In the wake of Covid-19 sweeping across populations worldwide, the travel industry continues to suffer loss of revenue as travelers cancel trips. The highly lucrative Spring Break crowd is staying home in droves even as schools, movie theaters, gyms and other businesses close. The most magical ships on the seas, Disney Cruise Line is hard hit while their luxury liners stay in port devoid of guests.
Disney released the following statement regarding Disney Cruise Line:
“In an abundance of caution and in the best interest of our Guests, Crew Members and Cast Members, Disney Cruise Line has suspended all new departures through April 12, 2020. Disney Cruise Line will offer affected Guests a Future Cruise Credit or a full refund, the details of which will be provided directly to them. Guests who booked their reservation through a travel agent should contact them with any questions.” 26 Cruises with 4 of their luxury liners including the Disney Dream, Disney Fantasy, Disney Wonder and Disney Magic were cancelled.
Disney’s European cruises don’t begin leaving port until mid-May and are currently scheduled to continue, though Disney Cruise Line is watching the unfolding story with Covid – 19 unfold. News was also released by Disney regarding Canadian sailings: “On Friday, March 13, 2020, the Canadian government announced they will not allow any ship with more than 500 passengers to dock in any Canadian port from now until July 1, at the earliest. The Disney Wonder has sailings that are scheduled to embark and/or debark in Vancouver beginning April 29.”
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advised any travelers with underlying health issues to refrain from all cruise ship travel. Soon after that, the U.S. State Department advised Americans to avoid all cruise ship travel followed by the World Health Organization characterizing Covid-19 as a pandemic.
Additionally, Disney released the following information:
Disney Cruise Line Coronavirus (COVID-19) Additional Information
Disney Cruise Line consistently receives among the highest public health inspection scores and has health and safety protocols in place. We also have a comprehensive plan that outlines protocols for managing illness and closely follow the guidance of public health officials. In light of COVID-19, Disney Cruise Line is operating at elevated cleaning and sanitation levels. Among the procedures currently in place include:
- Training for all of our Crew Members on how best to prevent the spread of illness on board.
- A health screening completed by all Guests and Crew Members to check for illness before they board the ship.
- Extensive cleaning and sanitation of high-traffic areas (e.g., handrails, doorknobs and elevator buttons) and children’s facilities.
- Cleaning of all staterooms twice a day and additional disinfection when necessary.
- Discontinuing self-service at buffet locations.
- Regular communication with Guests and Crew Members regarding how to prevent illness.
- Hand-washing stations and sanitizing wipes conveniently located throughout our ships.
- Medical clinics on our ships staffed with experienced doctors and nurses and stocked with supplies and medications to treat a variety of illnesses.
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According to public health authorities, Guests can also help prevent the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) and many other illnesses by frequently washing their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after using the restroom and before eating. Parents can supervise their children to ensure they wash their hands thoroughly. Guests are also advised to cover their nose and mouth with a tissue (or upper sleeve) when sneezing, and avoid sneezing or coughing into their hands or without covering their nose and mouth. Guests or Crew Members who show any symptoms of illness are advised to contact their ship’s Medical Center immediately.”
It’s anybody’s guess exactly how long the travel ban will persist as we have not reached the end of the story with Covid 19. Disney Cruise Line is likely to see lower cruise attendance for months to come as families may choose not to take their vacation aboard ship. Perhaps as treatment options and vaccines are made available in the coming months, cruisers will again feel more comfortable cruising with Mickey and friends.
I’ve been on 3 Disney cruises in the last few years. DCL attention to detail and professionalism makes me confident that they’ll weather this crisis admirably. Great care has always been taken to ensure cleanliness and sanitary conditions aboard ship. It stands to reason that even more stringent measures will be taken to ensure the health and safety of all guests aboard these spotless boats in the future.