Cruise Line Workers Call on CDC to let "No-Sail" Order Expire.
March 22nd, 2021
Cruise Lines Fear Another Lost Summer
Industry has been idled while awaiting a green light from CDC; port workers are among those affected.
Cruise Lines Fear Another Lost SummerJulie Bykowicz and Ted Mann | Photographs by Octavio Jones for The Wall Street Journal
PORT CANAVERAL, Fla.—Terminal Three, a cavernous $155 million structure built for Carnival Cruises, is decked out with the company’s signature blue paint, hundreds of beechwood seats and a posh VIP room with table lamps so new that sales tags still hang from some.
It sits empty, near vast, vacant parking lots and fleets of idle shuttle buses. Sparsely populated hotels and restaurants surround what was once the world’s second-busiest cruising port. Waylaid port workers scrape by on a mix of low-paying odd jobs and government help.
“I never thought I would be standing in a food line for hours,” said James Cox, a 50-year-old porter, who used to earn $27 an hour wrangling passengers and their luggage. “Just the degradation of it. You say to yourself, ‘Wow, I am really at this point.’ ”
Like the rest of the maritime tourism industry, Port Canaveral was mothballed at the start of the coronavirus pandemic. One year on, as other parts of the economy blink back to life, the U.S. cruise industry is waiting anxiously for Washington’s go-ahead to sail again—and worried that a second summer season is about to be lost.
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