We’ve already shared a look at certain policies that have changed for upcoming sailings due to COVID-19 as well as changes in mask rules and more. But now, certain rules for sailing on Disney Cruise Line have changed, particularly when it comes to those ages 12 and up.
Previously, Disney Cruise Line did not require its passengers to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Instead, passengers were required to take a COVID-19 test prior to embarkation day and another on embarkation day (and another on debarkation day for select cruises). But, those who were fully vaccinated against COVID-19 could voluntarily submit proof of vaccination in order to avoid these COVID-19 tests (with certain exceptions).
Last week, however, the Prime Minister of the Bahamas signed an order requiring ALL cruise lines seeking to enter a port in the Bahamas (including a private island) to provide a manifest showing the vaccination status of all persons on board. The order also requires all cruises seeking to enter a port in the Bahamas to require that all passengers ages 12 and up be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. This is effective beginning September 3rd through November 1st.
Some were concerned with how this could conflict with the law in Florida banning the use of vaccine passports. But note that a federal judge has ruled in one case involving Norwegian Cruise Line that the cruise line would be allowed to require guests to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination for cruises leaving from Florida.
Today, Disney Cruise Line announced a change in its COVID-19 vaccination policy in response to the order from the Bahamas.
According to Disney Cruise Line’s updated policy, all guests ages 12 and up on upcoming sailings to the Bahamas from September 3rd until November 1st must be fully vaccinated in order to board the ship. Approved vaccines include the ones produced by Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, and Johnson & Johnson.
Note that CDC guidelines specify that an individual is considered to be fully vaccinated 14 days after they have received the second dose of a 2-dose vaccine like Moderna, Pfizer, or AstraZeneca vaccine. For those who have received Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine, they are considered to be fully vaccinated 14 days after receiving a single dose. Guests who have received one dose of Moderna and one dose of Pfizer are considered fully vaccinated 14 days after the second dose.
Note, however, that if a guest has received one dose of a vector vaccine (like AstraZeneva) and a single dose of an mRNA vaccine (like Pfizer or Moderna), that guest is NOT considered to be fully vaccinated.
If a guest chooses not to provide proof of vaccination to meet the requirements of The Bahamas, they will not be allowed to board the ship.
Guests who had sailings to The Bahamas departing from September 3rd to prior to November 1st can modify their sail dates or cancel without any Disney-imposed cancellation fees. Guests who want to do so will need to contact their travel agent or Disney by September 3rd, 2021. Standard cancellation policies and terms will apply for any cancellations or modifications made on or after September 4th.
What about guests under the age of 12? Those under the age of 12 will still need to take a lab-based COVID-19 PCR between 5 days and 24 hours prior to the sail date, and they’ll need to upload proof of that negative COVID-19 PCR Test to the appropriate website before the sailing. They’ll also be required to take a COVID-19 test on embarkation day prior to boarding the ship.
We’ll continue to keep an eye out for more details and let you know what we find.