As many folks that love cruises already know, going on one has been a pretty cautious business since covid hit the U.S. in 2020.
While strict pandemic-fueled restrictions have slowly eased over the last two years as vaccines became more widespread, cruise companies still have to be careful. Royal Caribbean (RCL ) went as far as to pause several of its cruises back in January 2022 due to covid-related concerns, for instance.
That said, the general trend for cruises right now seems to be relaxing those once-rigid regulations. Carnival Cruise Lines (CCL) has removed pre-cruise testing requirements for its vaccinated guests, and it now also allows unvaccinated guests to sail.
Royal Caribbean (RCL) has dialed back its requirements as well, allowing both vaccinated and unvaccinated guests to cruise as long as they meet testing requirements, which vary by destination.
And while Norwegian Cruise Line (NCLH) hasn't dropped all its covid regulations yet, it's about to come Sept. 3. As it currently stands, all guests 12 and older regardless of vaccination need to show proof of a negative test within 72 hours in order to sail.
Now Disney Cruise Line has a change its making as well, and one that families that sail will be very happy to hear.
What's Changing At Disney Cruise Line?
The Disney Cruise Line website has made a change to its covid policies that will go into effect on Sept. 2, according to Disney Food Blog. From that date forward, only guests age 12 and older will be required to be fully vaccinated to sail.
However, the site also states that Disney Cruise Line highly recommends that guests 11 and younger be fully vaccinated before boarding.
It is worth noting that all Disney cruises still require potential guests to provide proof of a negative covid test taken two days prior to the cruise in order to board. If that test is not provided, guests will be required to test before they embark.
Disney Cruise Line is still riding the wave of being named "Best Large-ship" cruise by Travel & Leisure Magazine for 2022, and surely the company will see an influx of new passengers eager to try out its cruises because of it.
However, some also grumbled at Disney Cruise Line's recent increase of suggested gratuity rates on its cruises, which is now an additional dollar a day per stateroom guest and is automatically added to guests' accounts during their cruise. The increase will go to the head server, assistant server, and the stateroom host that take care of guest cabins.
This practice started on the Disney Wish and is due to roll out to Disney Cruise Line's other ships as well. Similar increases have also shown up on other major cruise lines. While the pinch of inflation is hardly news in a year where everything from gas to groceries costs more, just think of it as a way to take better care of the people who go out of their way to take care of you.