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Carnival mandates COVID-19 vaccination for July cruises

Carnival Horizon is scheduled to resume service from PortMiami in July. Carnival President Christine Duffy, right, said protocol details will be shared this week
Carnival Cruise Line plans to operate ships sailing in July from the US with a COVID-19 vaccination mandate.

Carnival President Christine Duffy made clear in a statement Monday what she had indicated during a Friday network television interview: 'We appreciate the progress and support for our US restart from the [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] and other key federal agencies; however, the current CDC requirements for cruising with a guest base that is unvaccinated will make it very difficult to deliver the experience our guests expect, especially given the large number of families with younger children who sail with us.

'As a result, our alternative is to operate our ships from the US during the month of July with vaccinated guests.'

Galveston restart July 3

Carnival confirmed its plans to return to service from Port of Galveston on July 3 with Carnival Vista, followed by Carnival Breeze on July 15.

These cruises are available for travelers who have received their final dose of a CDC-approved COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days prior to the beginning of the cruise and have proof of vaccination.

Carnival Horizon Miami details TBA

The other ship and port identified for a July restart is Carnival Horizon from PortMiami. Carnival said it continues to work with both Florida and the CDC for Carnival Horizon sailings and plans to provide an update by Friday concerning protocols specific to these cruises.

Duffy also acknowledged the strong support of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, as well as other state officials, in making vaccinations available to cruise line personnel, which has expedited the restart process. She said the support of local officials, especially Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava, Galveston Mayor Craig Brown and PortMiami and Port of Galveston leaders, has been instrumental in the restart efforts.

Florida resolution?

Is some resolution with Florida and Texas over their vaccine passport bans in the works? Norwegian Cruise Line, which is also mandating full vaccination, today announced cruise departures from PortMiami and Port Canaveral in the coming months. 

Information on August plans to come

Carnival also said it will be advising passengers and travel advisors about its plans for August sailings over the coming days.