To ensure we are equipping our readers with all the information they need, we will continue to report on all travel, safety, and COVID-related news that could impact a Disney Parks or Disney Cruise Line visit.
Over the past several months, the situation with COVID-19 has changed and developed, and we’ve seen a number of updates when it comes to cruises.
Back in September, Disney Cruise Line changed select COVID-19 vaccination and testing policies. They then added a new COVID-19 testing option and updated the vaccine requirement for kids. Now we’ve gotten an update in terms of cruise ships and COVID-19 that involves Disney Cruise Line and many other cruise ship operators.
According to Time, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has identified over 80 “cruise ships with COVID-19 cases.” Yahoo News shares that the CDC is investigating 38 ships and observing an additional 48.
Time shares that one U.S. Senator, Senator Richard Blumenthal, has even “urged cruise companies and health agencies to stop ships from sailing” due to COVID-19 concerns. According to Time, the “fast-spreading omicron variant has triggered an increasing number of infections and reports of ships being turned away at ports.”
Time has indicated that of the ships under investigation, Carnival operates 32 of the ships, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. operates 25, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. operates 15, and all 4 of Disney’s ships are also under watch. The list is subject to change, however.
Bari Golin-Blaugrund, a spokesperson for the Cruise Lines International Association trade group, said that “Health and safety is the cruise industry’s highest priority…the latest data show that cases have occurred less frequently on cruise ships than on land, with a greater proportion of asymptomatic or mild cases.”
Based on the CDC website, cruises fall into different color categories based on the number of COVID-19 cases reported or other factors. The CDC website shows that all 4 of Disney’s ships are currently in the yellow category and the website specifies that the CDC has started an investigation for 3 of the ships. For the Disney Fantasy, the CDC notes that they already have investigated the ship and it “remains under observation.”
According to the CDC, the yellow category indicates that the reported cases of COVID-19 have met the threshold for CDC investigation.
A ship falls under the “yellow ship criteria” if it meets certain thresholds. Right now, Disney’s ships are sailing under the “restricted voyages” category. Under “restricted voyages,” the threshold to fall into the yellow category is cases reported in 0.10% or more of the passengers, or one or more cases reported in the crew. A cruise can also fall into this category if it fails to submit certain submissions on time.
According to Time, Disney did not immediately respond for their requests for comment.
Keep in mind that there are a number of COVID-19 testing and vaccination requirements when it comes to Disney Cruise Line’s sailings.
Right now, Disney Cruise Line requires “all vaccine-eligible Guests (based on US eligibility requirements) to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, as defined by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), at the time of sailing.”
Those who are not eligible for the vaccine because of their age have to provide a negative COVID-19 test and that test must meet certain requirements.
This situation is subject to change. Be sure to check the Disney Cruise Line website ahead of your trip for all of the latest COVID-19 health and safety requirements. We’ll look for more updates and share those with you.