Fort Lauderdale mayor on future of cruises
Fort Lauderdale, Florida Mayor Dean Trantalis discusses the CDC approving the first cruise to sail out of the U.S. in over a year in June.
Disney Cruise Line can soon begin trial voyages in waters out of Florida with volunteer passengers helping test whether the ships can sail safely during a pandemic, according to reports.
Disney Signature Experiences President Thomas Mazloum said in a letter posted Tuesday at LaughingPlace.com, a website run by Disney fans, that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention gave the go-ahead to the 2,500-passenger Disney Dream to run a two-night trial run from June 29 through July 1 out of Port Canaveral.
"This is a critically important milestone for Disney Cruise Line – and I want to thank everyone who has been supporting our return-to-service plans with such dedication and hard work," Mazloum said in the letter.
CALIFORNIA THEME PARKS CLEARED TO RETURN TO FULL CAPACITY IN JUNE
The CDC action is a step toward resuming cruises in U.S. waters, possibly by July, for the first time since March 2020.
"We have reached an important next step toward our gradual and responsible resumption of service, and are grateful for the productive dialogue with state, local and federal officials, the CDC and others in our industry that has made this possible," said Disney Cruise Line spokeswoman Cynthia Martinez in an emailed statement. "We look forward to our amazing crew once again creating magic for our guests and to helping the many workers who support our industry get back to work."
Last month the CDC gave ship operators final technical guidelines for test cruises.
Each practice cruise — which will run two to seven days — must have enough passengers to meet at least 10% of the ship’s capacity. Volunteers must be 18 or older and either fully vaccinated or free of medical conditions that would put them at high risk for severe COVID-19.
The ship operator must tell passengers that they are simulating untested safety measures "and that sailing during a pandemic is an inherently risky activity," the CDC guidelines state.