Norwegian Cruise can require Florida passengers to be vaccinated, decide guidelines

Norwegian Dawn from Norwegian Cruise Line

Paul Marotta | Getty Images

Norwegian Cruise Line said Sunday that a federal judge ruled to temporarily suspend enforcement of a law in Florida that prohibits companies from requiring customers to provide proof of vaccination.

U.S. District Judge Kathleen Williams issued the injunction that allowed Norwegian to request vaccine documents from customers while the case is on trial. The Norwegian Gem is scheduled to leave Miami on August 15th. It’s the cruise line’s first trip out of the state since the pandemic shut down the cruise industry more than a year ago.

Infection numbers in Florida have increased 51% in the last seven days, according to Johns Hopkins University. The state reported 134,506 new Covid cases from July 30 to August 5, more than any other 7-day period tracked by the JHU, and the positivity of new cases is 18.9%.

“It’s scary what’s happening in Florida,” said Derek Shaffer, an attorney for Norwegian Cruise Line, during a trial Friday to seek the injunction. “All of Florida is a hot spot … All we do is protect our employees and passengers.”

Norwegian CEO Frank Del Rio said the company is trying to keep passengers and crew members safe.

“The health and safety of our guests, our crew and the communities we visit is our top priority today, tomorrow and forever,” Del Rio said in a statement on Sunday. “It’s not a tagline or a tagline, we mean business, and our commitment to these principles is demonstrated by the effort our company has put into providing the safest cruise experience possible from Florida.”

On Friday, Florida attorney Pete Patterson said the law protects customers’ civil liberties and prevents companies from discriminating against unvaccinated people.

“You can’t discriminate against customers for refusing to give you information,” Patterson said.

Had the cruise line not received the injunction and continued to request proof of vaccination for the upcoming trip, it could have been prosecuted under Florida law and fined up to $ 5,000 per passenger.

In his argument, Shaffer said that “no cruise line in Norwegian ‘s position can afford” to withstand a fine of this magnitude. Shaffer claimed Florida lawmakers wanted “political points” in the vaccination debate.

If the law stays in place, the cruise operator could be forced to cancel upcoming cruises or “sail in a way that’s worse for our passengers and crew,” Shaffer said.

The company that operates the Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises brands, filed suit against Florida surgeon general challenged the law in July.

Norwegian attorney said the company had waited to file the lawsuit pending a federal appeals court ruling on another Florida case against the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The court sided with Florida, which claimed the CDC’s cruise ship regulations were too burdensome and cost millions of dollars in tax revenue.

The cruise operator plans that all guests and crew members on its trips are fully vaccinated and must have Covid-19 tests before embarkation.

On Friday, Norwegian announced that its second quarter loss rose to $ 717.8 million, or $ 1.94 per share, on revenue from $ 4.37 million. The company expects further losses until the shipping company can resume its regular trips.

Norwegian Cruise Line (NCLH) Q2 2021 earnings beat

The cruise ship Norwegian Dawn will dock in the French Mediterranean port of Marseille on July 27, 2021.

Gerard Bottino | SOPA pictures | LightRakete | Getty Images

Norwegian Cruise Line announced mixed second quarter results on Friday as future bookings ahead of the first US cruise remained strong since last year.

On Saturday, Norwegian Encore sails from Seattle to Alaska. The cruise operator plans to bring 40% of its fleet capacity into operation by the end of the third quarter and 75% by the end of the year. The company plans to resume full capacity by April 1st.

It will require that all passengers of all three brands be vaccinated.

“We are ready and eager to welcome guests back on board and continue to see an incredible strength in our booking trends for future cruises,” said President and CEO Frank Del Rio.

The company’s shares rose more than 2% in pre-trading hours.

The company performed in the second quarter ended June 30, compared to the expectations of the analysts surveyed by Refinitiv:

  • Loss per share: $ 1.93 adjusted vs. $ 1.97 expected
  • revenue: $ 4.37 million versus the expected $ 10 million

For the second quarter, the company recorded a net loss of $ 717.8 million, or $ 1.94 per share, compared to a loss of $ 715.2 million, or $ 2.99 per share, last year.

With no items, the company lost $ 1.93 per share, which was less than the loss of $ 1.97 per share expected by analysts surveyed by Refinitiv.

Revenue fell to $ 4.37 million, well below the $ 10 million analysts had expected.

However, the company said bookings for 2022, taking into account future cruise credits, are well above the 2019 records.

As of the end of the second quarter, the cruise operator had pre-sale tickets valued at $ 1.4 billion, including $ 800 million from future cruise credits.

As it prepared to go back online, the company had average monthly cash usage during the quarter of $ 200 million, which is higher than last quarter’s value and previous forecast of $ 190 million. The company expects a monthly cash burn rate of $ 285 million for the third quarter, excluding cash inflow from new and existing bookings.

The company expects to report a net loss in the third quarter and beyond until it can resume regular travel.

“As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the company is unable to estimate with any certainty the impact it will have on its business, financial condition, or short or long-term financial or operating results,” Norwegian Cruise Line said in a press release.

Norwegian Cruise Line’s shares are down nearly 5% this year as the cruise industry remained closed due to Covid-19.

There were several at the height of the pandemic Sensational outbreaks on board ships This led the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to impose harsh restrictions on cruise lines.

Cruise stocks rose earlier this year, as vaccinations raised hope for an industry recovery, but the proliferation of the highly contagious Delta variant in recent weeks has reversed the trend in the stock.

Last month, Norwegian Cruise Line filed a lawsuit against the Florida surgeon general End the law of the state that prohibits companies from requiring customers to provide proof of vaccination. In the court filing, the company said it wants its guests to show proof of vaccination on all cruises.

The company’s first scheduled departure from Florida is August 15, which Norwegian says will be a 100% vaccinated cruise.

“The company has been unable to work with the state of Florida to find a mutually acceptable solution that would allow them to request proof of guests’ vaccination status prior to boarding Florida cruises,” Norwegian said in a press release. “[At Friday’s hearing,] the company hopes to have additional clarity shortly on its path to resume sailing from Florida. “

Cramer’s Mad Cash Recap: Walmart, Norwegian, Disney

The baton was passed down to the travel and leisure names from the holdings-at-home stocks, Jim Cramer told Mad Money viewers Tuesday. But it’s not too late to take advantage of the switch, added Cramer, as many of these stocks are just getting started.

Tuesday we heard from a number of retailers, including Walmart ((WMT) – Get the report, Home Depot ((HD) – Get the report and Macy’s ((M.) – Get the reportAll of this told us that consumers are doing America’s favorite thing to do, shopping. And while Home Depot stocks fell 1%, Cramer only proves that consumers are moving from spending on their homes to spending on everything else. Most interesting, however, was Macy’s, which told investors that luggage was one of the hottest categories this quarter.

So Cramer said it was time to buy Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings ((NCLH) – Get the reportwho eventually got permission to sail again. He also recommended Wynn Resorts ((WYNN) – Get the report as a play about Las Vegas and Walt Disney ((DIS) – Get the report that will benefit from the reopening of movies, theme parks and cruises.

Cramer was also optimistic about AMC Entertainment ((AMC) – Get the report and Airbnb ((ABNB) – Get the report following the company’s recent secondary offering of shares. Beauty is also a hot category with Ulta Beauty ((ULTA) – Get the report Make Cramer’s list with Estee Lauder ((THE) – Get the report.

As for the rest of the market, it remains difficult to read, with the exception of cybersecurity which is all the rage. One stock that isn’t particularly hot is AT&T. ((T.) – Get the reportThat fell 5.8% as shareholders rebelled against the company’s decision to cut its dividend to fund the Warner Media spin-off.

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At the time of publication, Cramers Action Alerts PLUS held a position in WMT, DIS.