Does cruising seem a bit daunting to you post-pandemic? I get it! It felt like cruising would have a rough start getting back up and running, but I am gladly surprised that I was wrong. I think the cruise industry has had the most pressure to “get it right”, and they really did! I was lucky to be invited with my agency (Click the Mouse) to sail on a 3-night Disney Bahamas sailing, and it gave me the chance to experience all of Disney Cruise Line’s new safety protocols.
My general summary is that cruising is seriously the way to go right now if you are looking for the “safest ” vacation possible. The Disney ships are such a controlled environment, that the risks feel so low. I am going to go through all the safety protocols we had to go through to sail. It was honestly one of the safest environments I have been in during this entire pandemic. And as always, Disney Cruise still gives you that deluxe all-inclusive vacation experience!
Requirements to Sail
Disney has certain requirements that you have to meet in order to sail. As of now, all guests 12 years of age and older must be fully vaccinated. Make sure you check Disney Cruise Line’s website for the most up to date requirements and to find out which vaccines are accepted.
Children under 12 years old must have a pre-trip Covid test, and it must be done within a certain time frame. This test is done at the guest’s expense and there are only certain types of test that they will accept. Again, verify the guidelines on Disney Cruise Line’s website as some of these rules do change as the situation evolves. I would imagine that once children are approved for vaccination, Disney may update their rules to include vaccination requirements for children as well.
All guests, regardless of vaccination status, must also pass another rapid Covid test at the port. The cost of this test is covered by Disney Cruise. When you arrive at the port, they will direct you where to go to get the testing done. Results take about 45 minutes, and as soon as you receive your negative result, you can then enter the port terminal. (more info on that process below)
Every guest, 18 years and up, must create an account on Safe Passage. Parents can use their account to upload their children’s information. You can do this as of 15 days before sailing. This third party website is where you will link your reservation and then upload your pre-sail documents. You will need to upload your proof of vaccination for guests 12 years and up, and your children’s pre-trip Covid results for children 11 and under.
Once the documents are reviewed and approved, you will see the status on your account change to indicate that you are clear to arrive at the port.
The Safe Passage website is also where you will see your results appear for the test you need to perform at the port. If your results are negative, then you will receive a status that says you are clear to sail.
More details about the Safe Passage requirements can be found on Disney Cruise Line’s Pre-Cruise Checklist.
At 30 days before sailing, you can start the online check-in process. This is also where you can start to book your onboard activities and port adventures. During this process, you will have to:
- Provide Guest Information and enter your travel document details.
- Upload a selfie of yourself
- Provide your arrival to the port information (ie. flight info)
- Set up your onboard account details
- Select a Port Arrival Time
- Print up your Port Arrival Documents
You absolutely must make sure the online check-in is completed before sailing. It will at first show that it is Pending, but once reviewed, it should change the status to Complete. Then you will know you are all set!
Testing at the Port
The testing at port is a really simple process. When you arrive, a Disney Cast Member will escort you to the area where the testing is performed.
You enter the first tent where you will receive your bag that contains your test kit. You will fill out your info on a sticker and then place the sticker on your test tube.
They have separate areas for each family to get tested so that you are separated from other passengers. You enter your testing area and a Cast Member will be there to guide you through the test. You perform the test on yourself and it is a simple lower nostril swab. Not deep or invasive at all! When you are done the swab, you place it in the tube and close it up.
You will then be directed to another tent where you will wait for your results. There is seating in the tent and a TV that displays which reservation numbers have their results ready to view. You can log onto your Safe Passage account from your mobile device, and you will be able to view your results there when ready. If you receive a negative result, it will tell you that you are ready to sail.
You can then proceed to enter the port terminal, which is the most exciting part!
Protocols on the Ship
Once you are on the ship, Disney has put in place some new protocols to ensure the health and safety of all their guests. I honestly felt so safe on the ship, I think it is probably one of the “safest” vacations that you can take at the moment. With such rigorous guidelines in place, the risk feels very low.
Here are some of the new protocols that are in place:
- All guests must wear face coverings when indoors, except when eating and drinking while seated.
- Enhanced cleaning of all surfaces.
- The buffet at Cabanas is no longer self-serve. You tell the Cast Members what you would like, and they will fill your plate for you.
- Limited capacity allowing distancing, the ship felt soooo empty, it was wonderful!
- There are lots of opportunity to see characters, but they appear from a distance. You can interact with them and take pictures while being socially distanced.
When the pandemic first hit, cruising really got a bad rap. Without protocols in place, too many ships had outbreaks at sea, and I think that is still sticking in people’s minds. I will admit that I was a little nervous to sail again, but I am SO glad that I did it.
People are afraid of what they don’t know, and I can see how someone can be scared to cruise if they don’t truly understand all the safety protocols that are being implemented on the ships right now. Cruising is not what it used to be, safety has been stepped up tenfold!
If you want to take a vacation and want a destination that is “Covid-Safe”, I would have no hesitation in recommending a Disney Cruise. Especially while they are still limiting capacity! I most certainly hope that I can sail again before the year is up.
If you would like to get a quote for a Disney Cruise, feel free to reach out to me with the quote button below. I provide personalized service to all of my guests and best part of a Disney Cruise booking is that I give FREE onboard credit to all my guests. You can receive as much as $1000 USD to spend onboard (amount varies based on cost of cruise).
Our preferred travel agency is Click the Mouse. They specialize in Disney destinations and will help you plan out all the little details. Best part is that their services are FREE when you book your vacation with them. Personalized service at no extra cost to you! To get a quote from a Click the Mouse travel agent for a Disney Cruise, simply fill out the info below and they will be back in touch with you:Get a Quote from CLICK THE MOUSE
Laura is a mom of one adorable girl with a love of all things Disney. She traveled to Disney World with her family in 2010 and was hooked. They have since been a total of over 15 times. With all her knowledge of planning Disney trips, she now wants to share that with others. She loves giving guidance, tips and advice to others planning their magical vacation!