The Disney Cruise Line will resume sailing from the United States next month, with three- and four-night cruises departing from Port Canaveral on the Disney Dream.
Starting August 9, the cruises will be heading for Disney's Castaway Cay in the Bahamas, and the Disney Cruise Line has implemented a bunch of new procedures to address the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Here's an overview:
Passengers must provide either proof of vaccination or a negative PCR test for Covid-19, taken between 5 days and 24 hours prior to the sail date. Guests must log in to the Safe Passage website to upload their documentation, as well as bring it with them to the terminal on embarkation day. Disney is strongly recommending that all luggage be checked in.
Passengers will be required to wear masks while indoors at the terminal and on the ship, except when in their staterooms or actively eating or drinking. Seating areas have been rearranged and venue capacities reduced to support physical distancing.
As a result of those capacity reductions, dining room seating times will be assigned, with one travel party per table. Menus will be available digitally via the Navigator app, and buffets will be served by cast members.
Passengers also will be assigned to one of two available dates to watch the fireworks show. Theaters will be first-come, first-served, but physical distancing will be enforced. Character encounters will be distanced, and there will be no deck parties for now, either. Also, no table tennis, shuffleboard, or basketball.
Here's a biggie for many guests - no more fish extenders. (Those are the door-to-door gift exchanges that some Disney Cruise guests participate in.)
Vibe and Edge will be open, but the nursery will be closed. Parents may book one session per day per child at Oceaneer Club or Oceaneer Lab. Children must wash their hands when entering and exiting and wear masks at all times while in the youth clubs. Groups will be limited to 15 kids.
There will be a virtual queue for leaving the ship at ports of call. Masks will not be required outdoors while on the ship or while at Castaway Cay. The 5K "race" will be DIY instead of in a big group. But you can still get a medallion for finishing.
On the final day, breakfast times will be assigned with and debarkation times based on when you eat.
The DCL has been running test sailings with cast members to prepare for the public voyages. You can read the complete run-down of all the new procedures on the Disney Cruise Line website.
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My parents love cruises but I've always been iffy about them. Being on a boat so much is annoying, gain a bit too much weight with so many buffets and such and not much for island excursions. Sure, a Disney one sounds fun but wouldn't be that interested in good times, let alone now.
No thanks. Love cruising but this is more restrictive than other lines are doing. No advantage for having the vaccine.
DCL voyages are already some of the most expensive in the world that these new changes would make them cost prohibitive for all but the most loyal and deep-pocketed fans. I'm willing to pay extra and to make other compromises to ensure safety, but at some point the juice is no longer worth the squeeze. The way I see it, you'd have to be pretty desperate to pay DCL prices for a trip that is not even a quarter of what it was pre-pandemic.
My family is at that point Russell. This doesn't seem worth it. We put off a 2020 November cruise to 2021... now we are debating on 2022 or just cancelling entirely. We'd probably consider going if we could get our kids vaccinated, but they are a bit too young right now.
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Now this is a Disney thing I’m not crazy to do. I would rather go to Walt Disney Studios Park in Paris than go on a dang boat.