Ruling keeps Carnival plan to cruise by Dec. 1 on track

Carnival Corporation is still on track to resume cruises in the U.S. on Dec. 1 after a favorable ruling from a federal judge Wednesday.

The company, on probation since 2017 after pleading guilty to dumping oil into the ocean for several years, will have to attest to the environmental protection status of each of the company’s cruise ships 30 days before they reenter U.S. waters to restart cruises, according to the order from U.S. District Judge for the Southern District of Florida Patricia Seitz.

Carnival Corp. successfully fended off a stricter order proposed by the judge at a hearing on Friday that would have required ships to get her approval 60 days before reentering U.S. waters — which would have essentially derailed its plans to restart cruises from PortMiami and Port Canaveral on Dec. 1. For ships returning to U.S. waters before Dec. 31, the company can file its certification up to seven days after returning, Wednesday’s order said.

In June, Carnival Corp. removed all of its ships from U.S. waters, partly due to a disagreement with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention about how to best mitigate COVID-19 spread on board. The CDC banned cruises in mid-March amid COVID-19 outbreaks on multiple cruise ships, and their current ban remains in effect until Oct. 31.

Now, as the company brings ships back, CEO Arnold Donald will have to notify the court of the status of each ship’s pollution prevention equipment, spare parts, staffing, voyage planning software, and v....

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