In November, Disney Cruise Line dropped many of its major COVID-19 safety requirements. Previously, The Walt Disney Company boasted some of the strictest testing and vaccination requirements in the industry, reportedly losing thousands of dollars as Guests canceled their cruises in favor of more lenient cruise lines like Royal Caribbean and Carnival Cruise Line.
This week, Disney Cruise Line quietly announced another COVID-19 policy change. Any Guests who book starting December 9 and test positive within ten days of their sail date can apply their funds to a new sail date or receive a full refund without Disney-imposed fees. Previously, Guests who tested positive within 14 days of their sail date could take advantage of the COVID-19 refund policies.
This refund policy does not apply to third-party bookings such as airfare or travel insurance. New sail dates are subject to availability, and Guests may not change their reservation back to their original sail date after receiving a COVID-19-related refund or travel credit. Additionally, offers and discounts used for the original sailing may not apply to new Disney Cruise Line reservations.
Disney Cruise Line states that qualifying COVID-19-related health concerns include the following:
Have symptoms of COVID-19
Have a temperature of 100.4°F or greater
Have had known exposure to a person with COVID-19 within the previous 14 days
Have tested positive for COVID-19 within 14 days of sail date
This announcement comes at a time of significant changes for Disney Cruise Line. Despite lowered spending on Disney Parks and a recent hiring freeze, The Walt Disney Company continues to invest in sailing the seas.
Guests currently can visit one Disney-owned private island, Castaway Cay. But they will soon have another. The Walt Disney Company is making significant progress on Lighthouse Point, a $400 million private island.
Just weeks ago, Disney Cruise Line confirmed swirling rumors that they would purchase the unfinished German ship, Royal Dream. In a Disney Parks Blog post, Disney announced that the purchase was complete.
Royal Dream will be renamed and reimagined by Walt Disney Imagineers. Unlike Disney Fantasy, Disney Dream, Disney Wish, Disney Wonder, and Disney Magic, the ship will begin its career outside the United States. It is unknown if COVID-19 policies will differ for all-new international sailings.
Will the new refund policy affect your future Disney Cruise Line vacation?