Charlie Crist criticizes Ron DeSantis’ vaccine passport ban, impact on cruise industry

Crist_Desantis side_by_side (10)
Guidelines from the CDC would let ships begin trips under certain vaccination requirements, but recently signed legislation bars them from doing so.

Gov. Ron DeSantis is facing scrutiny from political opponent U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist for his vaccine passport ban, which has led to Norwegian Cruise Line  threatening to pull ships from Florida ports.

“Governor DeSantis would rather wipe out a billion dollar industry in our state and cost thousands of Floridians their jobs instead of making sure folks can take a COVID-free cruise,” Crist said in a statement. “How does that make sense?”

The cruise company, which owns Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises, is threatening to remove their ships from Florida ports if the state maintains laws that will not allow them to verify the vaccination status of customers.

Gov. DeSantis signed the controversial bill (SB 2006) on Monday, which prohibits the use of “vaccine passports” and preempts local government  emergency orders. DeSantis is using his current executive power to enact the legislation through June, since the bill will not take effect until July 1.

Instead of standing in the way of Florida’s businesses who want to re-open, re-hire, and rebuild our economy, Gov. DeSantis should be empowering businesses to succeed and thrive,” said Crist, who announced his candidacy in the 2022 Governor’s race on Tuesday. 

This is the latest development in ongoing issues encompassing the cruise ship industry and GOP state leadership.

Back in April, the state filed a lawsuit against the federal government and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to demand cruise ships “open immediately.”

Guidelines from the CDC and federal government would let ships skip practice voyages and begin trips if 98% of the crew and 95% of passengers are vaccinated, accompanied by other mitigation efforts, according to The Associated Press.

But, cruise lines wouldn’t be able to do so under recently signed legislation.

DeSantis criticized the CDC’s requirements at Satellite Beach Wednesday, urging for the reopening of the cruise industry.

“Now here we are a year later and there’s no end in sight,” DeSantis said Wednesday. “Now they say you can only cruise if you have 98% of people show proof of vaccination. But that’s ridiculous. They’re cruising in other parts of the world where they don’t even have availability of vaccines yet, where they have much higher COVID than in the United States.”

Kelly Hayes

Kelly Hayes studied journalism and political science at the University of Florida. Kelly was born and raised in Tampa Bay. A recent graduate, she enjoys government and legal reporting. She has experience covering the Florida Legislature as well as local government, and is a proud Alligator alum. You can reach Kelly at [email protected].


  • Ron Ogden

    May 9, 2021 at 8:11 am

    “Governor DeSantis would rather wipe out a billion dollar industry in our state and cost thousands of Floridians their jobs instead of making sure folks can take a COVID-free cruise,” Crist said in a statement. “How does that make sense?”

    Well, I’ll tell you Charlie. It is something called “freedom” and “liberty” and it is the “freedom” from crushing, smothering government, the kind of government you used to oppose before you realized there was more corporate money in sucking up to it, and that there was no political future as an NPA, so your last resort was to turn D.

    Besides, even if the tight-butt Norwegians DO decide to leave, there will be plenty of sunny alternatives who just can’t wait to rake in their business.

    Incidentally, FLAPOL, is every burp from Governor DeSantis going to be greeted with 500 word Crist/Demings/Fried screed space fillers from now until 11/22? That is going to set a new mark for your vaunted drear. Take a clue from Eskamani, who was smart enough to beg the day off.

    • Tom Palmer

      May 9, 2021 at 7:01 pm

      You’re right. Floating Petri dishes are the way to go.

  • Tjb

    May 9, 2021 at 8:44 am

    Hey Ron are you one of those people screaming that voters need an ID to exercise their RIGHT to vote. But when it comes to a Vaccine Passport (an ID), you scream that liberty and freedom are being taken away. This should not be a political issue but only a health issue. If you want to go on a cruise, just get a vaccine passport and save a life.
    Just a reminder, without Jared Moskowitz’s Covid plan, Ron would have had the worst response to Covid 19 of all governors.

    • bob

      May 9, 2021 at 8:52 am

      Your take didn’t even make sense. lmao.

    • Jwick

      May 10, 2021 at 8:49 am

      So let me get this straight, you think people should be forced to take a vaccine if they wish to travel and carry a vaccine Passport when the Vaccine is still listed in the experimental phase under the FDA guidelines and has had the highest mortality rate so far of any Vaccine in the last 50 years. Also, if you’re under 70 based on consensus Data collected for 2020 you have a survival rate of 99.9857% How is this an exercise of common sense, and medical scientific practice. I don’t know why I bother to ask because at this point you would think that you would have done objective research and read some medical journals at this point I guess a part of me wants to believe there is hope for sheep in this Country and in the world.

    • Douglas P Economou

      May 13, 2021 at 6:03 pm

      What a J.A. statement.

  • Edward Lyle

    May 9, 2021 at 9:29 am

    Chuck is upset over the Gender Dysphoria sports ban. And why is it we only hear/read about guys who want to be gals in this debate? Where are the gals who want to be guys demanding to compete against the guys?

    Why haven’t they disbanded the WNBA or the LPGA et al… and forced those male teams to assimilate the females into their rosters?

    Could it be that girls pay closer attention in Science and Biology class?

    I gotta tell ya… irony can be pretty ironic sometimes

    • rob

      May 9, 2021 at 1:46 pm


  • martin

    May 9, 2021 at 3:20 pm

    crist is a opportunistic parasite

    Never bend to an industry demand.

    • DPE

      May 13, 2021 at 6:05 pm

      Crist is a political POS. He’ll never get my vote. Can’t wait to watch him get slaughtered by Desantis next year.

  • PeterH

    May 10, 2021 at 8:13 am

    Protecting the rights of the COVID-19 unvaccinated simply doesn’t make sense. There are logical reasons why I, like millions of Americans, will never vote for any Republican ever again.

    Republican Bobby Jindal got it right when he called out today’s GQP ….. “the party of stupid!”

    • DPE

      May 13, 2021 at 6:08 pm

      The fact that such idiotic words came from your mouth tells me you were never a Republican to begin with. COVID has a 99% survival rate and is only lethal to those who are already ill. An mRNA (this is not a vaccine) is not necessary for most of us.

      You’re a straight up moron.

  • PeterH

    May 13, 2021 at 6:44 pm

    Conservative Liz Cheney and The Lincoln Project will reorder what remains of the GQP. Soon …… you and your kind will have no voice in the future of the American experience. Your irrelevance will be a welcome change to planet earth.

Comments are closed.


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