PORT CANAVERAL, Fla. — Whirring mixers and clanging metal lids are part of the kitchen overture at Rising Tide Tap and Table. For more than a year now
PORT CANAVERAL, Fla. — Whirring mixers and clanging metal lids are part of the kitchen overture at Rising Tide Tap and Table.
For more than a year now, a combination of COVID-19 pandemic restrictions and a struggle to bring back workers has been plaguing many restaurants.
But for this Port Canaveral eatery and others around it, another ingredient has been giving them a raw deal: a notable lack of cruises — and cruise passengers.
What You Need To Know
- Without cruises traffic, Port Canaveral business have struggled
- News that CDC released guidelines for cruises to resume boosts optimism at Port
- Space Coast Office of Tourism officials expect people to show interest in travel
“It’s not just the restaurants,” Rising Tide Tap and Table co-owner Rich Hensel said. “It’s all the way down to gas stations, to the hardware stores, to everywhere around us.
Thursday morning came with the long-awaited news that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention brought forth guidelines for the cruise lines to come back as early as mid-July.
One of those is requiring ships to have 98 percent of their crew and 95 percent of passengers be fully vaccinated.
“The cruise industry will be driven by international requirements, as opposed to state requirements,” Captain John Murray, Port Canaveral’s port director said. “Obviously, it’s something that we’ll have to work out with the Governor, but I don’t think that’s a big problem.
Peter Cranis of the Space Coast Office of Tourism said he believes the cruise industry will see a lot of immediate interest because a majority of the customers are older and are among the largest groups who are fully vaccinated.
Seeing a larger ripple effect will take some time, Cranis said.
“I think, realistically, it’s probably going to take six to eight months before you get a ramp-up to some of the levels that we had previously,” Cranis said.
Hensel said he is hoping that the return of cruises will be the rising tide the local economy needs.
“I think, as a whole, once we see those cruise ships come in, once we see other businesses and travel start to really blossom again, the vaccine ships or however they’re going to inundate the first few ships for travel is very important,” Hensel said. “And I think we can do it safely, and I think the port is ready for it.”