It's over folks.
In a news release touting "comeback for summer sales", Royal Caribbean said guests were strongly recommended to set sail fully vaccinated.
However, those who were unvaccinated or unable to verify vaccination would have to go through testing and other protocols, which the cruise line said it would announce at a later date.
Which will be, I predict... nothing.
And here's why -- Florida's law as of July 1st, which is before their first sailing, fines businesses $5,000 for each person who they demand evidence of vaccination from.
So no, they can't ask in a way that matters. If they try to segregate you in that fashion it's $5,000 per person who they obtain the information from and use. If they attempt to play fast and loose with this they'll lose. Notice they're not talking about what protocols and testing at this time -- it's simply yet another threat to try to get you to take the jab.
These ships hold thousands; this is thus a several million dollar fine per sailing. Ain't gonna happen.
I'll bet Carnival will be right behind them, and in addition there's another wrinkle too; nobody as customers are going to put up with constraints on shipboard life, such as masks and such. If it's not the experience people expect, especially considering that there's none of that crap anywhere else in the country anymore there will be lots of empty ships and bankrupt cruise lines.
Oh sure, some of the old folks will go anyway, and not care.
But not many, especially if there are "social distancing" and "mask" requirements. I personally like cruises but I will not book anything if I will be expected to wear masks, distance and cannot go to the buffet, bar, casino or lounge in the hottub with a drink. Sorry, that's non-negotiable and I'm not taking the jab either. It's my money and if you want it you will provide the experience I expect and have had in the past or I'll spend the money somewhere else. I will not considering booking such a cruise until and unless it is clear I'll get that experience and the representation is made in writing and thus is enforceable.
I predicted the crazy would end, and it is.
It's not completely over yet, but it only takes one leg to get kicked out from under a three-legged stool and it's over.
All of this has gone one direction now for months. Expecting it to not continue, including the folding of those screaming for "muuuuhhhh mandates!" is the wrong-way bet. Place it if you'd like but I'll take the under on that.