For the first time in two years, a cruise ship has returned to Grand Cayman in the Western Caribbean. The Disney Magic arrived on Monday morning as part of a five-night voyage out of Miami, Florida.
Disney Magic Visits Grand Cayman
No cruise ship has visited the Cayman Islands in two years due to the global pandemic, but the prolonged absence of cruise visitors has finally ended. The Disney Magic became the first cruise ship to return on March 31, 2022.
Guests received a warm welcome as they went ashore via tender boats. Disney Magic visited with approximately 2,500 passengers onboard. It’s a significant boost for the tourism industry in the eastern Caribbean nation, especially for Geroge Town, which is where the cruise ships anchor.
Martyn Roper, Governor of the Cayman Islands, stated, “Today marks the arrival of the first cruise ship to Grand Cayman in over two years, a significant milestone for Cayman’s tourism industry. Congratulations to Minister Bryan and the Ministry of Tourism for their hard work in traversing the complexities of the return of cruise tourism.”
“I am grateful for the opportunities and return of livelihood for many tourism workers who are dependent on this aspect of our tourism as we continue to gradually ease regulations and open our borders whilst living with Covid-19.”
The Disney cruise ship visited Grand Cayman as part of a five-day cruise that departed PortMiami, Florida, on March 19. The call at the Cayman Islands is the first on the itinerary, with the vessel also visiting Disney’s private island of Castaway Cay in the Bahamas.
Earlier in March, when the Cayman Islands first announced it would reopen to cruise ships from March 21, The Minister for Tourism and Transport, Hon. Kenneth Bryan stated, “Cruise tourism makes up a significant portion of our tourism industry and the return of cruise passengers will bring welcomed relief to many Caymanians who depend on this industry for their livelihoods.”
“Every cruise call that brings passengers to our shores is helping to support Caymanian employees and business owners that have been hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Carnival Paradise will become the second cruise ship to return to Cayman on March 23, 2022. It will be the first vessel from Carnival Cruise Line to return to the island. In total, from March 21 through April 17, 21 cruise ships will visit Grand Cayman.
Cruise Ships Must Follow Protocols
In addition to the cruise line’s protocols, authorities in the Cayman Islands have introduced requirements for cruises. As part of its initial phase of welcoming back cruise ships, guests aged 12 and over must be fully vaccinated at least 14 days prior to the beginning of the voyage.
Also, as part of Cayman’s protocols, children under 12 will take the status of traveling adults within the group. All crew must be fully vaccinated, and no positive guest, crew member, or close contacts are permitted to go ashore. Authorities will also assess any cases detected onboard ships and the measures that are being taken. Cruise ships will have to send information regarding COVID on board before arrival to the island.
There is currently no additional testing for guests that go ashore during any port of call. However, protocols could always change depending on the situation. Authorities may also relax the requirements in the following phases for cruise visits.