Disney Cruise Line last sailed in early 2020 and has currently canceled all itineraries through May 2021 amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Now, the cruise operator is being sued by Guests who claim they caught COVID-19 onboard a Disney cruise ship last year. Per the Orlando Sentinel’s report on the situation:
…[DCL] is facing four federal lawsuits from Utah and Arizona tourists who claim they contacted the coronavirus while on board the Disney Fantasy ship last March, just before the cruise business docked during the pandemic.
The tourists said they contracted the virus while on board and began feeling sick, according to the four lawsuits filed March 2 in federal court’s Orlando division that each seek unspecified damages.
The Sentinel’s report continued:
The lawsuits accused Disney of refusing to let passengers cancel or reschedule their cruises even if they had “autoimmune diseases and compromised health conditions,” so they were “left without any option” to go on their March 7-14, 2020 trip.
“Disney continued to allow passengers … to eat in buffets settings, provide group entertainment activities aboard the vessel (such as dancing) and otherwise allowed passengers to fully participate in the subject cruise as if there was no COVID-19 outbreak or threat thereof aboard the vessel,” the lawsuits said.
Disney has reached out to Inside the Magic to provide the following statement from Disney Cruise Line spokesperson Cynthia Martinez:
“Our thoughts continue to be with those around the world who have been affected by COVID-19. We disagree with the allegations and will respond to them in court. No guests or Crew reported symptoms of Covid-19 while aboard the Disney Fantasy during the March 7, 2020, sailing. Disney Cruise Line communicated health and safety information with guests in advance of and during their sailing and had numerous protocols in place at the time.”
It is worth noting that a Disney Wonder crew member passed away at sea in June 2020. Although it was never confirmed if he had the novel coronavirus, many fans presumed he was a COVID fatality. The news of his death came soon after a Disney Wonder passenger tested positive for COVID-19.
Current Status of Disney Cruise Line
Currently, there has not been official confirmation that any of the ships in the Disney Cruise Line fleet — the Disney Dream, the Disney Fantasy, the Disney Magic, and the Disney Wonder — have received their conditional sailing certificates, meaning they cannot re-set sail with passengers onboard quite yet.
According to the CDC’s conditional sailing framework, these certifications are required for all vessels before they can once again set sail with passengers onboard. To become certified, cruise liners must adhere to a variety of health and safety protocols.
Inside the Magic will continue to follow this developing situation between Disney Cruise Line and the passengers who claim they caught COVID-19 onboard the Disney Fantasy.
If you had a Disney cruise vacation scheduled to Castaway Cay, Disney’s private island in the Bahamas, or any other destination worldwide, Disney recently extended its future cruise credit offer.
What do you think about this Disney Cruise Line lawsuit?
This article has been updated since it was originally published.