Disney Cruise Line has scheduled cruises for this year. These have been canceled on a rolling basis, and no official return to the seas date has been shared. When they do resume, the cruises might look a little different than you remember them, as Disney makes adjustments to keep passengers and crew safe and in line with CDC regulations.
One cruise line out of Florida has already gotten started, though! The Royal Caribbean was the first cruise line to sail with passengers, which they did this past Sunday.
In March of 2020, the CDC set a no-sail order, which has remained in effect until recently, when they revised it to be a conditional sail order. Cruise lines had two options under this conditional sail order: (1) Conduct a simulated cruise (basically a short cruise with non-paying passengers) to prove the effectiveness of COVID-19 protections and earn approval to sail from the CDC or (2) 98% of staff and 95% of passengers must be vaccinated.
And according to Orlando Sentinel, Royal Caribbean chose the first option, so the passengers aboard their current 2-night cruise to the Bahamas are not paying customers (although there are guest passengers on board).
Florida’s governor challenged the CDC with a lawsuit, claiming the CDC’s authority did not extend to their no-sail or conditional-sail orders. If the lawsuit is successful, the CDC’s orders will become guidelines instead. U.S. District Judge Steven Merryday said, “This order finds that Florida is highly likely to prevail on the merits of the claim that CDC’s conditional sailing order and the implementing orders exceed the authority delegated to the CDC” (clickOrlando).
Judge Merryday’s order will become effective just after midnight on July 18. According to Click Orlando, court documents indicate that after that point the CDC no-sail order will be a “recommendation” or “guideline.”
The result of this decision will likely affect the Disney Cruise Line, including determining whether test-cruises or vaccinations will be necessary.
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Have you been on a Disney cruise yet? Let us know in the comments!