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If you were thinking that you are not going to get the opportunity to sail on a luxury cruise ship for a while, then you are wrong. There is a bit of a problem with the cruise ships, but that’s not the real reason why the cruise ships are not being allowed to sail. The real reason why cruise ships are not being allowed to sail is not what you are thinking. You are probably thinking that the reason for the cruise ships being in dry dock is a mechanical or safety issue. Not the case, the reason why the cruise ships are in dry dock is not the reason for you not being able to sail.

While 99% of the world is in shock over the events that took place on a ship in the middle of the ocean, the answer to why cruise ships are not being allowed to sail is much simpler than you think. In fact, it is all about money. Cruise lines are now in the middle of a very messy legal battle with a few different countries. The crux of the matter is this: cruise lines are getting a huge chunk of the revenue from all of the goods and services aboard the ship. The cruise lines are not happy with the way the money is being distributed. Here is the full story…

As the rest of the world slowly opened up, everyone involved in the cruise industry – even those who just want to get back to their favorite place – asked themselves the same question: Why can I go to a restaurant, take a plane and go to an amusement park? …. but can’t I go back on the ship?

Facts, Shmucks

The answer is as simple as it is maddening and undeniable: Perception is everything. And since the beginning of the pandemic, the cruise industry has been portrayed as the main culprit thanks to the endless and lazy coverage of the Diamond Princess disaster.

To this day, most coverage of the Diamond Princess focuses on what happened on the ship, rather than the huge mistakes the Japanese government made in handling the crisis.

Diamond Princess (Photo courtesy of Princess Cruises)

In the weeks that followed, cruise ships were virtually the epicenter of media attention, with mainstream publications reporting in full whenever a ship was denied entry into port. (What is less frequently reported? Ships have left, not because one of the crew tested positive, but because of fear which, like a snake swallowing its tail, has been sparked by media reports).

This is not a new problem for the industry. When the general public thinks of norovirus, they immediately think of cruise ships. This is despite the fact that the chance of contracting a surprisingly common disease is much higher on land than at sea. But since cruise ships are required to report every virus outbreak – unlike almost everywhere else on land – journalists looking for headlines have nothing better to do than to use the time-honored (and incorrect) metaphor of the petri dish to paint a picture that feeds an already existing misconception.

READ MORE: Florida wants an immediate court order to lift the CDC injunction and allow the ships to return to sea.

The more things change….

So when lawsuits were filed and senators began to introduce bills to reauthorize the cruise industry, opponents of the idea, with the help of the Center for Disease Control, argued that, as Senator Patty Murray said, cruise ships need special attention and protocols to prevent further outbreaks.

Is there a problem with his position? That absolutely no one agrees with her… even within the industry. As a result, cruise lines have invested a great deal of time and money in developing health and safety protocols and have almost literally begged the CDC to work with them to implement these protocols so that ships can resume operations.

The cruise lines have repeatedly indicated that they are not only willing to cooperate with the CCD, but that they are even eager to do so. However, no ships have yet been approved for the much-criticised test flights to test the new health and safety protocols. And the naysayers seem to want to completely ignore that cruises in other parts of the world have resumed with great success.

How do you do that? Using the same protocols that cruise lines want to use when they are allowed to depart from US ports.

(Photo courtesy of CDC)

Baseline

Ultimately, it’s hard to listen to those who want the cruise to remain closed and not ask them pointed questions.

How do they justify the fact that the cruise industry is literally the only industry in the country that has been idle for a year and continues to do so to this day … with no end in sight? And have they, we ask, read the cruise lines’ health and safety protocols? Have they studied how sailing works in other parts of the world, and if so, why do they think the same success cannot be achieved by sailing from American ports?

It’s one thing to say that hundreds of thousands of jobs and billions of dollars are at stake. The simple answer of cruise opponents to this is to say: Yes, but we are adequate for the health and safety of the American people.

However, it is becoming increasingly difficult to hear this argument without answering it with the questions above. And it’s becoming increasingly clear that the real reason the cruise industry is still closed is that every story needs a villain, and over the past year the cruise industry has fulfilled that goal.

And maybe it’s time to push for a change in this story.

READ MORE: Review: Cruise lines in the summer of 2021

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