Following similar announcements in recent days by other cruise lines, Disney Cruise Line has updated its pre-cruise testing and vaccination protocols beginning September 2, 2022. This includes new age-based vaccination guidelines, as well as exceptions for embarkation day testing for vaccinated guests.
All previous vaccination and testing requirements remain in effect for sailings departing before September 2.
Younger Guests Do Not Need to Be Vaccinated
While Disney Cruise Line’s current protocols require that all guests age 5 and older be fully vaccinated before sailing, that age requirement will be changed for cruises departing September 2 and later. At that time, only guests age 12 and older must be fully vaccinated in order to sail.
The cruise line’s updated protocols do state, however, that “Disney Cruise Line highly recommends that Guests ages 11 and younger be fully vaccinated before sailing.”
Fully vaccinated, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), means a complete series of primary vaccination doses (one or two doses, depending on the vaccine type) completed at least 14 days prior to embarkation. Booster shots are not required to be fully vaccinated.
Guests who are fully vaccinated must present proof of that vaccination completed in the appropriate time frame prior to cruising before boarding a Disney cruise.
If fully vaccinated, guests may take a pre-cruise test 1-2 days prior to sailing on any Disney ship from a U.S. or Canadian homeport, and upload their negative test results to the Inspire Diagnostics Safe Passage website to record their documentation. Guests who do this will now be exempt from a second pre-cruise test at the terminal on embarkation day.
“Fully vaccinated Guests who do not upload test results by midnight prior to embarkation day must be tested at the terminal on embarkation day before boarding the ship and will be charged for the cost of the test,” the cruise line clarifies on its “Know Before You Go” website.
Initial antigen tests at the terminal on embarkation day are $74 (USD) per guest. If a guest receives a positive result, a second PCR test will be administered for $125. If that test confirms the positive result, the guest and their traveling party will not be permitted to board the ship.
For guests departing from Canadian homeports, the costs for testing at the terminal are $95 (CAD) for the initial antigen test, and $160 for a confirming PCR test, if necessary.
Testing for Unvaccinated Guests
Guests who are not vaccinated or who are unable to present appropriate COVID-19 vaccination records prior to embarkation day must take a NAAT or PCR test 1-3 days prior to embarkation. It must be noted that rapid antigen tests are not acceptable for that initial test.
Unvaccinated guests are required to be tested again at the cruise terminal. That test will be paid for by Disney Cruise Line. A second test will also be required if the first result is positive.
As with vaccinated guests, if that second test confirms a positive result, the impacted guest, their traveling party, and close contacts will not be permitted to board, and will be responsible to make their own travel arrangements to return home.
Additional Testing Requirements
Guests maximizing their magical cruise experience with back-to-back sailings must continue to test between voyages, regardless of age, vaccination status, or test results prior to the first cruise.
The cruise line also continues to accept documentation from recently recovered guests that may exempt them from pre-cruise testing, depending on when they last tested positive for COVID-19. Guests who find themselves in this situation should contact Disney Cruise Line for updates n the required documentation.
For all cruise lines, the testing and vaccination requirements remain subject to change. Guests booked on upcoming sailings, whether on Disney Cruise Line or any other line, should stay in contact with their cruise line for all updated information.