Key West to vote on barring big cruise ships

Royal Caribbean's Brilliance of the Seas cruise ship is seen February 14, 2016 in the Port of Key West in Key West, Florida. (Photo credit: KAREN BLEIER/AFP via Getty Images)

Key West, Florida, will vote on limiting cruise ships disembarkations in 2021 because of coronavirus after a group called Key West Citizens for Safer Cleaner Ships called for changes in the tourism-heavy state.

Meanwhile, the town council in Bar Harbor, Maine, recently voted to block cruise ships for the rest of 2020, News Center Maine reported.

The local pushback on cruise ships is another hurdle for cruise lines that have repeatedly postponed sailings.

"We're disappointed with Bar Harbor's decision," American Cruise Lines Vice President Paul Taiclet said, according to News Center Maine. "We wouldn't be making any effort to operate if we didn't feel like we could keep the citizens of Maine safe."

Related: Carnival Cruise Line cancels all sailings until October amid coronavirus pandemic

Key West Citizens for Safer Cleaner Ships successfully pushed for a November referendum on disembarkations, Cruise Industry News reported.

The group is calling for:

-Limiting passengers disembarking from cruise ships to a total of 1,500 people per day.

-Prohibiting cruise ships with a capacity of 1,300 or more passengers from disembarking.

-Giving priority to cruise lines with the best environmental and health records.

Nearly 400 cruise ships carrying 1.2 million passengers visited Key West in 2019, according to the Miami Herald.

Read updates at