Disney Cruise Line announced new temporary policy changes allowing guests booked on upcoming cruises to cancel up to 24 hours before departure with a full refund towards a future Disney Cruise Sailing as a result of the looming threat of Coronavirus (COVID-19) among passengers and crew members. Disney Cruise Line addressed concerns for guests with upcoming sailings between now and May 31, 2020 and European cruises aboard the Disney Magic through a July 25, 2020. Additionally, upon embarkation, passenger and crew members will have their temperature check by a nurse with a no touch thermometer prior to boarding.
The following guidelines have been updated to include temperature checks for all guests prior to boarding and additional guidance for guests sailing to The Bahamas and Jamaica. These guidelines are likely to continue to change over time as additional details become available. Please note that major changes to the current policy are bolded for your convenience.
- As is always our practice, we screen all guests and crew members before they board, and anyone who feels unwell with gastrointestinal or flu-like symptoms (fever over 100.4º F, chills, cough or difficulty breathing) will not be permitted to sail.
- Beginning Friday, March 6, all guests and crew members will have their temperature checked by a nurse with a no touch thermometer prior to boarding. Additional medical screening will be required for anyone with a temperature of 100.4º F or greater, and they along with their travel party may be unable to sail.
- If your client’s cruise includes a stop in Nassau or Castaway Cay, please note that The Bahamas will not allow anyone to disembark in any Bahamian port if they have been to China, South Korea, Italy or Iran in the past 20 days prior to arrival. These guests and Crew Members may be able to sail but will be unable to visit The Bahamas.
- If your client’s cruise includes a stop in Jamaica, please note that in addition to the locations noted above, officials there also will not allow guests who have traveled from, to or through Singapore within 14 days of arrival to disembark. These guests will be unable to sail.
- As a reminder, any guest or crew member who has traveled from, to or through China, including Hong Kong and Macau, South Korea, Italy, Iran or Japan, within 14 days of departure will not be able to board our ships.
- Additionally, any guest or crew member who has been in contact with someone from these areas, including guests with connecting flights in these locations, also will not be able to board, nor will anyone who has helped care for someone suspected of having or diagnosed with COVID-19, or who is currently subject to health monitoring for possible exposure. Guests who have air travel booked through Disney Cruise Line will automatically have their flights rebooked on an alternate route. Guests who booked their own air travel arrangements should contact their airlines directly to make the appropriate changes.
- Finally, guests scheduled to sail between now and May 31, 2020, can now change their reservation up until the day before embarkation and receive a 100% cruise credit to be used for a future sailing within 12 months of their original sail date. You can make this change by calling 1-866-325-2112. The credit is non-refundable and standard prevailing rates will apply.
Disney Cruise Line anticipates high call volume during this time so please be understanding and patient as Disney Cruise Line works with all Travel Professionals and Guests who have bookings during this timeframe. Disney Cruise Line will be starting with reservations in March and will trigger deployment beginning today. This will possibly go through next week, based on call volume.
Later in the day, Disney Cruise Line issued an update expanding the temporary adjustments to its cancelation policy to provide more flexibility for its guests. Guests currently booked on European cruises through a July 25, 2020 departure date can change their guests’ reservation up until the day before the guests’ embarkation and the guests will receive a 100% cruise credit to be used for a future sailing within 15 months of their original sail date. The credit is non-refundable and standard prevailing rates will apply.
Alternatively, guests currently booked on the July 13, July 18 and July 25 European sailings in 2020 may delay their final payment to 30 days prior to the sailing.
We have learned that if you opt to move to a new sail date, and the new sailing costs less than the credit you are receiving, the remaining credit will be placed on your onboard account as a nonrefundable onboard credit (OBC).
This is a PDF of the multiple email correspondence Disney Cruise Line will be sending out on the March 6, 2020 Coronavirus Update for guests booked on sailings through May 31, 2020.
The U.S. Department of State issued an update on March 5th urging U.S. citizens to reconsider travel by cruise ship to or within Asia. However, they did not expand this warning elsewhere only saying U.S. citizens planning travel by cruise ship elsewhere should be aware that, due to the current public health situation, many countries have implemented strict screening procedures in order to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19.
This is a dynamic situation and U.S. citizens traveling by ship may be impacted by travel restrictions affecting their itineraries or ability to disembark, or may be subject to quarantine procedures implemented by the local authorities. While the U.S. government has successfully evacuated hundreds of our citizens in the previous weeks, repatriation flights should not be relied upon as an option for U.S. citizens under the potential risk of quarantine by local authorities. U.S. citizens should evaluate the risks associated with choosing to remain in an area that may be subject to quarantine and take the appropriate proactive measures. Passengers who plan to travel by cruise ship should contact their cruise line companies directly for further information on the current rules and restrictions, and continue to monitor the Travel.state.gov website and see the latest information from thetravel.state.gov Current Outbreak of Coronavirus Disease 2019 | Emergency Notification – March 5, 2020
Disney is not the only cruise line taking steps to mitigate the threat of Coronavirus. Royal Caribbean announced on Thursday they would begin mandatory temperature screenings to their embarkation check-in process to further screen passengers as well as crew members for Coronavirus. Today, Royal announced Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, Azamara and Silversea guest may cancel up to 48 hours before a sailing through July 31st and will receive a full credit for their fare, usable on any future sailing of the guest’s choice in 2020 or 2021. Princess Cruise Lines issued temporary cancellation policy for departures through May 31st, and finally payment policy change for June 2020 sailings. Carnival Cruise Lines issued a similar set of policy changes for cruises through May 31, 2020.
Special thanks to Tammy from Storybook Destinations for her assistance with this post.