It’s been a long year for people who love Disney Cruises, considering all of them were canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Now, however, Disney Cruise lovers can rejoice — at least a little.
Disney Cruise Line recently announced the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has approved the cruise line’s request to conduct a two-night simulation cruise. The Disney Dream will sail from Port Canaveral, Florida, on June 29.
“We have reached an important next step toward our gradual and responsible resumption of service, and are grateful for the productive dialogue with state, local and federal officials, the CDC, and others in our industry,” Disney Cruise Line spokeswoman Cynthia Martinez said in a statement, the Orlando Sentinel reports.
The CDC shut down sailing last March when several COVID-19 outbreaks were tied to ships worldwide. Then, last October, the CDC issued a Framework for Conditional Sailing Order for cruise ships operating or seeking to operate in U.S. waters that established guidelines for how cruise lines will be able to safely resume passenger operations. It put an emphasis on preventing the further spread of COVID-19 on cruise ships and from cruise ships into communities.
Although the CDC announced in April that ships may be allowed to sail without conducting the required practice voyage if 98 percent of the crew and 95 percent of the passengers have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, Disney is pursuing the test cruise option. This could lead to letting a ship operate with non-vaccinated passengers under health and safety protocols.
The simulated voyages must be between two and seven days in length with at least one overnight stay, according to CDC guidelines. They are required to test embarkation and disembarkation procedures, onboard activities such as meal service and entertainment, and recreational activities. Test voyages also must include simulations of transferring passengers and crew members with COVID-19 symptoms from cabin rooms to isolation rooms and quarantining remaining passengers and non-essential crew members.
Disney Cruise Details
“We now have the green light to conduct our two-night simulation cruise aboard the Disney Dream, from June 29 to July 1,” Thomas Mazloum, president of Disney Signature Experiences, announced, Cruise Industry News reports. “The ship will sail with volunteer passengers and test our newly developed health and safety protocols, which have been meticulously tailored to the current public health environment.”
Now, before you get too excited, there is some bad news. It’s true that the Disney Cruise will sail with volunteer passengers. However, those volunteer passengers will be Disney employees — known as cast members — rather than volunteers from the general public, Orlando’s News 13 reports.
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