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First Revenue Cruise From U.S. Sails From Port Everglades

06262021 celebrity edge passengers.jpeg
Marta Lavandier
/
AP
Orchid Klaric, left, assists Brenda and Kurt Duncan of Denver, with checking into their cruise, Saturday, June 26, 2021, in Fort Lauderdale. Celebrity Edge is the first cruise ship to leave a U.S. port since the coronavirus pandemic brought the industry to a 15-month standstill. Many passengers arrived with matching T-shirts that read phrases such as “straight outta vaccination” and “vaccinated and ready to cruise.”

Celebrity Edge departed from Fort Lauderdale at 40% capacity, and with virtually all passengers vaccinated against COVID-19.

The first cruise ship with paying passengers to leave a U.S. port since the coronavirus pandemic brought the industry to a 15-month standstill sailed on Saturday a seven-night Caribbean voyage.

Celebrity Edge departed from Fort Lauderdale's Port Everglades at 40 percent capacity, and with virtually all passengers vaccinated against COVID-19.

Celebrity Cruises says the ship meets health requirements from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that require at least 95% of the travelers to be fully vaccinated.

To comply with the CDC’s requirement and a new Florida law banning businesses from requiring customers to show proof of vaccination, Celebrity Cruises asked guests if they would like to share their vaccination status.

Those who did not show or say they are vaccinated "will be treated as unvaccinated and subject to additional protocols, restrictions and costs for COVID-19 testing," according to new Celebrity travel requirements.

A federal judge essentially upheld the Florida law in a preliminary injunction issued this month. The ruling, which came in the state’s legal challenge to the CDC's authority, takes effect July 18.

The Celebrity Edge is led by Capt. Kate McCue, the first American woman to captain a cruise ship.