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Credit: PaulaK

Cruising During COVID: Ports of Call

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.

Related: Cruising During COVID: Before You Board

If you’re sailing on Disney Cruise Line (or any other cruise line for that matter) you will most likely choose your voyage in part because of the ports of call. This was the one disappointment of our recent vacation.

When we booked our cruise, we were supposed to stop in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Philipsburg, St. Maarten, and, of course, Castaway Cay. Two days before our trip I received an email that said our itinerary had changed to Cozumel, Mexico, Costa Maya, Mexico, Nassau, The Bahamas, and Castaway Cay. I was a bit disappointed, but other cruise lines were canceling entire trips, and I was still happy that we were still sailing.

Related: Cruising During COVID: Safety Onboard

It was too late to book new excursions. We were told that we would have to do that once we were on the ship.

Related: Cruising During COVID: Dining

When we boarded, we were handed a sheet that told us our itinerary had changed again. The ports of call were still the same, but the order had changed and we’d be stopping in Nassau first.

Credit: PaulaK

It’s a simple process to get off of the ship right now. You’ll need to join a Virtual Queue, but don’t think of Rise of the Resistance. You’ll join through the Navigator App, and it will tell you when you and your party can head down. Make sure everyone is ready when you hit join, because we never had to wait.

Related: Cruising During COVID: Entertainment

Everyone needs to have their Key to the World Card and, if 18 or older, a photo ID. Then head down when it’s your time! It’s as simple as it was in the past.

Credit: PaulaK

Carry at least a picture of your vaccine card with you, just in case. We never had to show ours. Children who are not old enough to be vaccinated will be allowed to leave only if it is through an official Disney excursion.

Related: Cruising During COVID: Characters

I’m not a huge fan of the port in Nassau, so we didn’t spend much time off ship there. I did like Cozumel, and Costa Maya was even better! We didn’t book any excursions, because there weren’t any on the new itinerary that interested us.

Related: Cruising During COVID: Star Wars Day at Sea

Related: Cruising During COVID: The End of the Cruise

Sadly, we never made it to Castaway Cay. The sea was too rough, and that day was the only possibility. Many Guests thought that Disney was going to try to squeeze it in on the final day, but the distance was too far.

Credit: PaulaK

Even without Castaway Cay or our original ports of call, it was a wonderful week. While we might have picked the cruise partly because of the stops, it was the Crew Members who made our vacation one of the best ever.

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.