LONG BEACH, Calif. (AP) — A cruise ship headed for the Mexican Riviera set sail from the Port of Long Beach on Saturday — the first cruise ship to depart from California in 17 months.
Carnival Corp. says the Carnival Panorama is on a seven-day voyage and will stop in the Mexican ports of Cabo San Lucas and Mazatlan before returning to Long Beach.
Hard-hit by the pandemic, the cruise industry has battled the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention over health requirements for resuming sailing in U.S. waters.
The company says its operational protocols exceed CDC recommendations.
They include having all employees vaccinated and requiring all passengers to show a negative COVID-19 test.
Passengers must be vaccinated, but the company will allow “a small number of exemptions” for those unable to get the vaccine, including children under 12 who are not yet eligible. Those who are unvaccinated will have to follow additional precautions, according to Carnival’s COVID-19 guest protocols.