PORT CANAVERAL, Fla. — Even as a CDC ban on cruises continues, major U.S. cruise lines are accepting bookings for June trips out of Florida ports, a Spectrum News review has found.

What You Need To Know

  • Carnival, MSC, Royal Caribbean, Disney Cruise Line offer Florida bookings for June departure

  • Bookings come despite order from CDC that keeps passenger cruises docked indefinitely

  • Carnival tells Spectrum News it's "optimistic" for summer cruises with vaccinations ramping up

  • RELATED: DeSantis Calls on CDC to End Restrictions on US Cruise Lines

Carnival Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean International, for example, offer on their websites three-day trips from Port Canaveral to The Bahamas beginning June 4, June 11, and June 18, among various other cruises and dates.

Royal Caribbean also offers a seven-night Western Caribbean cruise out of Port of Tampa beginning June 5, plus two July cruises from Tampa.

MSC Cruises is offering four- and three-night bookings beginning June 6 and June 10, respectively, out of Port Canaveral.

Disney Cruise Line's website accepts bookings for four- and three-night Bahamas cruises from the same port beginning June 2 and June 4, respectively.

The June bookings come despite a Conditional Sailing Order from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that keeps passenger cruises docked indefinitely because of concerns about the coronavirus pandemic.

The bookings also come as Norwegian Cruise Line this month canceled all cruises through June.

In a statement Monday to Spectrum News, Carnival made clear it holds out hope for sailing clearance soon from the CDC. The company referred to a recent pledge from President Joe Biden that all U.S. adults would get access to COVID-19 vaccinations by May 1.

“While some cruise lines have announced cancellations for June, we have not made such a decision,” Carnival said in its statement. “With the promise that all Americans can be vaccinated by May, we are optimistic that we will see cruise travel resume in time for summer. In the meantime, we know guests are eager to confirm their vacation plans and we are committed to providing them options.”

The company said customers booked for June can cancel without penalty. It also said it has moved final payment deadlines for June cruises to April 30. 

Neither Royal Caribbean nor MSC responded to requests for comment Monday from Spectrum News.

Florida also boasts cruise ports in Jacksonville, Fort Lauderdale, and Miami, the world’s busiest. Port Canaveral touts itself as the world's second-busiest cruise port in multi-day embarkations.

On Friday, leaders from Carnival and Royal Caribbean joined representatives of other major cruise lines in a roundtable conversation on the topic at Port Canaveral, where Gov. Ron DeSantis urged the CDC to rescind sailing restrictions that he said threatened industry workers. Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody said at the event that the state would consider legal options.

The CDC issued its conditional sailing order in October, replacing a no-sail order from March and directing cruise lines to take steps to protect crews and passengers before they could resume sailing. The CDC said in its order that “unrestricted cruise ship travel would likely exacerbate and amplify the spread” of COVID-19.

Asked to comment Monday on the June bookings, CDC spokeswoman Jasmine Reed said in an email to Spectrum News: “On October 30, 2020, CDC issued Framework for Conditional Sailing Order (CSO) that remains in effect until November 1, 2021. Returning to passenger cruising is a phased approach to mitigate the risk of spreading COVID-19. Details for the next phase of the CSO are currently under interagency review.”

Yet Carnival said Monday its guest operations remained paused only through May 31.

“The timing for re-start in the U.S. continues to be uncertain,” Carnival said in its statement to Spectrum News. “The industry — through our trade association CLIA (Cruise Lines International Association) — has asked the CDC to amend the conditional sail order and allow cruising to begin this summer.”

This month, sister companies Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises announced they would offer cruise packages for June departure from islands outside the U.S.

In its statement to Spectrum News, Carnival said it didn’t plan to move its ships away from their U.S. home ports.

“We will continue to focus on returning to operations with our current homeport deployment,” the company said.