It’s Been A Year Since Cruises Departed From Port Canaveral But The Popular Port Maintains Optimism
Can you believe that its been almost one year since the last cruise passengers departed from Port Canaveral in Florida? Since then, its been a tale of financial hardship both for the part itself and Disney Cruise Line who has typically had 3,4 and 7 day departures from the popular port year-round. Just last week, Disney CEO Bob Chapek said during a shareholders meeting that he hopes cruising will resume by Fall. This means that Port Canaveral could be facing a year and a half without traffic.
However, Canaveral Port Authority CEO Capt. John Murray said this week that he remains hopeful that ships will be able to leave the port again in 2021. But, he seemed to concur with Chapek saying that it could take months to get there. Murray advised that it will take time to get crew members back that are scattered all over the globe especially with many countries having their own travel restrictions.
A recent piece on WFTV recalled that the last voyage on the Disney Dream actually departed on March 13, 2020. This would be the last sailing to set sail from the port before cruises were suspended.
NOT JUST A FANTASY: The beautiful @DisneyCruise Line Fantasy came to Port Canaveral for a visit tonight. Counting the days until she has happy passengers sailing to paradise. Photo thanks to Duty Harbormaster Kyle Lewis. pic.twitter.com/9YGvMLO7XE
— Port Canaveral (@PortCanaveral) February 27, 2021
As you can see from the image above, a year later, the Disney Fantasy remains in port but only for maintenance and supplies. Disney Cruise Line has currently cancelled all sailings through until the end of May, with many insiders believing that Summer cancellations are imminent.
Capt. Murray reflects on the length closure saying, “At the time, everyone thought it was going to be 30 days, 45 days, and the industry would develop a plan and move forward.” The CEO Continues, “But the CDC order remains in effect a year later…no end in sight when they might consider lifting the restrictions on sailing.”
In what has been good news for the port, cargo business has continued throughout the year. However, parking lots and passenger terminals remain empty. It’s not surprising that this has had a knock-on effect to hotels, taxis and other tourism trades in the area. Murray says, “It’s been devastating to the businesses here. You know the hotels, the tourism is just taking a hit, and we’ve got ground transportation drivers, Uber drivers, LYFT drivers, buses from Orlando, you name it,” Murray says.
As we previously reported here at MickeyBlog, as a result of losing its main source of revenue, port officials made the decision to reduce staff and freeze major projects.
However, the COVID-19 stimulus package that just passed, does include funding for Florida ports. Capt. Murray was quick to point out however that even with the stimulus, real relief won’t come until more Americans get vaccinated for COVID-19 and travel resumes.
“It’s going to take the industry months to get back up and running,” Murray says. “It’s not something that if they said the restrictions are lifted tomorrow, we’d have our first ship on the weekend. It’s not going to happen.”
We will continue to monitor the schedule sailings for Disney Cruise Line closely. Readers are encouraged to keep following along with us for further news and updates!
Get a Jumpstart On Your Travel Plans And Get A FREE Disney Gift Card!
Have you heard the news!? Walt Disney World vacation packages are currently available through June 2022! Book your 2022 stay with ME through May of 2021 and I’ll throw in a Disney Gift Card!* Plus 1 lucky family will be picked each month to receive a special in-room delivery from Disney Floral & Gifts! Simply fill out my form below to get your FREE, no obligation quote!
With new policies and procedures in place for next year, there’s never been a better time to work with an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner who can help you navigate through Disney World’s new way of doing things! Just fill out my form HERE to get your FREE, no-obligation quote. Alternatively, feel free to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow along on Facebook