Disney Cruise Line has received approval from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to operate a test cruise from Port Canaveral as part of its restart plans.
Disney Cruise Line will sail a simulation cruise from Port Canaveral on June 29th aboard Disney Dream, in order to test its health and safety protocols in real-world conditions.
Test cruises are a requirement for cruise lines looking to resume operations from US ports as part of the CDC’s Conditional Sailing Order. Royal Caribbean was the first line to receive approval for a simulation cruise last week.
Only cruise line that want the option of sailing with non-vaccinated passengers need to operate test cruises, which is why Celebrity Cruises, which has a vaccine mandate in place, has been given permission to restart US cruises without any simulation voyages.
Interestingly, both Disney Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean have previously indicated that they will require full vaccination from guests, suggesting they may be looking to keep their options open based on the market response to vaccine mandates.
For both cruise lines, children make up a large percentage of passengers, especially during the holidays, and vaccine mandates are inherently exclusionary for families.
Cruise line are being assessed for restart permission by the CDC on a ship by ship basis, so some ships might not have vaccine mandates, to accommodate families, while others will.
Disney Cruise Line’s test cruise will be a two-night cruise to nowhere with non-paying, volunteer passengers.
“We now have the green light to conduct our two-night simulation cruise aboard the Disney Dream from June 29 to July 1, sailing from Port Canaveral,” said Thomas Mazloum, President of Disney Signature Experiences.
“The ship will sail with volunteer passengers and test our newly developed health and safety protocols, which have been meticulously tailored to the current public health environment,” he added.
“All of these protocols are essential to cruising responsibly, and Disney Cruise Line couldn’t be more committed to making vacation dreams come true as it prioritizes the wellbeing of all who step aboard our ships,” Mazloum said.
Disney Cruise Line’s current cruise resumption plans are for Disney Magic to homeport in Southampton and Liverpool in the UK for the British summer, sailing roundtrip from the cities on cruises to nowhere.
Disney Dream, Disney Fantasy and Disney Magic are intended to resume cruises from Port Canaveral in the US in August, sailing 3 and 4-night cruises to the Caribbean.