White House task force quietly softened cruise ship no-sail restrictions after months of industry deference

After the nation’s top disease response agency posted orders keeping cruise ships docked last Wednesday night, extending the ban through August, the White House Coronavirus Task Force stepped in to cut it by 20 days.

When the no-sail order reappeared on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website hours later, its language had been softened: Ships can sail again in July, and an explicit warning that they could be docked even longer had been deleted, according to emails and internal documents obtained by USA TODAY.

“Sorry to do this, but the Office of the Vice President has instructed us to pull the No Sail Order Extension from the website immediately,” a CDC senior official wrote to staff just after 7 a.m. Thursday, the morning after the notice had been posted.

Is anyone surprised?

I would say no. I wonder how many US citizens are employed on the cruise ships running out of the US. I would think that there are quite a few in the pursers department and among the entertainers.

Almost none. The largest contribution those companies make is in environmental fines and campaign contributions. Polluting water and bribing politicians is their most frequent contribution.

Guess which cruise ship owner is one of Trump’s best f’ing friends.

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Plenty of entertainment jobs (normally) available on cruise ships:

Don’t know if there are any preferred nationality, but I would think that US citizens are welcome, especially on cruise ships operating out of US ports, with a lot of US guests.

Are you looking for opportunities?

I’ve known several cruise ship dancers and singers. They all told me there were very few Americans onboard the ships they worked. These included Carnival, Disney and NCL ships. Pay is considered abysmal for the trade, and is done only if you have a passion for song and dance and want the experience. Just what I’ve been told by those in the business.


That matches what I’ve been told by performers. A few musicians I know have performed on cruise ships. They’ve told me that they worked double the numbers of hours per day that they normally worked and the money was negligible; they took the jobs so they could cruise. Very few US mariners are employed by the cruise lines.

Are classes on dancing and singing now given at US maritime academies?

Must be a spot for a silver fox with patent leather pumps and a passion for ballroom dancing.


Believe it or not I was an acrobat/dancer on cruise ships for 10yrs in the production shows onboard. Did gymnastics and dance since I was 4yrs old. Went to work on a ship and met my wife. We later worked as an acrobat couple for the other 9.5yrs. Worked for Norwegian Cruise Lines, a Japanese ship called the Asuka, and an English ship called the Saga Rose (ex Sagafjord). Pay wasn’t bad at all back between 2000-2010, definitely not abysmal, unless you compared it to the best paying, hardest to get jobs on land. Was even better on the English ship with the exchange rate. Casts always had a few Americans as did the band. Most US people were in the cruise staff departments, Guest lecturers & entertainers, kids crew (child care). I’d estimate on the Norwegian Star with 1075 crew, 50-70 were Americans. Of course, the entertainment production companies that I worked for were all based in Ft Lauderdale/Hollywood, FL and had between 10-20 American office personnel, with multiple US based offices and studios.


LOTS of underway time in the USN 1965-1993.

First cruise on MS Maasdam in late 2004, and about a dozen more after that one. Last one in Feb of last year, with a 12-night cruise booked for December.

Although my wife hasn’t given up on it yet, I just don’t see it happening. Yes, the ships may have clearance to sail in July, or August, or ???, but I think it will be a long time before people feel comfortable being in any crowded areas, particularly on a cruise ship, and particularly those “seniors” like me.

You probably wouldn’t hesitate to get into a large elevator in an office building with 25 other people, knowing that SIX of them have HIV, because you don’t plan to swap any bodily fluids with them. But would you get in that same elevator if six people had asymptomatic coronavirus, where all you need do is share some air? Our middle son has been with Disney for nine years and the same factors apply to them - you can open the parks but when will people return?

For us, it will likely not be until there is an effective vaccine that we have been able to get, just as we get flu shots every year. JMHO

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Drop the prices low enough and they will show up. Toss in some free perks and people will make themselves believe six impossible things before breakfast.

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CDC and BSEE must all eat lunch together, outrageous orders from their heads when issues or incidents happen. Reality people! Ships gotta work, people gotta work, isn’t their right to stop an industry. Next time a plane goes down, maybe the FAA should order a no fly for 100 days.

The FAA did just that with the Boeing 737 Max but it’s been longer than 100 days. The same thing after 9/11 terrorist attacks, air travel was shut down until things were reevaluated & additional safety precautions put in place. This crisis started 2 months ago & the cruise industry did a shit job of mitigating the causalities IMO. It’s like they had no contingency plan for this very predictable scenario. I’ve taken a cruise before, enjoyed it & I’m not opposed to doing it again in the far off future but for now I say screw them. Give this pandemic time to play out & force the cruise industry to come up with realistic contingency plans for WHEN this happens again. It can’t be business as usual for these floating petri dishes that can pour their contaminated contents on the nearest beaches without consequences, at least I hope not.


Old Salt Blog has a good summary:

Passengers and crew will no longer be able to board commercial airline flights. Instead, the cruise line will have to arrange charter flights.

No one is stopping those ships from working. They can work all they want as long as they don’t call on an American port.

Flights to/from the Bahamas are dirt cheap these days. $368 from New York.


The air space was shut down for 2 days after 9/11. The 737 Max is a engineering failure at this time, not specifically an air travel shutdown. You may want to get your facts correct. So, we should also shut down all Naval Vessels? Since there are deaths onboard.

The subject is not airlines or the Navy, it is about cruise ships.

At the moment there are around 100 cruise ships with somewhere around 80,000 crewmembers on board hovering off the US coasts. None of them are American ships, none of them pay American taxes. They do nothing except pollute American waters and extract American cash for deposit in offshore bank accounts.

Why do you think they are not hovering off the coast of Brazil or Haiti?

I suspect you are a CLIA shill trying to put a positive spin on a filthy parasitic industry that brings nothing to America but disease and pollution.


Please, please, please don’t tell us you think the cruise ship industry is as vitally important as the national guard & military branches. Medical professionals & law enforcement personnel have died due to complications of covid19 too & we are not shutting those sectors down either. I don’t think I have to explain the difference between those sectors & cruise ship investors/employees. You are using Bizarro logic in your defense of the cruise ship industry. The world isn’t going to flock back to buffets & concerts when this starts winding down either. The whole world is losing money with this global pandemic, it’s not just the cruise industry. It’s going to be slow, things are going to be different, prepare for it, quit whining.

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I wouldn’t say nothing, Hard-hit cruise lines don't get U.S. coronavirus stimulus money $53 billion and 421,000 jobs isn’t nothing.