Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez has assured cruise lines that when they are ready to sail again, the Florida city and its port would be ready to help them do so.
Gimenez added that Miami-Dade County would continue to support its cruise line partners.
"It is because of our partners that PortMiami is recognized as the Cruise Capital of the World."
In September, the Mayor urged the CDC agency to let cruise liners start roundtrip voyages out of PortMiami, citing the Mandatory Core Elements adopted by Cruise Line International Association (CLIA). The plan, along with a similar one put forth as a joint effort by NCLH-Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings and Royal Caribbean Group, focuses on 6 health and safety protocols that all liners will be required to use as their operating guidelines. The protocols include mandatory testing for all cruise passengers and crew, wearing masks when necessary onboard, social distancing, increased medical capabilities, shore excursions conducted under strict guidelines, and ventilation systems providing fresh air throughout the ship.
Currently, the CDC has extended the no-sail order through October 31, 2020.
The commitment of the Mayor to the cruise companies has been seen over and over again since the cruise industry was shut down back in March 2020. While other ports were turning cruise ships with ailing guests away, PortMiami FL was one of the only ports which allowed passengers to disembark. Up the coast of Florida, Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry said that he would not be accepting any cruise ships which had confirmed illnesses onboard.
Under the direction of the Mayor, PortMiami has also been waiving docking and port fees for cruise ships that enter the harbour for fuel and provisions during the shutdown.
In 2019, the port saw 6.8M cruise passengers pass through, providing a total of 27,500 jobs and contributing US$7.8 billion to the South Florida economy.