Carnival Cruise Line president Christine Duffy suggested that the large portion of families that sail with the line makes it hard to implement a vaccine mandate.

"Children under 12 are a big part of the cruise experience in a family vacation in the summer, and as it stands right now, we wouldn't be able to have kids under 12 onboard," Duffy told Lester Holt during an "NBC Nightly News" interview on May 17.

Duffy said in video for travel advisors posted in March that Carnival sails with more families and children than any other cruise line. None of the Covid-19 vaccines approved in the U.S. have been authorized for children under 12.

Duffy also questioned why cruise lines should implement vaccine requirements for passengers when other areas of travel and leisure are open without them.

Christine Duffy
Christine Duffy

"There's no mandate for any other business to have that requirement," Duffy said. "We certainly are encouraging everyone to get a vaccine."

Duffy also said that after a long period without meaningful communication, the CDC and the cruise industry are once again working together.

"So for a while we weren't, and we respect that," she told Holt. "Obviously, at the beginning, the focus really was on getting vaccine in arms. But they've come back to the table with us, and in early spring, I think, in earnest with us and with other inner-agency groups to really get clear on what guidelines and protocols are going to be required for us to sail again from U.S. ports."

Duffy said that the CDC and the cruise industry have  the "same goal in mind, as President Biden said. He wants to reopen America by the Fourth of July, and we want to make sure that the cruise industry can be part of that reopening of America."

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