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Despite new CDC guidance, Port Canaveral cruises float on

File photo of Port Canaveral's Terminal 1. Photo: Port Canaveral
File photo of Port Canaveral's Terminal 1. Photo: Port Canaveral

Port Canaveral officials say people are continuing to cruise despite new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control urging people to avoid cruise travel.

Last week, the CDC raised its health notice for cruises from three to four -- it’s highest rating -- citing an increase in reported Covid-19 cases on cruise ships.

Port Canaveral CEO Captain John Murray says cruise lines and the port continue to follow testing and vaccination protocols -- including requiring proof of Covid-19 vaccinations for passengers and crew.

"The average traveler knows that if you're on a cruise ship, they do their investigation ahead of time and you're safer probably on a cruise ship than you are in a grocery store,” said Murray.

Cruise passenger numbers are typically lower this time of year and doesn’t expect the new CDC guidelines to deter future passengers. "I'm not gonna look at any reduced passenger count as being impacted by the announcement from the CDC," said Murray.

"This is standard fare for the CDC since the beginning of the pandemic," he said. "It's not slowing things down. Our ships have been moving."

There are currently 10 cruise ships that call Port Canaveral home, with another from Carnival set to dock later this month. Murray says no cruises have been cancelled and cruise lines are voluntarily complying with CDC guidelines.

Brendan Byrne is Central Florida Public Media's Assistant News Director, managing the day-to-day operations of the newsroom, editing daily news stories, and managing the organization's internship program. Byrne also hosts Central Florida Public Media's weekly radio show and podcast "Are We There Yet?" which explores human space exploration, and the weekly news roundup podcast "The Wrap."