In a somewhat surprising move, Disney Cruise Line announced yesterday that kids ages 5-11 will soon be required to show proof of full vaccination from Covid-19 in order to cruise. This new protocol starts January 13, 2022.
I say this is somewhat surprising because DCL and other cruise lines have said that their vaccine requirements are coming from The Bahamian government. The Bahamas previously announced a vaccine requirement for all cruisers ages 12+, but the government has not yet changed the requirement to include ages 5-11.
Here is the announcement:
Currently, Disney Cruise Line continues to require all vaccine-eligible Guests (based on US eligibility requirements) to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, as defined by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), at the time of sailing. This will be a requirement for all Guests (US and international) ages 5 and up for sailings beginning on or after January 13, 2022. Guests who are not vaccine-eligible because of age must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test result (paid for by the Guest) taken between 3 days and 24 hours before their sail date. Guests ages 5 through 11 may complete this testing requirement in lieu of being fully vaccinated for sailings that depart before January 13, 2022. Guests 4 years of age and under must complete the testing requirements. The test should be a NAAT test, rapid PCR test or lab-based PCR test. Rapid antigen tests are not accepted.
Guests who cannot meet this new requirement must contact DCL to cancel by December 1, 2021 for a full refund.
Of course, comments are running rampant on social media. The biggest complaint I see is from people who live in other countries where the vaccine hasn’t yet been approved for that age group. Some guests from overseas have already purchased airfare for upcoming cruises that they will have to cancel.
Royal Caribbean is now the only major U.S. cruise line that is currently not requiring the vaccine for kids ages 5-11. I expect Royal to follow suit, but so far there has been no announcement.
Nancy lives near Dallas, Texas, with her husband and three kids. Her favorite vacations include the beach, cruising and everything Disney.