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CDC Ban on Cruises to Expire – What Does This Mean?

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It was way back on March 13th, 2020 that the CDC first announced a no sail order on cruise ships out of the US. Now, some 7 months later, the CDC order is to expire.

This doesn’t exactly mean that we are going to see cruising resume immediately. Disney has cancelled all cruises until early December 2020. There is now hope that cruising will at least start to resume over the next few months. What we do not know yet is exactly how that experience will have changed.

The CDC has lifted the ban, but has introduced a very detailed and comprehensive set of guidelines about how cruise lines can now operate.

Disney Cruise Lines canceled all sailings for the Disney Fantasy through December 6; the Disney Dream and Disney Wonder through December 11; and the Disney Magic through December 12.

Does this mean that these sailings will now go ahead? Well, it now seems that this is more likely than not.

Each ship will need to be issued with a Conditional Sailing Certificate before it will be allowed to resume sailing in US waters.


There are many elements which will be required before a Conditional Sailing Certificate is issued including a cruise ship operator having to conduct a “simulated voyage” which shows they can mitigate the risk of COVID on board.

There are a number of guidelines relating to how this “simulated voyage” is conducted including that all participants have to be volunteers aged 18 and over.

In other words, cruise ships can’t just set sail without proving that they can satisfy the CDC requirements. They will have to have a “test run” and satisfy the CDC that they are fit to resume sailing.

Another notable provision is that a cruise ship operator must not offer a sailing which is “longer than 7 days”. It isn’t clear when this restriction will be lifted. Most Disney cruises are 7 days or less, but the Panama Canal Cruise has to be in question as this is more than 7 days.

The provisions also include mandatory testing the day of embarkation, for all passengers and crew.

Disney Cruise Lines has not yet commented, nor announced what measures they will be taking in this new age of cruising. We will of course report on that as soon as they do.

Do you feel confident enough to sail? Here is an article that explains more about your options if you want to cancel your Disney Cruise.

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