What happened

It's another day ... and another bad day for investors in Carnival Corporation (NYSE:CCL), Royal Caribbean (NYSE:RCL), and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings (NYSE:NCLH), with all three stocks dropping as of noon EDT.

Yesterday, as you may have heard, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) officially extended its controversial no-sail order for the cruise industry by another month, through Oct. 31. That actually should have been good news for the cruise industry, as it's been reported that the CDC wanted to postpone cruising into 2021, but was overruled by Vice President Pence.  

This is not how things are working out, however -- and I think you can blame Carnival itself for that.

Three cruise ships lined up abreast in port

Cruise line stocks will remain in port for the time being. Image source: Getty Images.

So what

Notwithstanding CDC's de facto permission to resume cruising in November, yesterday Carnival announced that it is in fact canceling almost all of its cruises out of U.S. ports through the end of this year.

There are exceptions, notably cruises departing from Miami and Port Canaveral in Florida, which may leave port once the CDC permits them to do so. But, says Carnival, those departures "are still not certain." Carnival has canceled several sailings throughout 2021 -- and even in spring 2022!    

Now what

About the only good news for cruise investors today: Investors who were perhaps bracing for a CDC decision to extend its no-sail order into 2021 anyway don't appear to be too upset over the cruise lines (or at least, so far, one cruise line) postponing into 2021 voluntarily.

Despite the potential for cruising being delayed into next year, as of noon, shares of Carnival Corporation are down only 2%, and Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise are down 2.8% each.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.