Disney Cruise Line passengers are cancelling maiden voyages, as the family-focussed line continues to enforce vaccination requirements.
Since the Eastern seaboard protocols of mandated cruise ship vaccinations were repealed last month, the majority of cruise lines have removed their Covid protocols. Disney Cruises, however, remains a notable exception.
Disney’s Customer Service states the vaccination rules will be in place at least until November 16, before being reassessed. Disney Wonder arrives in Australia in October.
The delay has meant confused families have been cancelling their cruises at the last minute as they remain unsure over who will and won’t be allowed on the ship.
Cruiser Jessica Yap said she cancelled on the day her full payment was due.
“I just cancelled my Disney Cruise. Absolutely gutted about it!” she posted.
“I know Disney will eventually update their policies, but it wasn’t something I could afford to wait around and see. Fingers crossed they get their act together.
“They won’t extend my paid-in-full date due to the uncertainty of the situation and not knowing how long it may take for policies to be updated. I was told I could pay in full, but with no guarantee of a full refund if vaccination requirements remain.”
Another cruiser called Cruise Passenger and said their group was forced to cancel one of their cabins due to vaccination rules, despite not being warned when booking their cruise.
Full vaccination still required
Disney Cruise Line is still requiring full vaccination for all passengers 12 and over who wish to sail in the upcoming inaugural Australian season. The policy remains on Disney’s website and was confirmed to Cruise Passenger via a Disney Cruise Line customer service representative.
Given Disney is a family cruise line, it would have a significant number of unvaccinated teenage passengers older than 12 booked for a cruise onboard Disney Wonder. But they will be unable to cruise Disney in the season ahead.
At this week’s Cruise 360 cruise industry conference in Brisbane, one industry figure told Cruise Passenger that they spoke to a Disney representatives who said they were expecting confirmation of a policy update in the coming days.
But that is no comfort to families with unvaccinated passengers over 12 years who, under current rules, will not be permitted to board Disney Wonder.
Families begin cancelling Disney cruises
While Disney holds out on updating their policy, that delay has led to some guests cancelling their cruises. With final payments looming, some passengers have decided they can’t hold out any longer.
Posts regarding vaccination rules in Disney Facebook Groups are quickly garnering hundreds of comments, as cruisers remain confused. The Disney Cruise Australia season begins in October, just over a month away.
Cruise Passenger has also contacted leading travel agents, who are also unsure of how the rules will play out.