As San Diego (California USA) prepares to welcome the return of ship cruising next month, DCL-Disney Cruise Line launched on Monday, September 20, the first of two test cruises in preparation for Southern California's first departure in 18+ months. DCL will be sailing out of San Diego on October 1 for a 4-day itinerary visiting Cabo San Lucas (Baja California Mexico).
Disney Wonder's simulated voyage was reserved for DCL employees and their guests. It is a 2-night roundtrip to Ensenada (Baja California Mexico). A second test cruise, departing Thursday, is 4-night and visits Cabo San Lucas.
Cruise vessels across the USA are gradually returning to service after the Coronavirus/COVID crisis paused the industry in March 2020. A series of no-sail and conditional sail orders from the CDC agency kept ships off the high seas until early this summer.
DCL notes that for all sailings, passengers 12+ years of age must be fully vaccinated and take a COVID test upon embarkation. Passengers 11 years old and under aren't required to be vaccinated but must take a pre-trip COVID test, as well as a rapid test upon embarkation.
The last time Disney Wonder was in San Diego with passengers on March 19, 2020, when the boat sailed into port early in the day after a Panama Canal voyage that originated in New Orleans (Port NOLA, Louisiana) ~13 days earlier. In a move to minimize exposure to COVID, the line at the time said it had opted to skip its calls after leaving Port NOLA.
The initial CDC order was subsequently extended multiple times, forcing the cancellation of all sailings out of San Diego and elsewhere.