CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — After a few participants received contradictory COVID-19 test results, Disney Cruise Line has postponed its first test cruise since the epidemic forced the cruise industry to a halt, the company announced Monday.
The Disney Dream was supposed to leave Port Canaveral, Florida, on Tuesday with 300 Disney workers who had volunteered for the “simulation” voyage. The trip was postponed until next month, pending permissions, due to conflicting COVID-19 findings from a limited number of employees, “which the CDC considers positive,” Disney stated in a statement.
The cruise line’s request for a two-night test cruise was granted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The federal government is beginning to allow cruise ships to sail again, but only if almost all passengers and crew members have had a flu vaccine. Cruise operators must verify the success of its COVID-19 safety measures on test voyages, according to Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who signed a bill prohibiting businesses from seeking evidence of vaccination.
Celebrity Edge departed Fort Lauderdale, Florida, last weekend, marking the first time a cruise ship has left a U.S. port in 15 months. Carnival ships are already slated to depart from other ports next month, so Saturday’s voyage marked the start of the cruise companies’ return to operation.
Celebrity Cruises, one of Royal Caribbean Cruises’ brands, reported that 99 percent of guests had been vaccinated, well above the CDC’s minimum of 95 percent.