that the companies assume the burden of dealing with any possible outbreaks.’

The extension through Oct. 31 would match CLIA’s current voluntary suspension of cruises. Industry representatives are set to meet with the Trump administration on Friday for a review of their transformation and the dozens of ways that they will mitigate risk and ensure public health. The outcome of that meeting will help determine if the order needs to be extended beyond October 31st.

The Axios report says that public health officials have privately complained that the move is politically motivated because of the industry’s economic significance in Florida, a key battleground state. White House deputy press secretary Brian Morgenstern rejected that, Axios said, saying the task force enables “the science and data to implement policies that protect the public health and also facilitate the safe reopening of our country. It is not about politics. It is about saving lives.”

AAA Travel is seeing members ready to return to cruise. While the cruise lines are suspended, their still selling inventory for 2021 and beyond. AAA Travel continues to see pricing and offers that at levels the industry has not seen in some time. While we all our stuck on shore for now, we know the ships will depart again soon. If you have questions about your travel plans, cruise of not, AAA Travel advisors are here to help.  With their new SmartDepart Certifications, advisors are constantly learning and processing industry changes that pertain to member travel. Let your advisor find the right travel destination with you, and offer you insight into what you need to know to have a safe and enjoyable vacation.

To speak with your AAA Travel advisor, please call 1-800-222-7448.