Has Disney Cruise Line added another delay to its upcoming departures?

(Photo by Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
(Photo by Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images) /

While Disney Parks have seen changes to mask policies and increased crowds, the Disney Cruise Line experienced another set back. Will this most recent development cause a change in guests’ upcoming vacation plans?

On July 29, Disney Cruise Line was set to do a test cruise from Port Canaveral, Florida. According to the Orlando Sentinel, the Disney Dream simulation sailing was postponed. While this test voyage was set for just two days, the conditional trip was part of the path to return the ship to the seas.

According to a Disney statement, “We are delaying our simulation cruise due to a small number of inconsistent COVID-19 test results, which are considered positive by the CDC, The rigorous health and safety protocols we have in place helped us identify the situation, though the test results were ultimately negative.”

The last time that the Disney Dream left port with cruise passengers was in March 2020. While the Disney ships can be seen going in and out of port off the Space Coast, it is a real voyage.

While Disney is proceeding with an abundance of caution, this cruise line might have additional hurdles to overcome. Although other cruise lines, like Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises, have left port with passengers, those cruise lines have a little more freedom due to their target audience.

For cruise lines to set sail, there are various CDC compliance guidelines. One option is to do a simulation cruise under the guidance of the CDD and another option is that “98% of crew and 95% of passengers are fully vaccinated.”

While Disney is looking to exceed all safety protocols, just like it did with its theme parks re-openings, the vaccination element can be problematic for the brand. Given that there is no vaccine for the under 12 age group and Disney guests are often families of all ages, those percentages may not be achievable for Disney. In that case, the simulation cruise is their only viable option.

As more and more people take vacations this summer, the cruise lines are ready, willing and wanting to welcome guests back on board. In addition to safety protocols, guests will have to feel comfortable with being back on the ships. If the current travel boom is any indication, it seems that more and more people are feeling confident about travel and are ready for their next vacation.

For now, the Disney Cruise Line simulate cruise has yet to be rescheduled but many people are hoping that those magical moments at sea are appearing on the horizon soon.

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How comfortable are you about stepping back on board a cruise ship? Have you started to make more travel plans?