It has been quite some time since Disney Cruise Line Guests have been able to set sail on the Disney Dream, the Disney Fantasy, the Disney Magic, and the Disney Wonder. Due to the ongoing pandemic and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Conditional Sailing Order, Disney has not been able to set sail in the United States for over a year.
In the United Kingdom, however, Disney Cruise Line is about to hit the high seas once more! U.K. residents will have the chance to take part in the newly confirmed “Disney Magic at Sea” cruises that will take place this summer from the U.K. ports of London Tilbury, Newcastle, Liverpool, and Southampton. Guests who board the cruise will be able to enjoy being back on a cruise ship. However, that is really all that they will be doing since this is a cruise to nowhere — meaning Guests will not disembark at any point in time during the cruise.
Cruises to nowhere are not allowed by law in the United States.
This opportunity is exciting for U.K.-based Disney fans, many of whom have not been able to visit Walt Disney World Resort or Disneyland Paris (when it was open prior to its second pandemic closure) due to international travel restrictions.
There is a catch. To enjoy this sail-staycation, Guests over 18 years of age will need to be fully vaccinated, and will have to present a negative COVID-19 test to board. Per a prior CLIA agreement, we already knew that 100% COVID testing would be required for both Guests and DCL crew members.
This is all to provide the safest sailing experience during the pandemic.
Officially, Disney has stated:
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.
- 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 before 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 before sailing with instructions on how to complete and submit their test results. Guests may obtain their PCR test from a 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 before 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 the Disney Cruise Line. Guests with positive COVID-19 test results, as well as those in their travel party, will be denied boarding.
With that being said, we wanted to see if Guests who are planning on sailing with Disney Cruise Line either this summer or possibly in the future agreed with the rules that Disney has outlined for Guests as requirements to sail. So, we took to Instagram to take a poll!
As you can see below, 77% like the new requirements that Disney has set out for summer U.K. sailings, but 23% are not big fans. Cruising has been hit extremely hard during the pandemic so, personally, I am not surprised to see that Disney is requesting both vaccination and negative COVID-19 tests to board, as cruise ships are highly conducive to the spread of any virus, including COVID-19.
If Disney CEO Bob Chapek’s estimate was correct and Disney Cruise Line returns to America this fall, these first few sailings in the United Kingdom will definitely prove as a test to see how the DCL fleet will need to operate domestically, as well.
It is also important to note that the U.K.’s National Health Service and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control sometimes have different requirements. At the time of publication, Disney has not confirmed if vaccinations will be required when DCL eventually sets sail again in the United States.
Again, per the CLIA agreement, COVID-19 testing will be a necessity for all cruise passengers and crew members who choose Disney Cruise Line.
Do you think that these new rules Disney Cruise Line has created are a good addition?