(12:30 p.m. EDT) -- Disney Dream is setting sail from Port Canaveral today, marking the family-oriented cruise line's first U.S. sailing since the pandemic began in March 2020.
The four-day cruise will sail to Disney Cruise Line's private island, Castaway Cay, in The Bahamas, where it will spend two days.
The line is not releasing how many guests will be onboard the ship, which carries a maximum of 4,000 passengers. Nor is it divulging the percentage of guests who are vaccinated, according to a line spokesperson.
Because children under 12 can't be vaccinated -- and therefore the ship is unlikely to reach a 95 percent vaccination rate -- Disney Dream underwent a two-day simulated "test cruise" required by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on July 19.
The test cruises allow the ship to put their health and safety protocols through the paces, and serve as a "shakedown cruise" of sorts, allowing staff to get used to having guests onboard before paying passengers show up.
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Disney's protocols require masks for everyone onboard over 2 years old, except in outdoor areas and places where people are actively eating and drinking.
Vaccination is recommended but not required on Disney Cruise Lines. Passengers who are fully vaccinated can provide proof to be exempt from precruise and embarkation testing, as well as a requirement to buy travel insurance.
Passengers who are unvaccinated, including kids, must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR, at their expense, taken between five days and 24 hours before embarkation. At the terminal, unvaccinated passengers must take a rapid PCR test before boarding, at a cost of $65 for anyone older than 12.
Unvaccinated passengers above the age of 12 must also provide proof of travel insurance that has a minimum of $10,000 in medical expense coverage and $30,000 coverage for emergency medical evacuation, with no COVID-19 exclusions.
A few other things will be new in the pandemic era. While Disney characters will be onboard and in shows, there will not be any meet and greets. Youth activities will be held in small groups and buffets will be served. The popular Fish Extender gift exchanges between passengers are also on hold.
Masks are not required at Castaway Cay.
Disney Dream is the latest ship to leave Port Canaveral, which has swung back into business in the last few weeks. Carnival's newest ship Mardi Gras was the first cruise from the port, leaving July 31. Carnival Magic followed August. 7.
After completing its test cruise, Royal Caribbean's Allure of the Seas set off on its first sailing with paying passengers August 8. Mariner of the Seas is slated to begin sailing from Port Canaveral on August 23.