Disney Cruise Line and Adventures by Disney are both currently on hiatus, through at least October 2020, but that doesn’t stop us from speculating what these forms of Disney-branded international travel will look like once the COVID pandemic is under control.
Two bits of news have us wondering if they will impact the future of international touring via Disney.
Some Countries Are Now Requiring COVID Tests and International Health Insurance Prior to Entry
In an effort to protect their own economies and health care infrastructure, some countries are now mandating that visitors to their shores must have international health insurance. Should a visitor need COVID-related care, the costs could be astronomical. Note that standard United States health insurance plans do not typically cover care overseas. Trip cancellation travel insurance policies may also exempt some medical care, such as COVID treatment, from their plans.
Required international insurance and proof of that insurance vary by country. Additionally, some countries are requiring proof of a recent negative Coronavirus test prior to entry. Example requirements of countries visited by either DCL or AbD include:
- Aruba: As of July 1, 2020 international visitors must present the results of a recent negative COVID test. Additionally, all visitors must purchase a specific international health insurance plan selected by the Aruban government. The cost of the plan is based on the visitor’s age and duration of stay.
- Bermuda: As of July 1, 2020, visitors must present a recent negative COVID test, as well as proof of international health insurance. Upon arrival, visitors must undergo additional Coronavirus testing and quarantine until the results are available.
- Costa Rica: As of August 1, 2020, visitors must present a recent negative COVID test, as well as proof of international health insurance.
- St. Maarten: As of August 1, 2020, visitors must present a recent negative COVID test, as well as proof of international health insurance.
While we have no inside scoop (seriously, we don’t), it’s not difficult to imagine that when DCL and AbD trips resume, there might be requirements for recent negative COVID tests or for rapid on-site COVID tests prior to the start of a journey. Travel insurance that includes medical coverage could be required, rather than simply offered.
Those wishing to get a jump on planning, may want to consult the Squaremouth Guide to travel insurance in the time of COVID for ideas of what might be expected.
Some Cruises Are Limiting Excursions
While U.S.-based cruising is at a standstill, cruises are slowly resuming in areas of the world with low COVID case counts. For example, MSC Cruises will begin trips in the Mediterranean on August 16.
The resumption of cruises seems like good news, but there are some caveats. Port visits will look substantially different. Rather than allowing guests to disembark and explore ports freely, guests wishing to disembark the ship will be required to do so via an organized excursion. This will allow the cruise line to track guest movement for contact tracing, as well as to keep an eye on mask compliance, social distancing, and other health and safety protocols.
In the past, guests on Disney Cruises and Adventures by Disney journey typically have at least some free time to roam at will in foreign countries. The one exception that comes to mind is the DCL/AbD trips that visit St. Petersburg, Russia. Exploring Russia on your own requires a special visa, which means that most guests choose to stick with the Disney-organized excursions, which are chaperoned by Russian guides and do not require a visa.
What Would You Do?
Again, we don’t know if any or all of these issues will impact DCL/AbD when international travel eventually resumes. However, it is possible that we will see modifications to booking requirements or to movement in overseas locales. How would you feel about changes from pre-pandemic procedures? Would you take a COVID test before cruising? Would you cruise if you had to participate in organized excursions in order to disembark?