What happened

Shares of cruise ship operator Carnival Corporation (NYSE:CCL) (NYSE:CUK) stock are bouncing back Monday, up 3.3% as of 12:35 p.m. EDT. The move comes in response to news late Friday that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit has reversed its previous ruling that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention could enforce its Conditional Sail Order, setting restrictions on whether cruise lines could sail carrying unvaccinated passengers after July 18.    

So what

To be clear, this reversal means that the CDC now cannot enforce that order, and the cruise lines can sail with unvaccinated passengers -- at least in Florida. Or as CruiseIndustryNews.com reported on Friday, "it means the cruise industry can quickly resume sailing out of Florida in scale."

And Reuters is out today with a story agreeing with CIN's assessment, calling the appeals court's decision a "win for Florida."  

Cruise ship at sea.

Image source: Getty Images.

Now what

What does this mean for Carnival? In a nutshell, it means Florida can forbid Carnival requiring passengers to show proof of vaccination against COVID-19 before boarding. Or, flipping the card around, it means that when sailing out of Florida, Carnival doesn't have to card its passengers.

To the extent that, after 16 months of dealing with the coronavirus, Carnival is now able to rely upon its own judgment in keeping its passengers and crew safe from the disease, and doesn't have to take instructions from the CDC, that makes this a win for Carnival -- and a step closer to fully reopening its business, and getting its revenue rising again.

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.