List of Experts on Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Line's COVID 19 Panel


In March 2020, COVID-19 brought cruise operations to a halt. We're now mid-July 2020 and nothing has changed. Royal Caribbean has currently suspended sailings through September 15, 2020. We're seeing some cruises canceled through Spring of 2021. Some cancellations are due to coronavirus; others are due to ports being closed or US travelers being banned from certain countries. Coronavirus has also impacted the supply chain for ship construction, so some sailings may be canceled if final touches aren't complete in time.


As the number of COVID cases in the United States continues to rise, travel experts are growing more and more concerned. In an effort to make cruising work in the "new normal" (I hate that phrase just as much as you do, stay with me), Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Line have joined forces to create a panel of experts. This panel consists of 9 health experts and 2 advisors.


According to the Miami Herald, five (5) out of the eleven (11) experts on this panel are working at or with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).


Here are the experts:


Dr. Scott Gottlieb


Photo Credit: Wikipedia

  • Resident Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute

  • CNBC Contributor

  • Former FDA (Food and Drug Administration) Commissioner

  • Former staff writer of the British Medical Journal

  • Named one of the "Top 40 Transformers In Healthcare” in 2019 by Medical Marketing & Media Magazine

  • For more about Dr. Scott Gottlieb, click here

  • Follow him on Twitter








Mike Leavitt


Photo Credit: Wikipedia

  • Former Utah Governor (Republican, Served 1993-2003)

  • Former Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency

  • Served as Secretary of Health and Human Services under George W. Bush

  • For more about Mike Leavitt, click here

  • Follow him on Twitter






Dr. Helene Gayle, M.D., M.P.H.



  • CEO of Chicago Community Trust

  • Served as chair of the Obama Administration's Presidental Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS

  • Former President & CEO of McKinsey Social Initiative

  • Former President & CEO of CARE organization (2006-2015)

  • 20 years at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

  • Listed by Forbes as one of the "Most Powerful 100 Women in the World"

  • For more information about Dr. Helene Gayle, click here

  • Follow her on Twitter








Julie Gerberding, M.D., M.P.H.



  • American Infectious Disease Expert

  • Executive Vice President and Chief Patient Officer for Merck

  • Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine at Emory University and an Associate Professor of Medicine (Infectious Diseases) at the University of California, San Francisco

  • Former Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

  • Former Administrator of the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry

  • For more information about Julie Gerberding, click here

  • No Twitter account found





Dr. Steven Hinrichs, M.D.



  • Professor and Chair of the Department of Pathology and Microbiology at the University of Nebraska

  • Director of Nebraska Public Health Laboratory

  • Director of University of Nebraska Center for Biosecurity

  • For more information about Dr. Steven Hinrichs, click here

  • No Twitter account found.








Michael Osterholm, M.D., P.h.D.


  • Infectious Disease Epidemiologist

  • Director for Center of Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota

  • Currently running a COVID-19 Podcast

  • Co-Author of Deadliest Enemy: Our War Against Killer Germs

  • Has won six (6) different awards for his research from the National Institute of Health and the CDC

  • For more information about Michael Osterholm, click here

  • Follow him on Twitter







Stephen Ostroff, M.D.



  • Acting Commissioner of the FDA in 2015-2016

  • Has worked at the CDC, the US Public Health Service, and at the Bureau of Epidemiology of Pennsylvania

  • For more information about Stephen Ostroff, click here

  • No Twitter account found






William Rutala, P.h.D., M.S., M.P.H.



  • Director and Co-Founder of the Statewide Program for Infection Control and Epidemiology

  • Professor at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine

  • For more information about William Rutala, click here

  • No Twitter account found






Kate Walsh, P.h.D









Captain Patrik Dahlgren


  • Senior Vice President of Global Marine Operations and Fleet Optimization for all Royal Caribbean Group global brands

  • For more information about Captain Patrik Dahlgren, click here: http://sacc-sfl.org/patrik-dahlgren-at-royal-caribbean/

  • Follow him on Twitter: @captaindahlgren






Robin Lindsay



  • Executive Vice President of Vessel Operations for Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd.

  • For more information about Robin Lindsay, click here

  • No Twitter account found



According to CNBC, this panel will present its recommendations by August. The experts on this panel will be paid and Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Line are planning on splitting the cost.


About the Author:


I'm Anna Mills - a travel agent, blogger, and author of the book "100 Ways to Make Travel More Affordable". I have been a guest on the Trip Sister's Podcast and TripScout's Roadtrip Expert Panel. You may have seen me in Texas Lifestyle Magazine, Opploans.com, or as a Rising Star for Travel Market Report.

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