Cruising During COVID: Before You Board

Credit: PaulaK

My family and I just returned from a seven night cruise on the Disney Fantasy. The trip was not work related and we weren’t sponsored by Disney, this was a family vacation. I thought I’d share some of our experiences with you, so that you can make your own decision on whether or not a Disney Cruise is right for you during these strange times.

Right now, everyone who cruises with Disney Cruise Line who is eligible for a COVID vaccine must be fully vaccinated before boarding. Children who are not old enough are required to take a PCR test three days to 24 hours in advance. We were a party of three adults, so I can’t share anything about how it works for the littlest ones.

Credit: PaulaK

Two weeks before sailing, your vaccine card needs to be uploaded to the Safe Passage website. Each member of your party will need an account, but you can link them together through your stateroom.

Related: Cruising During COVID: Safety Onboard

It can take a few days, but you’ll receive emails on whether or not your cards were accepted. Remember what email address and password you used, because you’ll need to sign in again at the port.

Related: Cruising During COVID: Dining

Once at the port, everyone will be required to take a rapid COVID test. We sailed out of Port Canaveral and drove our own car. Our test was done in the parking garage, there was another area for those who arrived a different way.

Credit: PaulaK

The test itself was the standard do-it-yourself nostril test. There were several people there to talk us through. After we finished the test, we parked the car and waited.

Related: Cruising During COVID: Entertainment

We received the results in about 20 minutes, but it felt like hours. The results came through another email from Safe Passage, and you’ll need to sign in to your account again in order to see the results.

Related: Cruising During COVID: Characters

Related: Cruising During COVID: Ports of Call

If anyone in your party receives a positive test, none of you will be allowed to board. There is no retest. This happened to some people in our Facebook cruise group. Disney will then help those involved to reschedule or receive a refund.

Credit: PaulaK

Once we received our all clear, we were able to board. There was a Cast Member checking people’s emails before allowing us to proceed. The whole process was simple from start to finish, and it worked flawlessly for us.

Related: Cruising During COVID: Star Wars Day at Sea

Related: Cruising During COVID: The End of the Cruise

We were then ready to begin our vacation! This was my third Disney cruise, and it was my favorite.

About PaulaK

I grew up in Western Massachusetts. When I was nine my family went to Disneyland and I was hooked. I grew up, attended New England College in Henniker, NH and eventually moved to Virginia. I worked as a disc jockey, married and became a full time mom when our daughter was born. Fast forward several years. In 2010 we moved to Central Florida and my Disney obsession grew. I now work as a freelance writer and spend my spare time in the parks. Under the name Paula Brown I penned the novels Dream Wanderers and The Coffee Cruiser. I also am a co-author of Dining at Walt Disney World: The Definitive Guide. I'm obsessed with Star Wars, so this is a good time to live in Central Florida. I've been a vegetarian for well over a decade, a choice that my daughter eventually made as well. While my husband still hasn't joined us fully he has given up most meats except for seafood. I was relieved to find that vegetarian dining is not difficult at Walt Disney World.