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Disney Cruise Line’s First Sailing Denied Boarding to Many Due to Covid Regulations

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Disney Cruise Line's First Sailing Denied Boarding to Many Due to Covid Regulations
Credit: Disney

If there is one thing you need to know before going on a Disney Cruise anytime soon is to make sure that you are reading every single email and any information that is posted on the Disney Cruise Line website. On yesterday’s first sailing after 513 days, many families were denied boarding due to screening issues with PCR tests. Do you think Disney’s requirements are clear?

Disney Dream Sets Sail Again

Breaking News: Disney Cruise Line Voyages Return to the U.S.!
Credit: Disney

Yesterday the Disney Dream ship was the first to sail from the United States since March of 2020.

In July 2021, it was announced that three- and four-night cruises to Disney’s private island in the Bahamas would begin on August 9 sailing from Port Canaveral, Florida.

Disney Cruise Line, Bahamas Take Precautions to Prevent Coronavirus
Credit: Marisol

Information regarding protocols, before and during the cruise was posted on the Disney Cruise Line website as well as emails that were sent out.

KNOW BEFORE YOU GO:

COVID-19 Testing Learn about the COVID-19 tests that are required for Guests before leaving home and at the terminal. Pre-Trip COVID-19 Testing: All Guests (adults and children) must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test (paid for at the Guest’s expense) taken between 5 days and 24 hours prior to the sail date. Disney Cruise Line has secured a special rate of $98.33 per PCR test (which includes a 3.5% processing fee) through our third-party vendor, Inspire Diagnostics.

Guests may also obtain their PCR test from any independent testing supplier. Guests who are fully vaccinated may choose to provide proof of vaccination instead of undergoing COVID19 pre-trip testing. To learn more about how to provide proof of your negative COVID-19 PCR test result, please visit: Before Leaving Home: Know Before You Go. Embarkation COVID-19 Testing: All Guests (adults and children) are required to undergo a rapid PCR COVID-19 test administered by Inspire Diagnostics at the terminal prior to boarding.

Guests with positive COVID-19 test results, as well as those in their travel party, will be denied boarding. The $65 test fee will be charged to the folio of all Guests 12 years and older. Disney Cruise Line acts as the paying agent for Inspire Diagnostics and will remit the entire cost of the COVID-19 test to Inspire Diagnostics. Guests who are fully vaccinated may choose to provide proof of vaccination instead of undergoing COVID-19 Embarkation Day testing.

Denial of Boarding on the Disney Dream

Credit: Maggie

However, it seems as if there were more than 20 families that did not adhere to the part of providing proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test (paid for at the Guest’s expense) taken between 5 days and 24 hours prior to the sail date.

As an avid cruiser myself and having a love for Disney and its cruise line, I was kind of surprised while watching the live cam from Port Canaveral yesterday that the ship was still in port.

I was also following Twitter of guests aboard, and in the evening they noticed that 2 Disney Cruise Line buses had pulled into the port. Originally, there was talk that families were just arriving.

Credit: Monica

Within a couple of hours many cruisers began to post that they were hearing around the ship that more than 20 families had been denied boarding.

Today, one of those families that was denied passage posted on the Gold Castaway Club reddit forum of their experience.

Credit: Disney Cruise Line

You can read the post HERE.

The person that posted in the forum explains that although he and his wife are vaccinated, when completing online onboard check in they received the green clearance that they were ready to cruise alongside their two children ages 11 and 7.

This is where the situation arose. Both children are not eligible for the vaccine currently in the United States.

Credit: Disney

They were under the impression that the children would receive the rapid test at port (all those that are not vaccinated must do a rapid test at port). However, when they went to test the kids, they were asked for the PCR test taken between 5 days and 24 hours prior to the sail date.

That’s when the trouble and denying of being able to cruise occurred. Unfortunately, the family did not have both kids tested prior between the 5 days and 24 hours prior to the sail date.

One instance also occurred where one of the family members did a rapid test prior to the arrival of port during the required time frame, however, those tests are not accepted. Therefore, the entire family, who all had the PCR test completed, was denied boarding.

U.S. plans open international travel
Photo credit: Wall Street Journal

Personally, my heart ached when I read this post because I can not imagine being so ecstatic to be sailing again only to find out that I had misunderstood the protocols before arriving.

Many at the port that were denied boarding claimed that they had never received information from Disney and/or their travel agents and that it was not clear and therefore not their fault but Disney’s.

credit: disneycruiseline

When I read the protocols when they first came out I was aware and understood that although my husband, oldest daughter and I are vaccinated, our youngest who is younger than 12 will need to PCR and not rapid test at least 5 days and 24 hours prior to sailing.

What are your thoughts regarding the families that were denied boarding? Do you think it was a clear misunderstanding? Let us know in the comments on Facebook and in our Facebook group.




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