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Cruise Lines International Association, which represents 95% of the cruise industry, introduced mandatory requirements to be able to set sail again. USA TODAY

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Arnold Donald, the CEO of Carnival Corp., expects that the company's cruise lines will be sailing by the end of the year in U.S. waters after a more-than-seven-month pause in operations.

"At this time we have every reason to be optimistic that we will be sailing in the U.S. before year end," Donald said on an earnings call Thursday. He added later that because of the success of initial sailings in Europe, the company believes it has a "way to go forward" amid the Princess has extended its operational pause through Dec. 15.

When cruising comes back, will the buffet return with it?Here's what the cruise lines say

How US cruising on a Carnival Corp. line might look when it returns

All Carnival Corp. cruise lines that are subject to the CDC's "no-sail" order, or ships that have capacity for more than 250 passengers, are also subject to a set of third quarter business update.

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