The cruise line is one of the first to make its return to Florida, one of the most popular cruising destinations for its easy access to the Atlantic Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Caribbean. With so many opportunities from Florida, along with the US state's own beautiful, sandy beaches, it's no wonder so many are looking forward to cruise lines returning to the state.
Norwegian Battles Florida Courts
To attempt their own return to Florida cruising, Norwegian, hoping to avoid the $5,000 fine per passenger, addressed the issue with Florida's courts beforehand. Suing the Florida surgeon general and Department of Health in July of 2021, Norwegian challenged Governor Ron DeSantis' prior decision to charge the fine to businesses, making them the first cruise line to officially fight this requirement as well.
Upon its review by US District Judge Kathleen Williams, the law was preliminarily waived for the cruise line, with Williams stating that the Florida fine ruling wasn't likely to pass were it brought to higher courts. At this time, no statements have been made, and Norwegian plans to bring its renowned cruises back to the state.
On Monday, August 9th, the governor's office shared its own dissenting opinion, stating that they'll plan to appeal the case and carry it to a higher court. While no further actions have been made just yet, Norwegian will be allowed to require its passengers to provide proof of full vaccination without being charged a fine for the time being.
While Norwegian cruise lines is one of the only American cruise lines requiring 100% vaccination for its passengers, this push comes as no surprise. The entire industry has taken a shock to the system and the cruise lines -- each in their own way -- are trying to navigate the crisis in the best way they know how, working with the states and countries they visit.
We have yet to see if Judge Williams' verdict will hold up if appealed, but plan to stay up-to-date with any current cruise news, especially for our oceanic and European river cruises.