We cruised with Disney Cruise Line during COVID, and here’s what we discovered…
|We’re back from the Maris/Mantarian family cruise and Oh. my. goodness. what a great week it was! Here are just a few highlights of some of our favorite moments!|
Cruising during the pandemic was great we felt safer on the boat than I do walking into our local Meijer. But it’s also different. If you’ve cruised with Disney before, you’ll notice slight changes (things like social distancing markers, mandatory hand washing stations, and the BRUTAL 45-minute wait for your negative test results sitting at Port Canaveral). We kept a pros and cons list of the pandemic impact throughout the week and here are our top 3 for both…
1. There are limited entertainment options at night. Usually, you can view a show before or after your dinner hour, but due to capacity issues in the theater, your dining rotation viewed the show every other night. Unfortunately, there was an issue with casting so we didn’t even get a third show. It was a serious bummer because we LOVE the nighttime entertainment. In addition, they’ve totally done away with some of the larger “deck parties”.
2. Venues fill to capacity QUICKLY and then CLOSE. If you were hoping to catch an event or show in one of the theaters or lounges, it was best to go 30 minutes before and stand in line. Once a venue reached capacity they closed it making it super easy to miss that activity or show altogether. Plus who wants to spend 30 minutes, multiple times waiting to get into a venue when you’re on a cruise.
3. Your entire party must test negative at the gate before you are cleared to sail. Hear me, this made me WAY more comfortable being on the ship, and overall I think this is a GOOD thing. BUT the 45 minutes prior to boarding your entire party is sitting in a tent having a combined panic attack waiting for the very real reality that they might all be turned away. It was NOT the good vibes you want to start your vacation on.
1. There were some serious tech upgrades that were super helpful! These included a quicker mandatory safety drill and 24/7 support chat with Guest Services cast members.
2. There were WAY fewer people on the boat, and you could tell. At times, it felt like you had the whole place to yourself! There was more than enough room to stretch out and overall common areas were more enjoyable and less crowded.
3. Disney really did try and up the “magic” on board. They know that some of the pandemic precautions are putting a damper on your vacation so they really tried to use all their pixie dust to add in extra character meet & greets, surprises at dinnertimes, and added delights throughout the trip.
Truth be told, we actually had more pros on our list than cons, and overall we had a very magical time ✨