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On Cruises That Allow Them, the Unvaccinated Are Second-Class Citizens

A way forward has emerged for some cruise companies. And few people are happy about it. 

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Cruise Ship Leaves U.S. Port for First Time in 15 Months

Royal Caribbean’s 4,275-passenger Freedom of the Seas has restarted sailings from Miami to the Bahamas with two classes of passengers on board—those who’ve been vaccinated against Covid-19, and those who have not. Jabbed guests, identified with special wristbands, get full run of the ship; those unprotected from the virus won’t even be able to walk into the sushi bar, casino, or spa.

Freedom is the first ship to depart the U.S. without a vaccination requirement, and it’s also the first to depart from the nation’s cruise capital of Miami. For all the city’s influence on the cruising industry, it’s also proved to be a difficult place to restart business, given that Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has barred businesses from requiring vaccine cards.