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Cruise lines call on passengers to ask Congress to restart US cruising

April 09, 2021
3 min read
Celebrity Apex
Cruise lines call on passengers to ask Congress to restart US cruising
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I love seeing messages from Celebrity Cruises' Captain's Club in my email inbox. They're usually filled with interesting tidbits about destinations on forthcoming voyages or ways to earn extra loyalty points. But, the note I got today was different.

Celebrity Cruises asks that I -- and all of its past and future passengers -- reach out to our elected officials in the Congress and Senate to urge them to restart cruising from U.S. homeports.

The email says, in part, that "Cruising remains the only sector of the economy that is prohibited by the U.S. Government from operating at this time." This is due to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Conditional Sailing Order, which bans cruise ships from sailing from ports in this country.

This has been a great source of frustration not only to cruise lines and cruise fans but also to the State of Florida, where many homeports, such as Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Port Canaveral, are located. On Thursday, TPG reported that the state of Florida had filed suit against the federal government to force it to allow cruise lines to resume sailing out of U.S. ports.

Celebrity and the Sunshine State aren't alone in this fight, though. Major players in the industry, from Norwegian Cruise Line to Royal Caribbean to the industry's CLIA association, are all asking Congress to take action. They believe it's necessary to restart cruising from U.S. ports and their customers agree. According to Celebrity's email, more than 300,000 jobs have been lost in the U.S. because of the suspension of cruise travel.

Screenshot from Celebrity Cruises' email

While some cruise lines, such as Royal Caribbean, Celebrity Cruises, Crystal Cruises, Viking Cruises, Seabourn and Silversea, have put summertime sailings on their books, none of them can embark from a U.S. port due to the CDC's Conditional Sail Order.

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If you want to sail this summer, you're jetting off to ports in Bermuda, the Bahamas, the Caribbean, Iceland or Greece.

Cruise lines are asking the House, Senate and the Biden administration to lift the CDC's Conditional Sailing Order by this July.

It appears that the cruise lines may have some support from U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. At a White House briefing today, he said, "The CDC is hopeful that a lot of these operators will be able to be cruising by mid-summer. We want to do this as soon as we responsibly can, but we want to be safe."

If you want to weigh in on this issue, CLIA's Action Center makes it easy to do so. In addition to explaining the issue, it offers a template where you can enter your information to email your thoughts to your U.S. senators and representatives.

There's also a tab if you want to take your message to Twitter and information on how to call your representatives if you prefer to literally voice your opinion.

Featured image by The Celebrity Cruises ship Celebrity Apex. (Photo courtesy of Celebrity Cruises)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Apply for American Express® Gold Card
at American Express's secure site
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
Best for the well-traveled foodie
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
3XEarn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

    60,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $250
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

Pros

  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x)
  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees