Bahamas to Florida cruise ships: Don’t stop here, unless you’re vaxxed
Image via AP.

PortMiami cruise ships
The Bahamas Prime Minister orders cruise ships to prove vaccinations to enter port.

The government of the Bahamas has declared a blockade against cruise ships that arrive without proof that everyone onboard eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations has had their shots.

The Bahamas’ emergency order, posted Thursday on the commonwealth’s Customs and Excise Department‘s website, apparently means that cruise ships from Florida are not welcome, so long as they comply with Gov. Ron DeSantis‘ executive order that banned them from demanding “vaccine passports” from passengers.

The order is another blow to DeSantis’ determination to ban vaccine passports. His policies are opposed by many cruise lines that see vaccine requirements as their best assurance of coronavirus safety for nervous passengers hoping to see the once-popular industry resume after the disasters that befell cruise ships early in 2020 COVID-19 pandemic. Norwegian Cruise Line sued Florida in federal court over the vaccine passports ban and was granted a preliminary injunction last week. That case is still in court.

The Bahamas order, first reported Thursday on DisneyCruiseLineBlog, also is a blow to cruise lines that have gone ahead to resume cruising out of Florida ports without requiring proof of vaccinations.

The Bahamas order applies even to “private” islands in the country, including those leased, developed, and operated as resorts by cruise line companies, such as Disney Cruise Line’s Castaway Cay, Carnival Cruise Line’s Half Moon Cay, and Royal Caribbean International’s Coco Cay

Everyone on board ages 12 or older must be fully vaccinated for the ship to be allowed into a port of the Bahamas unless a person is exempt from receiving vaccinations due to “medical contraindications.”

The order goes into effect on Sept. 3 and runs through Nov. 1. It was signed by Bahamian Prime Minister Hubert Minnis on Thursday.

It reads: ” … a cruise ship which is on a passenger voyage shall not be permitted to enter a port in The Bahamas (including private stop) unless — the Captain or Master of the cruise ship transmits a crew and passenger manifest to the Port Medical Officer, which discloses the vaccination status of all persons before arrival at the port; all passengers who are twelve years old and older were fully vaccinated before embarking on the cruise ship at the start of the voyage; and the health protocols, previously submitted by its cruise line to the Competent Authority and approved by the Competent Authority, has been complied with.”

Friday morning, there was no immediate response from DeSantis’ office or the Cruise Lines International Association, a trade group representing the cruise industry.

The Bahamas executive order could impact dozens of cruises set to depart from Miami or Port Canaveral in September. There also are cruises destined for the Bahamas set to depart from New Jersey, Baltimore, and New Orleans.

More cruises are slated to resume in October, including out of Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, after more than a year in which the industry was totally shut down because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to cruise marketing website Cruises.com, in September, Carnival Cruise Line has the Carnival Magic departing from Port Canaveral for the Bahamas on four cruises, and the Carnival Sunrise departing from Miami for the Bahamas on four cruises.

In September, Royal Caribbean International has the Freedom of the Seas slated for seven cruises out of Miami for the Bahamas, as well as nine cruises set for Mariner of the Seas out of Port Canaveral.

MSC Cruises has the Divine slated to leave for the Bahamas from Port Canaveral three times in September; the Meraviglia is headed for the Bahamas out of Miami four times.

Disney Cruise Line has the Disney Dream slated to leave for the Bahamas out of Port Canaveral eight times in September.

Scott Powers

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at [email protected]


25 comments

  • Zhombre

    August 20, 2021 at 9:44 am

    Cruise ships should require vaccinations, given the industry history, pre-COVID, of onboard viral infections.

    • Suzan

      August 25, 2021 at 3:03 pm

      USA citizens can now get this job and earns more dollars by go to this web.j last month j have made and received $17915 from this job by doing easy work in part time…. http://Pays11.com

  • Ed

    August 20, 2021 at 9:47 am

    You can have Nassau.

    • Adolf Trumpf

      August 20, 2021 at 11:04 am

      Lovely, appreciate this highly qualified comment.

      • Ed

        August 20, 2021 at 11:11 am

        Ask most people that have been on cruises before and they will tell you the same thing. Many ships stop there because they are registered in the Bahamas. Many cruise veterans stay on the boat in Nassau

        • Ocean Joe

          August 20, 2021 at 6:22 pm

          It’s OK Ed. You were right.

      • Ed

        August 20, 2021 at 11:16 am

        Love your fake name. Many of us do miss Trump especially with the ineptitude going on at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave now. Jimmy Carter smiles every day he wakes up now and thanks the American people.

        • DDV

          August 21, 2021 at 10:11 am

          Thanks for the laughs

  • GD

    August 20, 2021 at 10:54 am

    DeSantis keeps playing with people’s lives so he can look tough on Fox running for president is not going over wells as people and countries just don’t want the unvaccinated fools.
    This like his other edits from high taking away local control, stopping mask mandates, making protests illegal if black, not Cuban though, Forcing Key West to take cruise ships that are destroying the reefs, etc.
    He might not even get elected Governor again as people are tired of his fascist, racist, dictatorial ways.

    • Anita

      August 21, 2021 at 2:55 pm

      Sign the petition as a Florida voter to recall Desantis!

      • Zhombre

        August 21, 2021 at 3:02 pm

        LOL!!! That’s California where Newsome may be out on his ass. Ain’t happening here.

  • Alex

    August 20, 2021 at 1:19 pm

    The Bahamas told Ron “muh freedumbs” DeAnus to stick em.

  • Matthew Lusk

    August 20, 2021 at 1:22 pm

    After covid biologic weapon 23x from Bethesda labs to Wuhan, cruise ships (test labs) and select airports has been already released, next up- mers biologic weapon 24x will have a roll out. Socialized medicine is very lucrative with side benefits are to inhance globalism and world authoritarian power. NAZI Quandt family now in control of U. K. Vaccine passports.

    • Alex

      August 20, 2021 at 1:35 pm

      You realize that’s crazy right evangelical Matt?

      No, don’t answer that.

      I don’t care, just don’t hurt yourself or anyone else ok?

      • Stan Chrzanowski

        August 20, 2021 at 3:47 pm

        I thought he was being very, very, sarcastically funny… do you seriously think he’s for real?… I mean grammar and punctuation aren’t the greatest, but that just adds to the effect.

  • Cliff Gephart

    August 20, 2021 at 2:06 pm

    Ron DeSantis is obviously mentally ill.

    It’s the only thing that can explain his bizarre behavior on this topic, and I hope he gets the help he needs.

  • Ocean Joe

    August 20, 2021 at 6:20 pm

    Nikki Fried claims she’s doing the governor’s job…I’d say the prime minister of the Bahamas is doing it too.

  • Jasmine Lopez

    August 21, 2021 at 8:16 am

    Im from the Bahamas and this is a big lie!!!!!!!!

    • DDV

      August 21, 2021 at 10:07 am

      What’s a lie? This is the official statement and policy put out 🙄

  • Derek Stephen Bamford

    August 21, 2021 at 8:20 am

    The Bahamas being a relatively small Island it’s fairly easy to control the spread of the virus, so I can understand wanting to protect your citizen from internationals that may bring the virus in. However, not allowing them to port at their private islands is just petty.

    • DDV

      August 21, 2021 at 10:09 am

      Most of The workers on the private islands live in the Bahamas. They could bring the virus home

  • FL Independent

    August 21, 2021 at 9:02 am

    I have a cruise planned for September 18th on Carnival to the Bahamas. They have an waiver for those that have not received the vaccine so I assume this cruise will be canceled or Carnival will announce every one must be Vaccinated. Will be interested in see how this plays out. Thanks for the problem Gov DumbSantis

  • Anna

    August 21, 2021 at 2:08 pm

    My neighbor’s aunt makes 62 every hour on the internet..ffi she has been without work for eight months but the previous month her revenue was 19022 only working on the laptop 5 hours a day..

    check this …… http://SwagTip.com

  • Been Jammin

    August 22, 2021 at 3:38 pm

    When their people are eating their own dogs and cats due to the tourist $ disappearing, they just might reverse that hard stance.

Comments are closed.


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