Four Reasons to Sail Disney Cruise Line Right Now
Updated: Oct 20, 2021
We’re just back from a Halloween on the High Seas cruise on the Disney Dream, and we wanted to share a little about what we’ve learned about sailing Disney Cruise Line in 2021. Soon, we’ll share more specifics, things we wish we’d known, and what we would have done differently. There are some changes, of course, as we navigate a global pandemic,and you should always use your best judgment about what's right and safe for you and your family, but overall we think it’s a GREAT time to cruise. Here are four reasons why.
1. Lower crowds. We heard a few different estimates of how many passengers were on board our ship--from 1500 to 1600 of the usual 4,000 passenger capacity. We don’t know how long these low numbers will continue, but it’s a fantastic time to take advantage of having so much of the ship to yourself. We never felt like the ship was crowded or noisy, nor was Castaway Cay. And despite the lower passenger number, the ship seemed completely staffed. We felt totally taken care of by everyone from our stateroom attendant to our dining team, and cast members were constantly cleaning every service and checking on guests.
2. Low, if any, wait times. We never waited more than a few minutes (or two or three families in front of us) for character photos, to check out in the shops, or to be served at any of the quick-service counters (Cabanas, Frozone/EyeScream, or Flo’s). (Please note that cast members will ask what you’d like at the soft-serve, beverage and Cabanas lines and give it to you, reducing all of the germy possibilities that come along with thousands of passengers serving themselves and touching everything.) When my son took a photo with Tiana (his favorite princess!), a very short line behind him allowed the princess to take her time with each child and have sweet conversations, even though the photo ops are distanced. (Note: guests keep masks on while talking with characters indoors, and when the characters turn around for the distanced photo, guests may remove their masks just for the photo.)
3. Attention to safety. The mask enforcement is just one measure to keep cast members and guests safe, which leads us to #3: We felt incredibly safe the whole time. All guests 12 and over had to provide proof of being fully vaccinated in the weeks leading up to the cruise, and our ten year-old son had to receive and upload a negative PCR or NAAT ID 1-3 days beforehand. Along with every passenger on our cruise, we all took a rapid test at the terminal before boarding and waited in our cars for the confirmation that they were all negative.
Just knowing that everyone around us had gone through these same procedures went a long way toward our feelings of safety and comfort. Guests are required to wear masks in indoor spaces, taking them off only when seated for dining or drinks.
My little Swedish Chef, waiting patiently on his marker for
Mickey's Mousequerade Party to begin.
At the Mousequerade Halloween party and for fireworks, families are directed to stay on designated markers to ensure distances between groups. We never felt like we were in a risky situation, which made it much easier to relax and have a great time.
4. Entertainment and activities. Despite the lower crowds and enhanced safety precautions, we didn’t feel like the entertainment options suffered in the least! We still had multiple opportunities to watch both Broadway-style shows in the Walt Disney Theatre (Beauty and the Beast and Disney's Believe), and there were first-run and Halloween movies to watch in the Buena Vista Theater (Shang Chi and the Ten Rings, Jungle Cruise, and Hocus Pocus, to name a few).
In addition to limited/distanced seating, the one major difference: the Preludes stand is closed, so no popcorn or candy during your theater visits, making it easier to keep your masks on during the show. You can bring beverages into the theaters; cast members just ask that you replace your mask between sips.
Waiting for Pixar trivia (we. . . did not win this round, ha).
The on-board activities were plentiful as well. There were multiple options every day for
family and adult activities like animation classes, trivia, bingo and gameshow-style fun. At times, we were one of only four or five families/groups in an activity. For better or worse, this does up your odds of being chosen to participate on stage, but it also ups your chances of winning a coveted DCL medal!
Generation Quest champion!
Do you have any questions about cruising right now? Or are you ready to book? Leave a comment or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org today, and we will get back to you right away!