TAMPA, Fla. - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a recommendation Thursday telling people to avoid getting on cruise ships.
The CDC says it has more than 90 cruise ships under investigation or observation because of rising COVID-19 cases.
"Cruise companies have to make money and I don’t know how they’re surviving in this pandemic, I feel bad for them, but ultimately, your health is dependent on yourself and the decisions you make, and you just have to be smart about it even when it’s not convenient, and it’s not fun," said Julie Mcentee, who is visiting Tampa from Alabama.
The Cruise Lines International Association issued a statement shortly after the CDC made their recommendation, calling it "particularly perplexing."
The CLIA said in a statement:
"…cruise provides one of the highest levels of demonstrated mitigation against the virus. Cruise ships offer a highly controlled environment with science-backed measures, known testing and vaccination levels far above other venues or modes of transportation and travel."
It goes on to say:
"While we are disappointed and disagree with the decision to single out the cruise industry, the CLIA and our ocean-going cruise line members remain committed to working collaboratively with the CDC in the interest of public health and safety."
"Trying to get back to some kind of normalcy, you know, I think it’s a little rash that the CDC did take that approach as opposed to a softer approach, but it’s understandable, I can understand both sides of it," said Sheffield Da Silva, who went on a cruise right before the pandemic.
It is unclear how long the CDC’s recommendation to avoid cruise ships will last.
All ships leaving and entering U.S ports are under a conditional sail order, which requires them to follow a certain set of COVID-19 safety protocols. That order expires on January 15, 2022.