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Disney Cruise Will Mandate Full Vaccination for Travelers 12+ on September 3

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A new requirement from the Bahamas means that all Disney Cruise Line guests aged 12 and older must be fully vaccinated for sailings September 3 through at least November 1, 2021.

With cases rising in the country, the Bahamas recently announced that in order for a ship to be allowed entry into any of its cruise ports, all passengers 12+ must be fully vaccinated. That mandate includes cruise line private islands in the country like Castaway Cay.

pelican plunge castaway cay

The Pelican Plunge water play area at Castaway Cay (Photo courtesy of Disney Cruise Line)

Guests must provide proof of vaccination to Disney by uploading their vaccination card to the Safe Passage by Inspire website no later than 24 hours before their sailing. Guests who choose not to provide proof of vaccination will not be permitted to board the ship.

Guests under the age of 12 must still provide proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken between 5 days and 24 hours prior to the sail date, by uploading their test results to the previously mentioned website. They will also be required to undergo a second PCR COVID-19 test administered at the terminal prior to boarding.

Updated Guidance: CDC Says ‘High-Risk’ People Should Avoid Cruise Travel

Impacted guests can modify their sail date or cancel their sailing without any Disney-imposed cancellation fees by contacting the line’s reservations team at (866) 325-6685 or (407) 566-7797 by September 3. The line says guests and travel agents will receive an email outlining additional details and next steps.

Disney Cruise Line is defining ‘fully vaccinated’ guests in accordance with CDC guidelines:

  • Guests who have received both doses of Moderna, Pfizer, or AstraZeneca are considered fully vaccinated 14 days after the second dose has been administered.
  • Guests who have received Johnson & Johnson are considered fully vaccinated 14 days after receiving one dose.
  • Guests with both one dose of Moderna and one dose of Pfizer are considered fully vaccinated 14 days after the second dose. 
  • Guests who have received one single dose of a vector vaccine (e.g. AstraZeneca) and one single dose of a mRNA vaccine (e.g. Pfizer, Moderna) are not considered fully vaccinated.

covid 19 vaccine

READ MORE: Cruise Lines React to New Bahamas Vaccine Mandate

The CDC has recently raised its travel risk rating for the Bahamas to Level 4 (“Very high level of COVID”). Between that and the tightened Bahamian entry restrictions, a number of cruise lines have had to adjust their short-term pre-boarding requirements.

  • Royal Caribbean said that guests who have a cruise booked in September and October to the Bahamas and do not wish to be vaccinated can receive a full refund, or they can move their sailing into the future when circumstances may have changed.
  • MSC Cruises is also offering a full refund to those booked on a Bahamas cruise over the next two months who are not fully vaccinated. All fully vaccinated guests will be asked to present their original CDC vaccination card at the pier upon embarkation.  Photocopies or pictures of vaccination cards will not be accepted. As well, beginning with the August 27 MSC Meraviglia Bahamas cruise, guests must now come to the pier with either a negative RT-PCR test, negative NAAT, or negative antigen test. This must be taken within 3 days of embarkation day with an accredited test provider, such as a drugstore chain or diagnostic lab.
  • Carnival Cruise Line Brand Ambassador John Heald recently announced an updated vaccine requirement for Carnival cruises that will go into effect on August 28, 2021. All guests 12 years and older will now be required to be vaccinated on all Carnival cruise ships departing from all U.S. Atlantic and Gulf homeports.
  • Norwegian Cruise Line does not have to adjust its policies as it has elected to restart operations with a 100% vaccination mandate. For now, that means children under 12 will not be allowed on its ships.

Bruce Parkinson has written about cruising and the broader international travel industry for more than 25 years.

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