For the first time in two years, the Cayman Islands welcomed its first cruise ship into port, and that cruise ship was none other than Disney Cruise Line’s first ship, the Disney Magic.
Disney Cruise Line resumed operations several months ago–albeit with arguably draconian COVID-19 policies in place–but several ports of call remained closed to such tourism due to their own pandemic-inspired restrictions. But now, another beloved Caribbean destination has rejoined Disney’s collection of popular ports of call.
According to the Cayman Compass,
Cayman officially welcomed the return of cruise tourism on Monday, rolling out the figurative red carpet for the Disney Magic, its first cruise ship in two years.
Grand Cayman was the first port of call for the 1,493 passengers on board the ship which elicited excitement not only for those gathered to welcome them, but from the cruise shippers themselves who arrived on-shore around 8am.
The ship and her passengers arrived to a welcome party that featured live soca music, dancers, pirates, and dignitaries like Tourism Minister Kenneth Bryan.
“We’re all excited. It’s not about me and my ministry or my government, it’s about the people in the Cayman Islands. It’s about our second pillar of our economy getting back on its feet. This is the first step. Just think about a baby trying to get back to walking, and traveling again and that’s what today [Monday] is about,” Bryan said.
Bryan also mentioned that the Disney Magic would be the only ship to tender off George Town, Grand Cayman, until Wednesday, and expected the Disney Guests to get an extra special Cayman experience.
But perhaps the most emotionally ecstatic reactions came from those whose entire livelihood revolves around the cruise ship: the port vendors and tour guides.
Related: Disney Cruise Line Receives Approvals to Begin Construction on Lighthouse Point
“I’m really happy to see the cruise ships come back because it’s been two years and, believe you me, it’s a blessing because being home for two years it’s not a good thing,” said Snow cone vendor Glenda Banegas. “If it wasn’t for our government we don’t know, our people would never know what would happen to us. On behalf of my people. I want to thank my government for helping us and still going to continue to help us because we’ve just begun now.”
A tour operator, waving her stingray tour sign, said, “It’s great, really great. I’m glad to be back here today to welcome the people back to the beautiful Cayman Islands and hope that everything goes well for us.”
The Cayman Islands Governor also celebrated the news, posting to Facebook and saying, in part:
“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.”
From its ports in Port Canaveral, Miami, New Orleans, and Gavelston, Disney Cruise Line visits Caribbean destinations like George Town, Grand Cayman year-round onboard the Disney Magic, Disney Dream, and Disney Fantasy. itineraries also offer sailings to other destinations like Cozumel, , , , and Disney’s . Known for its diving and , sail to the Cayman Islands for, among other things, snorkeling, and visit the .
It should be noted that Disney Cruise Line still requires all would-be passengers “vaccine eligible” to be what is currently recognized as “fully vaccinated,” as well as provide a negative PCR test before receiving permission to board.
Related: Enter to Win a Disney Cruise Line Vacation with This Month’s “Year of Wishes” Sweepstakes
Still, Monday, March 21, 2022, showed proof that Disney Magic isn’t just found in the form of Theme Park Pixie Dust but also in the form of eager tourists ready to explore, spend money, and jump-start a tropical paradise’s economy.
We at Disney Fanatic will continue to update our readers on Disney Cruise Line news as more developments come to light.