In a major political win for Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, Royal Caribbean has backed down on the insistence that all passengers be vaccinated in order to sail. This is a major blow to vaccine passports being required.
On Friday, the Miami-based company issued a press release that it would now be recommending that customers get “the jab” before boarding but that those declining to do so would not be turned away. Instead, they would be subjected to testing as well as to adhere to “other protocols” which will be announced later.
The reversal comes after DeSantis refused to budge after threats by cruise lines that they would relocate if they were not allowed to mandate proof of vaccination. This would have been a violation of Florida’s new law banning vaccine passports in the Sunshine State.
“In Florida, your personal choice regarding vaccinations will be protected and no business or government entity will be able to deny you services based on your decision,” DeSantis said when he signed the bill into law last month.
The Republican governor has drawn raves from liberty-loving Americans along with vitriol from the left for his successful handling of the COVID crisis without the lockdowns favored by Dems. He responded to the cruise lines by vowing to hit them with $5,000 fines for each passenger asked to produce proof of vaccination.
That threat has already proven to be a successful negotiating tactic now that Royal Caribbean has run up the white flag of surrender to DeSantis. Now he can add another major victory to his already impressive resume.
Royal Caribbean's about-face on requiring vaccination for passengers is an apparent submission to Gov. Ron DeSantis.https://t.co/5a0HSUxvGv
— Taylor Dolven (@taydolven) June 4, 2021
According to the statement released by the cruise line, “Guests are strongly recommended to set sail fully vaccinated, if they are eligible. Those who are unvaccinated or unable to verify vaccination will be required to undergo testing and follow other protocols, which will be announced at a later date.”
Whether those “other protocols” will include different sections for vaccinated and unvaccinated guests is currently unknown. However, Democrat governors like Andrew Cuomo of New York and Jay Inslee of Washington have announced segregated seating at sports venues.
With DeSantis getting Royal Caribbean to bend to his will, he continues to demonstrate that he would be a formidable candidate for the GOP. That is, if former President Trump chooses not to mount another White House run in 2024.
First he would have to win reelection as Florida’s governor in 2022 which looks to be likely given the lack of solid opposition contenders. The likely challenger may be former governor Charlie Crist, the former Republican who transitioned to Democrat during the Obama years. However, he lost against now Senator Rick Scott in 2014, the first time that he ran for his new blue party.
There is also Florida’s agriculture secretary Nikki Fried, the only Democrat to hold a statewide office She has also declared her candidacy and is running on the already tiresome talking point of saving “democracy,” a horse that has long been flogged to death.
The closer we get to breaking the system in Florida, the harder they’ll try to break us. But they have no idea how determined we are to save our democracy. No idea.
— Nikki Fried (@NikkiFried) June 4, 2021
But DeSantis may have already sunk her battleship before it even got out of the harbor.
Florida Gov. DeSantis reacts to Agricultural Commissioner Nikki Fried announcing a run against him:
"She does nothing. All she does is emote on social media, virtue signal to small dollar donors in California and New York… I've done more I think in my first week as governor" pic.twitter.com/dKZ264N4by
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) June 3, 2021
“She does nothing. All she does is emote on social media, virtue signal to small dollar donors in California and New York… I’ve done more I think in my first week as governor,” DeSantis said.
The Dems’ best hope of defeating DeSantis was former Tallahassee Mayor and CNN analyst Andrew Gillum who nearly won in 2018. However, he saw his political career die when he was caught having a drug-fueled tryst with a gay male escort in a Miami Beach hotel room last year. It would seem all that they have are chumps and DeSantis will chew them up and spit them out.
Norwegian, the other major cruise line that threatened to leave Florida if they couldn’t require vaccine passports has yet to announce whether they will follow Royal Caribbean’s lead.