Disney Cruise Line Pushes Back Trial Sailing After Crew Tests Positive for COVID-19

Disney Cruise Line was forced to postpone a test cruise scheduled for Tuesday after a handful of crew members tested positive for COVID-19, the company confirmed to Travel + Leisure.

The test sailing, which was expected to take off from Florida on a two-night cruise with volunteers on the Disney Dream, will now be postponed until sometime in July, a spokeswoman for the company told T+L, pending approvals. Test cruises are required by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for all cruise lines unless 98% of crew and 95% of passengers are fully vaccinated.

On the Disney Dream, five crew members tested positive for the virus last week during routine surveillance testing. These crew then tested negative in follow up testing the next day, but the spokeswoman said these results are considered "inconsistent" and therefore treated as positive cases.

The affected employees — part of a crew of nearly 600 — are all asymptomatic and had been recently vaccinated.

"We are delaying our simulation cruise due to a small number of inconsistent COVID-19 test results, which are considered positive by the CDC," the spokeswoman told T+L. "The rigorous health and safety protocols we have in place helped us identify the situation, though the test results were ultimately negative."

Disney was approved earlier this month to begin test cruises, which must sail with volunteers who are at least 18 years old and who agree to post-trip testing and sample collection.

The postponement comes days after Royal Caribbean completed its first test cruise, sailing with 650 Royal Caribbean employees who volunteered for the three-day, two-night cruise on its Freedom of the Seas ship.

It also comes as Celebrity Cruises took off from Florida over the weekend, making it the first cruise ship to leave a United States homeport with ticketed passengers since March 2020. On the ship, which is sailing at reduced capacity, 95% of passengers and nearly 100% of crew were fully vaccinated.

Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure. When she's not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram.

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