For over a year, Disney Cruise Line fans have been anxiously awaiting the day they get back to sailing the high seas on the Disney Dream, the Disney Fantasy, the Disney Magic, and the Disney Wonder. Now, for residents of the United Kingdom, that day is nearly here!
Recently, Disney confirmed “Disney Magic at Sea” cruises that will take place this summer from several U.K. ports, including London Tilbury, Newcastle, Liverpool, and Southampton. These will essentially be cruises to nowhere. This means that Guests will spend the duration of their journeys at sea, with no ports of call as part of their itineraries.
By law, these types of cruises are not allowed in the United States of America.
As of April 30, however, Disney Cruise Line has confirmed that all U.K. residents will be eligible to reserve staterooms on the Disney Magic cruise ship for these summer staycation sailings. Platinum and Gold Castaway Club members will be allowed to book starting April 28, with Silver members eligibility opening up on April 29.
If you are thinking about taking one of these summer trips at sea, there are several key things to be aware of. Disney Cruise Line has outlined various pandemic health and safety requirements on the official “Disney Magic at Sea” webpage.
Two of the two most crucial pieces of information are that all Guests age 18 and over must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and all passengers (including those under 18), whether or not they have been vaccinated against the novel coronavirus, must present a negative COVID-19 test prior to boarding.
Disney has provided the following details about COVID-19 vaccines for Disney Cruise Line passengers:
In order to sail, Guests 18 years of age and older must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, as defined by the National Health Service (NHS). The NHS currently defines “fully vaccinated” as 7 days after the final dose. Disney Cruise Line will contact Guests prior to sailing with instructions on how to show proof of this vaccination status.
Additionally, these details about COVID testing have been shared:
- Pre-Trip COVID-19 Testing: Guests under 18 years of age are not required to be vaccinated, but must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test result (paid for by the Guest) taken between 5 days and 24 hours prior to the date you set sail. Disney Cruise Line has secured a special discounted rate through a third-party vendor for PCR tests and will contact Guests prior to sailing with instructions on how to complete and submit their test results. Guests may obtain their PCR test from the third-party vendor or any qualified testing supplier.
- Embarkation COVID-19 Testing: All Guests, including those who have been vaccinated, are required to undergo an antigen COVID-19 rapid test administered by a third party in the terminal prior to boarding. Anyone testing positive will undergo a second test to verify the results. All tests administered at the terminal will be at the expense of Disney Cruise Line. Guests with positive COVID-19 test results, as well as those in their travel party, will be denied boarding.
Per a prior agreement with the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), 100% COVID-19 testing would be required for both passengers and crew members onboard any Disney Cruise Line vessel upon a return to sailing. This is something that many Disney Cruise Line fans already knew for months; however, Disney is now confirming this protocol with the cruises that are about to set sail — the “Disney Magic at Sea” cruises in the U.K. this summer.
At this time, it is unknown when domestic cruises in the United States of America will be allowed to resume. All cruise operators must adhere to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention’s Conditional Sailing Order, which requires all ships to receive conditional sailing certificates before scheduling itineraries.
Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Chapek recently indicated that he hoped for a fall 2021 return to sailing in the United States, but this has not been confirmed. At this time, all of Disney’s sailings from U.S. ports have been canceled through June 2021.
What do you think about Disney requiring the COVID-19 vaccine for all “Disney Magic at Sea” passengers?
If you are interested in booking a future Disney Cruise Line vacation to Castaway Cay in the Bahamas or any other destination worldwide, contact the expert team at Academy Travel to help you plan every magical detail!