Disney Cruise Line has not set sail since the beginning of March in 2020, prior to the shutdowns from the global pandemic.
Disney cruises were cancelled in mid-March last year and have continued to be cancelled. Now, some passengers who sailed on a Disney Cruise before the closures are suing Disney for allegedly contracting COVID-19 while on board.
Disney Cruise Line is facing four federal lawsuits from tourists who claim they contracted the virus while on the Disney Fantasy last March before the closures, according to Orlando Sentinel. Based on the four lawsuits filed on March 2nd, the tourists said that they caught the virus while on board and started to feel sick.
As reported by Orlando Sentinel, the lawsuits accuse Disney of refusing to allow passengers to reschedule or cancel their cruises even if they had an “autoimmune diseases and compromised health conditions.” so the guests were “left without any option” to go on their trip from March 7th-14th, 2020. According to an email sent out by Disney at the time, guests were allowed to change their reservation up to the day before embarkation to receive 100% cruise credit.
The lawsuit also mentions that Disney allowed passengers “to eat in buffets settings, provide group entertainment activities aboard the vessel (such as dancing) and otherwise allowed passengers to fully participate in the subject cruise as if there was no COVID-19 outbreak or threat thereof aboard the vessel.” Disney said that all of the buffets halted on March 12th.
According to the lawsuits, a child of some plaintiffs was taken to a intensive care unit at a hospital with difficulty breathing and high fever. The child had an unspecified autoimmune disease and tested positive on May 1st, along with the child’s parents. On another lawsuit, one of the plaintiffs had a child with an autoimmune disease, and another child with asthma. After having various symptoms of COVID-19, they both tested positive on April 15th. The mother also became sick on board and tested positive.
The Orlando Sentinel notes that on March 8th of 2020, the U.S. Department of State recommended that Americans should not travel on cruise ships. Before the Disney Fantasy set sail last March, Disney Cruise Line sent out an email saying “If at any time during your cruise you believe you are ill, we ask that you please contact the ship’s Health Center immediately.”
Disney released a statement about the lawsuits: “Our thoughts continue to be with those around the world who have been affected by COVID-19. We disagree with the allegations and will respond to them in court. No guests or Crew reported symptoms of Covid-19 while aboard the Disney Fantasy during the March 7, 2020, sailing. Disney Cruise Line communicated health and safety information with guests in advance of and during their sailing and had numerous protocols in place at the time.”
We’ll let you know about any other Disney Cruise Line news and updates as they happen.