Two cruise ships will dock in Fort Lauderdale after all, after having been denied entry at other ports around the world. On Tuesday, the plight of Holland America cruise liners Zaandam and Rotterdam captured the attention of the country when Donald Trump declared that Florida and the US could not just allow the two to become “ghost ships.”
Prior to that, Florida governor Ron DeSantis had balked at having new coronavirus cases introduced into Florida’s health-care system. Last night, DeSantis had a change of heart — regarding Floridians on the ships, anyway:
“My concern is that we have worked so hard to make sure we have adequate hospital space in the event of a Covid-19 surge, we wouldn’t want those valuable beds to be taken because of the cruise ship,” DeSantis said.
There are 808 guests and 583 crew on the Rotterdam and 442 guests and 603 crew on the Zaandam, according to Holland America. There are 311 American citizens, including 52 Floridians.
DeSantis expressed concerns about taking in others given the state’s limited hospital beds.
“We are going to be willing to accept Floridians on board,” he told reporters. “My understanding is most of the passengers are foreign nationals.”