A court case in Florida might not only decide the financial fate of America’s cruise industry, in ports from Miami to Anchorage, but also the political fate of a governor (and 2024 presidential contender) who now finds himself caught in its wake.

Beyond the lawsuit, the overriding issue is whether cruise lines can mandate vaccinations and other safety measures if they conflict with state law. Meanwhile, an industry nearly shuttered by COVID-19 is held at anchor while solutions are held at bay.  

Florida, home to the world’s largest cruise terminal Port Miami (with 6.8 million annual passengers, 22 cruise lines pre-pandemic),is at the epicenter of this square-off over who gets to make the call – the federal government, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the state or the companies themselves.

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