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First cruise leaves the Baltimore port in 18 months

Posted at 9:56 PM, Sep 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-12 23:53:25-04

BALTIMORE — Right now there is a cruise ship full of people excited to take their first trip out of the Port of Baltimore.

Their trip will look a lot different during the pandemic wit new regulations in place.

Carnival is branding this trip as “The Funs back on” and calling them vaccine cruises.

Today new regulations were put in place requiring just about everyone who got on the boat to get a vaccine.

“I’m very excited, it’s been 18 months, I think,” said Don Koller. “We had 6 trips planned and they were all canceled so my wife and I are very excited to get back on the ship.”

But before these travelers could come aboard the cruise line they had a lengthy checklist for what they are calling vaccinated cruises.

It starts with the crew-- they are all required to be fully vaccinated.

“They have been working very very hard as you can imagine to keep the ship- ship shape and to implement all of the protocols that we have put in place to protect your health and safety,” said Christine Duffy, the President of Carnival Cruise Lines.

Guests need to have gotten the second dose of a vaccine two weeks prior to the day the cruise takes off.

A new policy that started Sunday--vaccinated guests have to present a negative test 3 days before the trip.

The only people who can get on one of these ships without a vaccine are a select few children under the age of 12 who can't get the vaccine yet.

And adults with a letter from a doctor saying they can't get the vaccine because of a medical condition.

Bill Doyle, the Port of Baltimore Executive Director says the return of cruises will make a huge impact on the local economy.
“There are so many agreements that we had to draft and redraft and put in place in order to get these cruise ships back into the Port of Baltimore,” Doyle said.

Cruises restarted in June nationwide.

In August a 77-year-old woman died after testing positive for COVID-19 while on a Carnival Cruise that left out of Texas.

27 vaccinated people tested positive for covid-19 on that cruise.
As the ship set sail into the sunset—Everyone we talked to says the risk is worth the reward of the trip.

“We were just on a cruise last month out of Galveston, a Carnival Cruise,” said Sue Profili. “I’ve been on 37 cruises.”

This was the 9th of the 24 Carnival cruise ships to restart so far.
For more information on cruises head to our website at or the Carnival website here.