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Norwegian Gem Sets Sails From PortMiami For 1st Time Since Start Of COVID Pandemic

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Norwegian Cruise Line held its first departure from PortMiami since the start of the pandemic.

"We are just excited and excited to travel. Eat especially. We have been locked up for a while and it's good to finally get out," said travelers Isabella and Jason Banos.

Travelers from Miami and across the U.S. couldn't wait to set sail on the Norwegian Gem.

Norwegian is now requiring all passengers and crew to show proof of vaccination before embarking on a trip.

And travelers on the Gem didn't seem to mind.

"It is just important. It will help maintain peace and serenity and we can travel safely," said passenger Wendy Martinez.

Norwegian Gem
The Norwegian Gem (Courtesy of Norwegian Cruise Line)

Almost a week ago, a federal judge temporarily blocked the Florida law that prevented cruise lines from requiring passengers to prove they are vaccinated against COVID-19.

In a nearly 60-page ruling, the judge said the state failed to "provide a valid evidentiary, factual, or legal predicate" for banning requirements that passengers prove they have been vaccinated.

Norwegian showed that suspending the requirement will jeopardize public health on their ships.

Passengers say other cruise lines should do the same.

"It brings you a peace of mind that everyone is protected some sort," said traveler Diego Martinez.

The "vaccine passport" ban was signed into law by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who said proof of vaccination fails to protect one's medical privacy.

The state of Florida did sue the CDC for seeking to block federal cruise ship vaccination requirements.

The CDC lost the appeal but made its guidelines nonbinding.

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