Cruisin’ Again: Preparing for a Disney Cruise Line Sailing in 2021

You may have heard, the Disney Cruise Line is sailing again in the U.S. starting Monday, August 9th on the Disney Dream. Our family is lucky enough to be on that first sailing (a 4-Night Cruise that includes a day at sea and two days at Castaway Cay), and we’re looking forward to cruising again and seeing what changes have been made to accommodate the current situation.

As an aside, we always recommend using a Disney Travel Agent when booking Disney travel because it doesn’t cost any extra and it helps to have experts available to you. But especially in a situation like this, with requirements in flux and sometimes very specific situations that need to be addressed, having an expert as a go-between you and Disney can be extremely helpful. It certainly helped us. And, of course, we recommend Mouse Fan Travel, our official travel partner.

In short, here are the rules:

  • Pre-Trip COVID-19 Testing: Guests 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. Guests who are fully vaccinated may choose to provide proof of vaccination instead of undergoing COVID-19 pre-trip testing.
  • Embarkation COVID-19 Testing: Guests 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.
  • Travel Insurance: For cruises departing from Florida through December 31st, 2021, Guests 12 years of age and older must provide proof of a valid travel insurance policy that meets coverage requirements. Guests who are fully vaccinated may choose to provide proof of vaccination instead of obtaining travel insurance.
  • Face Coverings: All Guests (ages 2 and up, including those who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19) are required to wear face coverings indoors, except when in their staterooms or actively eating or drinking (while stationary and maintaining an appropriate physical distance). Face coverings are not required for Guests outdoors while on board the ship and at Disney Castaway Cay.

So, prior to sailing, we had to get all of our testing/vaccination documentation to Disney. Disney uses the Safe Passage website to track all the documentation. To register, I entered my reservation number, name and birthdate. That allowed me to create an account with my email address. I then entered and/or verified other information like my address and stateroom number, and I was registered. Each adult needs to create their own account. Any minors can be attached to one of the adult accounts.

Once you’re signed up, you’ll go through the Pre-Sail screening as shown below.

As mentioned above, the screening can be either a negative test taken within 5 days of cruising or a proof of vaccination. To make testing even easier, Safe Passage makes it easy to order an Inspire Diagnostics testing kit that will be shipped to you that you’ll then mail back. Disney / Safe Passage accept several different types of tests including saliva tests and front of nose tests, as long as the actual testing method is a PCR test (click for an answer to the specific question of saliva testing from PlanDisney).

If you choose testing, you’ll be presented with the screen elbow to enter your testing time and result and upload your proof. (Note: There is also a clear provision for how to handle “90 Day Recovered” guests – some people have long recovered from Covid but still test positive even though they no longer have it.)

Guests who choose to show proof of vaccination instead will see a similar screen where they can enter their vaccination type, the date or dates they received them and upload their proof.

As each individual person’s documentation is uploaded, their reservation goes into a “Pending” status. Once the information is confirmed by Safe Passage, it switched to a “Clear” status and you’re clear to move on to the next step.

That next step will happen on Monday when we finally get to see the Disney Cruise again. I can’t wait to see it and tell you all about it.

Laughing Place recommends for all your Disney Cruise travel planning