Disney Dream cruise ship to make return to the seas in August

The Dream's return will kick off with 3- and 4-night tropical voyages to Disney's Castaway Cay in the Bahamas, departing from Port Canaveral

The Disney Dream will officially set sail on Aug. 9 for the first time since its COVID-19-induced hiatus. 

The Dream's return to the seas will kick off with three- and four-night tropical voyages to Castaway Cay, the company's private island in the Bahamas, departing from Port Canaveral, Florida. 

"I am thrilled that the time has come to chart the course for fun with your Disney friends, to relax in a tropical paradise, and to enjoy all the enchantment of Disney Cruise Line," Disney's president of signature experiences, Thomas Mazloum, said in a video. "While some things may look a bit different for now, you can rest assured that the dazzling entertainment, impeccable service, and attention to detail that have long defined Disney vacations remain the same."

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According to Disney, passengers who board the Dream will be strongly encouraged, though not required, to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before sailing. Guests who provide proof of vaccination will be exempt from pre-trip and embarkation testing as well as travel insurance requirements. 

Guests who are not vaccinated must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test, paid for at their own expense, that is taken between five days and 24 hours prior to the sail date, as well as undergo a rapid PCR-test at the terminal prior to boarding. Passengers who are 12 years and older will be charged a $65 fee for the embarkation testing. 

For cruises departing from Florida through Dec. 31, 2021, guests 12 years of age and older must provide proof of a valid travel insurance policy that meets coverage requirements.

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All passengers who are ages 2 and up are required to wear face coverings indoors, except when in their staterooms or actively eating or drinking. Face coverings are not required for guests outdoors while on board the ship and at Disney Castaway Cay.

Hand sanitizer will be made available around the ship and signage will be posted highlighting recommendations from health authorities on physical distancing, coughing etiquette and proper hand-washing. Enhanced cleaning procedures, including modified housekeeping services and a new purification system, will also be implemented. In addition to adjusting its dining and entertainment experiences to promote physical distancing, the Disney Dream will operate at reduced capacity.

In order to manage any suspected or confirmed COVID-19 cases, Disney has developed a team of nurses, physicians and a public health officer in order to screen and respond to guests. Medical facilities on board are equipped with isolation, monitoring care, ventilators, oxygen, laboratory and pharmacy services.

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The announcement comes after Disney Cruise Line was forced to delay its test cruise required by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention due to "inconsistent COVID-19 test results." According to Click Orlando, Disney completed the two-day trip earlier this month with Disney employees volunteering as the ship's passengers.

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In addition to the Dream, both the Disney Fantasy and Disney Wonder cruise ships have been approved for sailing by the CDC.