Disney Cruise Line announced on July 23 that sailings will resume starting in August 2021 with the Disney Dream.
It’s been well over a year since guests have been able to set sail on a Disney Cruise Line ship, but that’s all going to change starting this summer.
On August 9th, 2021, the Disney Dream will resume sailings to the Bahamas departing from Port Canaveral, Florida for 3- and 4-night cruises, which will also visit Castaway Cay, Disney’s private island.
There’s a lot to take note of before booking a cruise and setting sail, including whether or not you need to be vaccinated, if face coverings are required, and other health and safety protocols.
As expected, there will also be modifications to entertainment, dining, and more. But, shows, character interactions, pools, spas and salons, fitness centers, and fireworks will continue, with some adjustments, including reservations for fireworks viewing.
Here’s what you need to know.
Health & Safety Details, Including Vaccinations
While vaccinations aren’t required for guests on sailings departing from Florida, a negative COVID-19 test is a must. Testing is required before leaving home and at Port Canaveral on embarkation day.
However, fully-vaccinated guests can choose to provide proof of vaccination, meaning they will then be exempt from testing.
Per Disney, “Guests who are fully vaccinated may choose to provide proof of vaccination in order to be exempt from pre-trip and Embarkation Day testing requirements (unless arriving from outside the United States) and travel insurance requirements.”
Pre-Trip COVID-19 Testing:
- Guests must pay for and provide proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test 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 (includes a 3.5% processing fee) through their third-party vendor, Inspire Diagnostics. Guests can also use any independent testing supplier.
Embarkation COVID-19 Testing:
- Guests are required to undergo a rapid PCR COVID-19 test administered by Inspire Diagnostics at the terminal before boarding. If you or anyone in your group tests positive, everyone 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.
Disney also states that for cruises departing from Florida through Dec. 31, 2021, guests who are 12 years of age and older “must provide proof of a valid travel insurance policy that meets coverage requirements.”
Also, guests who are fully vaccinated can provide proof of vaccination instead of obtaining travel insurance.
In addition to several other health and safety protocols, like reduced capacity, increased cleaning, physical distancing measures, all guests ages 2 and older, including those who are fully vaccinated, are are required to wear face coverings indoors.
Masks are not required in staterooms, when actively eating or drinking (must be stationary and maintain an appropriate physical distance), outdoors on the ship, and at Castaway Cay.
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What If I Have To Cancel?
If you have to cancel or have COVID-19-related health concerns, here’s what you need to know.
- For sailings through Dec. 31, 2021: Guests can make their final payment until up to 60 days prior to sailing.
- For sailings through Dec. 31, 2021: The cancellation fee schedule has been temporarily relaxed from as early as 119 days prior to sailing to 59 days prior to sailing for guests booked in non-Suite and non-Concierge categories. Those with Suite and Concierge bookings, cancellation fees in excess of the deposit amount will temporarily begin at 59 days prior to sailing.
- For sailings booked by July 31, 2021 and scheduled to sail on or before Dec. 31, 2021: you can change your sail date up to 15 days prior to departure.
Important: As state by the Disney Cruise Line, “Within 14 days of the sailing, booked guests with COVID-19-related health concerns (symptoms or exposure) can receive a full refund without Disney-imposed cancellation fees or apply their cruise fare toward a future sail date.”
You find more information on the official Disney Cruise Line website regarding cancellation policies.
Allyson Koerner is a published entertainment news and Disney Parks writer, who hasn’t been able to stay away from Walt Disney World since she was 5-years-old. She even has her own Disney blog, Magic-Ally Main Street, where she shares news and tips in hopes of helping others plan successful Disney vacations.