When The Walt Disney Company released its guidelines for the domestic return of Disney Cruise Line, Guests were informed that their COVID-19 vaccination status would not be required before boarding the Disney Dream, the Disney Fantasy, the Disney Magic, and the Disney Wonder — although it is important to note that Disney is strongly encouraging vaccinations for all eligible cruise vacationers.
Disney is, however, requiring COVID-19 testing for all those setting sail on a Disney Cruise Line trip beginning today, August 9. Per the official DCL website:
Learn about the COVID-19 tests that are required for Guests before leaving home and at the terminal.
Pre-Trip COVID-19 Testing: Guests must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test (paid for at the Guest’s expense) taken between 5 days and 24 hours prior to the sail date. Disney Cruise Line has secured a special rate of $98.33 per PCR test (which includes a 3.5% processing fee) through our third-party vendor, Inspire Diagnostics. Guests may also obtain their PCR test from any independent testing supplier. Guests who are fully vaccinated may choose to provide proof of vaccination instead of undergoing COVID19 pre-trip testing. To learn more about how to provide proof of your negative COVID-19 PCR test result, please visit: Before Leaving Home: Know Before You Go.
Embarkation COVID-19 Testing: Guests are required to undergo a rapid PCR COVID-19 test administered by Inspire Diagnostics at the terminal prior to boarding. Guests with positive COVID-19 test results, as well as those in their travel party, will be denied boarding. The $65 test fee will be charged to the folio of all Guests 12 years and older. Disney Cruise Line acts as the paying agent for Inspire Diagnostics and will remit the entire cost of the COVID-19 test to Inspire Diagnostics. Guests who are fully vaccinated may choose to provide proof of vaccination instead of undergoing COVID-19 Embarkation Day testing.
Now, however, thanks to a recent ruling regarding Norwegian Cruise Line, it is possible that Disney could begin requiring Guests to provide their vaccination status prior to embarking on any cruise ship itinerary out of the State of Florida.
According to a CNBC report:
…a federal judge ruled to temporarily halt enforcement of a Florida law prohibiting businesses from requiring customers to show proof of vaccination.
U.S. District Judge Kathleen Williams granted the preliminary injunction, allowing Norwegian to require vaccine documentation from customers while the case heads to trial. The Norwegian Gem is scheduled to depart Miami on Aug. 15. It is the cruise line’s first trip from the state since the pandemic halted the cruise industry’s operations more than a year ago.
Infection levels in Florida have risen 51% in the last seven days, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. The state reported 134,506 new Covid cases from July 30 to Aug. 5, more than any other 7-day period tracked by JHU, and new case positivity is at 18.9%.
The Disney Dream is scheduled to depart for its first trip from Port Canaveral today, marking the official return of Disney Cruise Line in the United States.
Disney’s Magic at Sea cruises — staycation cruises with no ports of call on the Disney Magic ship — have been available for U.K. residents for several weeks, but “cruises to nowhere” are not legally allowed in the U.S. COVID-19 vaccinations are required for Magic at Sea Guests.
At this time, it is not yet known if Disney will follow Norwegian Cruise Line’s lead and begin asking for passenger vaccination status before they board the Disney Cruise Line fleet.
Disney has not made any official policy changes at the time of publication, but it is certainly interesting that a judge has ruled that cruise lines may bypass Florida’s regulations given the rise of the COVID-19 Delta variant and the recent introduction of the Lambda variant.
Next year, Disney Cruise Line is set for one of its biggest years ever with the debut of its first Triton Class cruise, ship, the Disney Wish. She will take her maiden voyage in June 2022.
The Wish will be the fifth ship in the DCL fleet, joining the Disney Dream, the Disney Fantasy, the Disney Magic, and the Disney Wonder.
Stay tuned to Inside the Magic for the latest regarding Disney Cruise Line’s policies, and visit the official DCL website for the most up-to-date health and safety information.
Let the expert team at Academy Travel help you plan your next magical Disney Cruise Line vacation. Whether you have a future cruise credit or you want to book a brand new itinerary, they can help you visit Castaway Cay in the Bahamas, Mexico, Europe, or any other cruise destination worldwide.