TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — The cruise drought is over.

After 15 months, cruising has returned to the United States. Royal Caribbean’s Celebrity Edge set sail from Port Everglades Saturday night.

It’s the first passenger cruise since last March.

Passengers are reportedly socially distanced on Celebrity Edge. The ship is only at 40% capacity. Celebrity Cruises, one of Royal Caribbean Cruise’s brands, says 99% of the passengers are vaccinated.

The earliest cruise to leave Tampa is Royal Caribbean on Sept. 4. It will visit Key West and the Bahamas.

A federal judge recently sided with Gov. Ron DeSantis in his lawsuit against the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The judge ruled the CDC’s requirement that the majority of staff and passengers are vaccinated for cruises to set sail is an overstep of its power.

That means starting July 18, cruises can set sail again from Florida ports without having to follow CDC guidelines.



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