Despite the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s ban on sailing through November, several cruise lines are taking bookings for June from U.S. ports in hopes that the agency will lift its order before the fall date.

Royal Caribbean International, Carnival Cruise Line, MSC Cruises, and Disney Cruise Line are all currently taking bookings for sailings in June from Port Canaveral and Tampa, Florida, ports after suspending their operations last year due to the coronavirus pandemicSpectrum News in Orlando reports.

The CDC issued a no-sail order from the U.S. over concerns of the coronavirus last March. In October, it updated it to a conditional sailing order with a November 2021 return to cruising date, but cruise lines are now putting pressure on the agency to revise once it as they are anxious to resume their operations.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has been a strong supporter of easing back the CDC’s sailing order, urging the agency to remove the restriction on the cruise lines, which he said threatens industry workers.

“To say that you can’t sail by the time we get to the end of June, the CDC is basically saying the vaccines don’t work then,” said DeSantis, WFLA, an NBC affiliate out of Tampa, reported. “They’re basically anti-vaxxers.”

Last week, Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody said at a roundtable conversation with members of several major cruise lines that the state would consider legal action against the CDC if it did not rescind the sailing order, Spectrum News reported.

“The rationale...is based on outdated data and guidelines put in place before we had a COVID-19 vaccine,” Moody said, according to WFLA.

CDC spokeswoman Jasmine Reed told Spectrum News of the June bookings in an email, “On Oct. 30, 2020, CDC issued Framework for Conditional Sailing Order (CSO) that remains in effect until Nov. 1, 2021. Returning to passenger cruising is a phased approach to mitigate the risk of spreading COVID-19. Details for the next phase of the CSO are currently under interagency review.”

In a statement to Spectrum News, Carnival said it was "optimistic" cruising would resume this summer, citing President Biden’s pledge to roll out the COVID vaccine to all U.S. adults by May 1. 

“While some cruise lines have announced cancellations for June, we have not made such a decision," the cruise line said. "With the promise that all Americans can be vaccinated by May, we are optimistic that we will see cruise travel resume in time for summer. In the meantime, we know guests are eager to confirm their vacation plans and we are committed to providing them options.”

Royal Caribbean has made it mandatory for all passengers and crew over the age of 18 to be fully vaccinated in order to board its ships. The move by the cruise line caused a backlash on social media and resulted in boycott threats as some people said they did not want to choose between cruising and a vaccine they claimed was “experimental.”

Royal Caribbean, like several other cruise lines, has implemented a number of other measures to ensure that its ships are safe from the spread of the coronavirus. Cruise industry leaders have said that they have adopted as many as 74 science-based recommendations to make their ships healthy for sailing, WFLA reported. They also point to cruise ships operating outside the U.S. that have not had any virus outbreaks.

Carnival told Spectrum that it is allowing customers that book the June cruises to cancel without penalty, moving the final payment deadline to April 30.

It was unclear at press time how the other cruise lines are handling their June bookings.

Cruise lines are hoping that new, tighter protocols will allow them to control the still-lingering threat of coronavirus aboard its ships A cruise line ship is pictured. Photo: AFP / Miguel MEDINA