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New Regulations Could Disrupt Cruises to Puerto Rico

The cruise industry has been up and running again for only a few months, but the omicron variant of coronavirus is making waves. Already there have been several ships where dozens of passengers have tested positive. Now, stopping at a popular port may not be possible.

Credit: Paula K

On December 26, Puerto Rico implemented new regulations that make it next to impossible for most ships to dock. They state in part:

Anyone older than 2 years must provide a negative result of a molecular or antigen test for COVID-19 performed within the period of 48 hours before arriving on the Island, regardless of being inoculated with any of the vaccines authorized by FDA or WHO. In case of being an international traveler, you must provide a negative result of a molecular or antigen test for COVID-19 performed in a period no longer than one (1) day before boarding a flight to Puerto Rico.

Royal Caribbean’s Symphony of the Seas was denied access on December 27 because of the new regulations.

Related: Disney Fantasy Guests Not Allowed to Disembark in St. Thomas

San Juan is a popular destination for Disney Cruise Line. The Disney Fantasy is scheduled to stop in San Juan next month. There is no word yet on whether or not the new regulations will affect that cruise.

Credit: Paula K

Disney Cruise Line has strict safety measures for passengers and crew. The Know Before You Go page of the Disney Cruise Line website says in part:

Currently, Disney Cruise Line continues to require all vaccine-eligible Guests (based on US eligibility requirements) to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, as defined by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), at the time of sailing. This will be a requirement for all Guests (US and international) ages 5 and up for sailings beginning on or after January 13, 2022. Guests who are not vaccine-eligible because of age must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test result (paid for by the Guest) taken between 3 days and 24 hours before their sail date. Guests ages 5 through 11 may complete this testing requirement in lieu of being fully vaccinated for sailings that depart before January 13, 2022. Guests 4 years of age and under must complete the testing requirements. The test should be a NAAT test, rapid PCR test or lab-based PCR test. Rapid antigen tests are not accepted.

Related: Disney Cruise Line Changes Ports of Call

While our cruise experience may have changed a bit, we’ve come up with new and exciting offerings to create magical memories together—tailored to our times and presented with all the care you’ve come to expect from Disney Cruise Line. From original live shows inside the lavish Walt Disney Theatre to innovative new ways to see and interact with Disney Characters throughout the ship, storytelling springs to life on a Disney cruise.

As we set sail again, the health and safety of our Guests, Cast Members and Crew Members is a top priority. Our focus remains on operating our ships in a responsible way that continues to create magic for all on board. We are resuming sailing in a gradual, phased approach that emphasizes multiple layers of health and safety measures, considering guidance from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other medical experts. Under this guidance, we’ve reimagined your cruise experience so we all can enjoy the magic responsibly.

Additionally, enjoy peace of mind when booking your cruise, knowing there are options available that allow you to change or cancel your booking flexibly.

Credit: Paula K

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About Paula K

I grew up in Western Massachusetts. When I was nine my family went to Disneyland and I was hooked. I grew up, attended New England College in Henniker, NH and eventually moved to Virginia. I worked as a disc jockey, married and became a full time mom when our daughter was born. Fast forward several years. In 2010 we moved to Central Florida and my Disney obsession grew. I now work as a freelance writer and spend my spare time in the parks. Under the name Paula Brown I penned the novels Dream Wanderers and The Coffee Cruiser. I also am a co-author of Dining at Walt Disney World: The Definitive Guide. I'm obsessed with Star Wars, so this is a good time to live in Central Florida. I've been a vegetarian for well over a decade, a choice that my daughter eventually made as well. While my husband still hasn't joined us fully he has given up most meats except for seafood. I was relieved to find that vegetarian dining is not difficult at Walt Disney World.