When DCL-Disney Cruise Line first announced its cruises-to-nowhere for UK residents in March 2021, they were greeted with enthusiasm across the Atlantic, especially since the company had been forced into a sea-going pandemic lockdown for over a year, and USA's CDC agency (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) was showing no signs of easing its ban on cruising from US homeports.
The possibility for a 2, 3, or 4-day trip on Disney Magic was much anticipated, even though the liner would not visit any ports of call on each voyage, hence the “staycation” element for residents of Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, and England.
Unlike other cruise companies that also unveiled British summer sailings at the same time, DCL did not indicate whether cruise passengers would be required to have a COVID-19 vaccination. The strong speculation was that would not be a condition for sailing with Mickey and Co. Even when the company last week announced that bookings would finally be open on April 30, there was no mention of the vaccination stipulation for would-be cruisers.
However, the latest announcement from DCL is that a full virus vaccination will be required for all passengers 18 years and older. Those under 18 will need to have a negative Coronavirus (COVID-19) test at their own expense before boarding.
The news came as a shock to prospective “staycation” passengers. Disney social media airwaves have been abuzz with angry would-be cruisers who insisted the vaccination stipulation was totally unwelcome and difficult to conform to in Britain, where vaccinations are not open to all.
The latest British health guidelines say that cruising might resume from U.K. ports on May 17, but only at 50% capacity, while there is also a roadmap to 100% capacity on June 21, subject to further government review.
Disney cruises run from July 15 through October 1, hence they should run at full capacity, but the cruise line has already announced they will sail at a reduced amount.