Possible Changes You Have to Consider In Planning Your Next Disney Cruise

Cruise lines are starting to get the green light to resume sailings again and more ships are returning to U.S. ports. It’s only a matter of time before Disney Cruise Line sets sail. But what’s going to be different when you get aboard?

Disney cruise line is the last holdout in Disney’s reopenings but with test sailings underway in the next few weeks and UK-based staycation sailings this summer, cruises may be back soon.

 

If you’ve had your trip postponed to a new sailing date or you’re thinking about booking a cruise on Disney’s newest ship in 2022, you’re gonna have to plan for things to have changed since the last time you cruised.

 

We’re taking a look at the things that will and might be different about your next Disney cruise.

 

1. Buffets may not be open

 

All right, I am not sure about this one, but I’m guessing buffets may not be open. Disney cruise line has always been very on top of sanitising and reducing the spread of any potential sickness. Cruises had hand sanitiser all over the place beforehand. Sanitiser was all over the place.

 

But what we’re not sure of just yet is if dining will look the same when cruises return. Most restaurants on Disney ships are full table service, so there likely won’t need to be too many changes there, besides, maybe removing a few tables to allow for more distancing between guests. Though social distancing has been significantly relaxed in Disney world. So this may not be too big of a concern once cruises set sail again.

 

But what about Cabanas? The buffet restaurant you’ll find on the Disney Cruise Line? They’ll likely follow the lead of the Disney parks and put a hold on self-service buffet restaurants in favour of family-style or more coursed meal options. The CDC has mentioned that self-serve buffets could operate and fully vaccinated individuals would be able to go maskless in these areas.

 

Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise lines intend to keep their buffets and self-serve beverage stations with a few modifications while other cruise lines are stationing staff to serve food rather than having buffets be self-serve. Cabanas did also sometimes operate as a table service restaurant on select nights of certain cruises.

 

We’ll have to wait for Disney to make an official announcement about whether or not self-serve food and drink will return. But there will likely be some changes even if Cabanas doesn’t return as a buffet. What can you count on to be the same? Well getting a spritz of sanitiser every time you walk into a restaurant. That will definitely happen.

 

2. Character meet and greets may be different

 

Next, potential change is characters meet and greets. The way we meet characters in the Disney parks is totally different now and it’s very likely that we’ll see similar changes on cruise ships.

 

In the before times, for the big popular character meet and greets, you’d need to reserve a time slot. This may become the norm for more character experiences. Other characters may greet guests from a socially distanced area like we’ve seen in the parks. Keep an eye out on balconies and any roped off areas once you’re aboard.

 

And since it seems like Disney won’t be able to operate 100% fully vaccinated cruises due to the fact that so many of their passengers are under the age of 12, we’re more than likely going to see social distancing and other health and safety protocols similar to what we’re seeing in the parks expanded to the cruise ships.

 

3. Shows and Entertainment may be limited

 

Now shows and entertainment might be limited on your next cruise. In addition to health and safety protocols that may affect theatre shows and other entertainment on board, Disney may not have their full staff and cast back for their initial sailings. It may take some time for Disney to call back casts for shows and other entertainment around the ships.

 

So the first few cruises maybe a little more bare-bones than what you’re used to on a Disney ship. Big deck parties and fireworks may not return right away if Disney Cruise line opts to maintain more rigorous social distancing guidelines in public areas of the ship.

 

It’s very likely there will be no Pirate night, deck party and fireworks on cruises for a little while, now they could surprise us, but since theatre shows have started returning to Disney World, there’s hope those may return sooner to Disney Cruise Line.

 

4. Requirements may vary

 

Requirements to cruise may be different. Will you need proof that you’re vaccinated? Well, you need a negative Covid test before you set sail. Disney hasn’t released any official requirements for their potential US-based cruises yet, but we can look at what they’re doing in the UK and what other cruise lines are doing to get a better picture.

 

This summer, Disney Cruise line is running several UK staycation cruises, basically a cruise to nowhere aboard a Disney ship for UK residents who are fully vaccinated. Proof of vaccination is required for these sailings but things are looking a bit more confusing in Florida. Governor Ron DeSantis has created a bill that goes into effect last July 1st that bans vaccine passports from being required in the state. It seems that most cruise lines will be following CDC guidelines that allow them to require vaccination verification and finding workarounds for that new Florida law.

 

Now several cruise lines, Norwegian and Celebrity among others, are operating initial cruises with only fully vaccinated passengers and crews, who must also get a coveted test prior to boarding.

 

Vaccination requirements vary from cruise line to cruise line. Some allow only vaccinated passengers for some sailings and that means no one under the age of 12 can set sail on those ships since they’re not able to be vaccinated at this time.

 

Some cruises have a 16+ vaccinated requirement. Some have it shift to 12+ come August once vaccines are more widely available for kids. Unvaccinated passengers of any age need a negative Covid test prior to boarding according to current CDC guidelines and many cruise lines are requiring that all passengers are tested before sailings regardless of vaccination status.

 

So Disney Cruise line has run a test cruise to see how they can manage crowds and flow of passengers. They need to do this to get approval from the CDC to operate sailings, where fewer than 95 per cent of passengers are vaccinated. Which for a family-centric cruise line with a lot of kid passengers, well, that’s pretty crucial.

 

Without running that test cruise, they would need to require everyone aboard to be fully vaccinated. Masks will also likely be required in some areas, as cruise lines will follow general CDC guidelines on masks. In the CDC requirements, cruise lines can designate certain areas as only available to fully vaccinated guests and thus a no masks required zone, though no cruise line has stated the intention to do so. As for masks outdoors, it’s up to the cruise line if they will allow fully vaccinated passengers to forgo wearing them. Now, CDC guidelines could be updated before Disney cruises set sail.

 

5. Cruises could start off slow

 

Something else that might be different, cruises could start off slow. June 26, the first US cruise sails, Celebrity Edge has a vaccination requirement and the first Disney Cruise Line sailing to come back is the UK staycation, basically a cruise to nowhere. We could see sailings to Disney’s private island or US-based staycations rather than other ports as travel restrictions vary from country to country.

 

Current Canada rules, cruises to Alaska may not stop there. Some ports are only allowing people to go on cruise lines operated tours to keep them in the bubble. Some ports are in countries where you must have a vaccine in order to enter again. All of this is up in the air. These are things that you should be considering before you book a cruise.

 

6. More things may go digital

 

More things may go digital as well, just like in Disney World and Disneyland. We may see more accessibility from using a smartphone while onboard. Disney World is rolling out more tech updates to help people plan from their phone and we could see an expansion on the current Disney Cruise Line app.

 

We may see mobile ordering expand to the cruise line or take out in-room service made even simpler. You could already check in on the app manage reservations and chat with the concierge but we could see even more features roll out before the ship set sail.

 

Royal Caribbean has moved a lot of planning and onboard concierge stuff onto mobile. They’ve even changed the way you do the mandatory muster drill. Instead of gathering with a group somewhere on the ship, you do it right in your room via a presentation on tv. This seems like something we could definitely see expand to more cruise lines and that would be kind of awesome.

 

7. You may have a little more space

 

Cruises will likely come back after we’re nearing full capacity in the parks but there’s a chance we end up with some overlap of limited capacity and cruises returning. This might mean you get a little more elbow room in the pool when cruises first start up again or people may be more hesitant to book cruises over other vacations less known for spreading germs. So you could end up with a pleasant but unintended consequence.

 

According to the Cruise Lines International Association, 50 per cent of cruisers said they’re ready to set sail this year while 73 per cent are ready to sail sometime in the next few years and that was before vaccines were available. So that percentage has likely gone up.

 

We’re unsure if Disney will limit capacity on their initial cruises but if we follow what has happened and is still happening with their theme parks, it seems likely that cruises won’t be fully packed out for several months into their return.

 

8. New room categories

Now, what if you’re looking to set sail next year in 2022 on Disney’s brand new ship, The Wish? Well, the ship is going to set sail on its maiden voyage on June 9th 2022. Many protocols and requirements may still be in place. We’re nearing the return to normalcy but it’s going to be a slow road and we can expect these changes to be rather long-lasting. But there’s going to be a whole lot that’s new and different if your first post-pandemic cruise is on the Disney Wish.

 

First up, you can shell out major bucks to stay in one of the tower suites. These rooms are a first of their kind on Disney Cruise Line. They are two-story, ultra luxe suites, with a private elevator to access your nearly 2000 square foot cabin.

 

Up to eight guests can stay in the cabin that features a grand staircase, walk-in closets, a library, four bedrooms and four and a half bathrooms and a porcelain statue that will “come to life” kind of creepy. This room is outrageous and like nothing we’ve seen from Disney Cruise Line before. So that will definitely be new on your next cruise.

 

9. New restaurants

The Disney Wish is also bringing brand new restaurants and lounges to Disney Cruise Line. Arendelle, a frozen dining adventure, will transport guests to Anna and Christoph’s engagement party with live performances.

 

Worlds of Marvel and ambitious dining experiences will be an interactive superhero adventure while you eat dinner. There’s also 1923, inspired by the Walt Disney company’s journey through animation. You’ll dine in either the Walt or Roy Disney room here.

 

And Star Wars Hyperspace lounge will be open for all ages during the day but at night it transforms into an adult-only experience. Disney also hinted at some robotic magic here but hasn’t released any more details.

 

10. A first of its kind ride

The Aqua Mouse is Disney’s first-ever “Attraction at sea”. This is kind of like the aqua duck on other ships but the new animated short scuba scramble created just for the ride will actually play out through oversized virtual portholes within the ride. There will be more than 60 water effects in the 760 foot long ride and it will all be synced to an original musical score.

 

Of course, if you’re planning to cruise anytime in the near future, you’ll want to stay aware of cancellation and change policies. Currently, cancellation fee schedules are relaxed and final payments are due only 60 days prior to sailing for cruises departing through November 30th 2021.

 

For any sailings booked by June 30th 2021, scheduled to sail on or before November 30th, you can change your sail date up to 15 days prior to departure and there’s a flexible refund policy for anyone with coveted related health concerns.

 

We will more than likely continue to see health and safety protocols evolve as cruises start to come back and things will certainly be different about your next Disney Cruise.

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    Possible Changes You Have to Consider In Planning Your Next Disney Cruise

    Recent Comments
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      about us

      CruisesforSingles.net is dedicated to providing quality information on the subject of Cruises for Singles and in particular various other cruise ideas for customers and merchants online.

      Cruises for Singles