Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings (NCLH) was ordered by the Florida Department of Health to vaccinate passengers on one of its cruises in order to prevent a measles outbreak. The company appealed the ruling, arguing that the law is unconstitutional and would cause them severe financial harm.
The norwegian cruise line news is a recent article that discusses the Florida Appeals Norwegian Cruise Line Holding’s decision to allow passengers to board without having their vaccinations updated.
On Tuesday, after Judge Williams issued her decision on Monday, the state of Florida filed an appeal with the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals. The court found in favor of NCLH on several of the cruise line’s claims in the case, which is unsurprising.
For the time being, the court has granted a stay to Norwegian Cruise Line. If the decision survives Florida’s appeal, the cruise company will be able to request evidence of vaccination on its cruises departing from Florida, beginning on August 15 with the Norwegian Gem.
The Norwegians argue that the First Amendment has been violated.
Norwegian Cruise Line argues that the prohibition on vaccination evidence is a violation of the first amendment, according to Judge Williams’ decision. According to Judge Williams’ stay order, the restriction on vaccination evidence violates free speech rights under the First Amendment by prohibiting businesses from demanding vaccine paperwork but not other medical papers or responses to spoken inquiries about vaccination status.
Christina Pushaw, Governor DeSantis’ press secretary, issued a statement saying the restriction has nothing to do with freedom of speech:
“We will appeal to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals because we disagree with the judge’s legal rationale. A ban on vaccination passports does not even involve, much alone violate, anyone’s free expression rights, and it serves the important local goal of avoiding discrimination among consumers based on private health information.”
ackats / Shutterstock.com / ackats / Shutterstock.com / ackats / Shutterstock
There is no foundation for a discrimination lawsuit, according to Judge Williams:
“If the aim is to fight prejudice, then prohibiting the sharing of COVID-19 vaccination paperwork is an inadequate approach to achieve this goal. Because the legislation does not expressly prevent companies and employers from treating unvaccinated people or those who refuse to verify their vaccination status differently.”
Governor DeSantis has made it clear that he opposes the Conditional Sail Order and the evidence of vaccination that cruise companies must request in order to comply with the CSO. The Governor has said that if required, he would take the cases to the Supreme Court, both in the case against the CDC and in the action against Norwegian.
What Are Norwegian Cruise Line’s Consequences?
A requirement that passengers provide evidence of immunization may have far-reaching implications for Norwegian Cruise Line. Judge Williams stated in her decision that Norwegian had effectively shown the financial and reputational harm it would suffer if Florida implemented the ban:
“As previously explained, the undisputed record establishes that without a preliminary injunction, NCLH would likely be forced to cancel the itinerary for the Norwegian Gem and other ships. Mr. Del Rio stated that “the cancellation could cost NCLH approximately $4 million in lost revenues per seven-day cruise.”
Tran Thu Hang / Shutterstock.com / Tran Thu Hang / Shutterstock.com / Tran Thu Hang / Shutterstock
Norwegian Cruise Line’s CEO Frank Del Rio has said repeatedly that if necessary, the company would remove its ships from Florida; nevertheless, this does not change the reality that Florida is the world’s cruising capital:
When Judge Williams announced the stay, Frank Del Rio, president and CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, said:
“All we want to do is cruise from Miami, the Cruise Capital of the World, and other fantastic Florida ports. We applaud today’s decision, which enables us to sail with fully vaccinated passengers and crew, which we think is the safest and most sensible approach to restart cruise operations in the midst of the worldwide pandemic.”
Norwegian Cruise Line likewise risks having its image tarnished. The cruise company has made it clear that it will only sail with fully vaccinated passengers who have received no exemptions. Norwegian Cruise Line would be left with no choice except to cancel its Florida cruises or abandon its immunization program. Something that will enrage the thousands of passengers who purchased a cruise on the assumption that everyone would get vaccinated aboard.
What is the Final Goal?
Governor DeSantis has already succeeded in reducing the CDC’s Conditional Sail Order to a suggestion rather than a mandate. In both the CSO and the restriction on vaccination evidence, the governor has said that his measures are in the best interests of the cruise lines. Florida, on the other hand, was given contradictory information. There hasn’t been a single cruise company that has chosen to abandon the CSO’s limitations, and all cruise companies continue to voluntarily obey the CDC’s laws and regulations.
Also read: By April 2022, all Norwegian Cruise Line ships will be sailing.
The issue then becomes what the State of Florida hopes to accomplish by appealing the NCLH vs. Florida decision. The most probable explanation is that it has little to do with cruises and everything to do with what a favorable judgment for Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings might imply for all jurisdictions that have prohibited evidence of immunization.
A decision on the Florida appeal may come soon; nevertheless, regardless of the result, the lawsuit will take far longer than Norwegian Gem’s departure on August 15.