Current Procedures for Back-To-Back Cruises in the Mediterranean

cwis

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 3, 2016
TL;DR: just did a B2B on the Disney Magic. Covid testing done the last day of the cruise around 5pm. Was asked NOT to debark.

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Just “embarked” on our second voyage on the Magic (you'll get why the quotes later). Thought it was worth sharing with you how Disney managed back-to-back cruisers, as I believe this is much different to what I've been reading in here so far.

First, the covid test. We got a message from Guest Services on the morning of the last day (Day at Sea #2) asking that we please be available in our stateroom at 4.15pm as someone from Prenetics would knock the door and make sure we had a test. They came around 45 minutes later. Testing is doctored, like in the terminal: agent stays out of the room and monitors how guests do it, collects the results, and say we should get a phone call in 15 minutes with what to do next. They even have a nice $1 Disney Magic bag where they collect all the trash… hugh that lovely bag that is probably going to get burned.

At this point we were a little worried as we knew that, should we clear, we'd have a wonderful cruise coming, and a relaxed evening knowing we wouldn't be denied boarding on next day. Though, if we were positive, then the “fun” will suddenly halt, we would miss Disney Dreams: An Enchanted Classic that was shown on the last night only, and enjoy being moved to a Disney cell (and worse, that Pete wouldn't be there welcoming us).

It took a lot more than 15 minutes, after 30 minutes and still no phone calls, I chatted Guest Services. They called back a minute later with the relieved news that we were clear to sail! WOOHOO!

That final night before we went to bed, we wondered what to do next, as we had received no indication where to meet on board. Chatted with GS, said the meetup location usually is Fathom's at 9.15am, and that we should have received a message on the app.

On debarkation day, we checked back again at GS to make sure and they confirmed, so we went to Fathom's. Guests were listed and a crew member was making sure everyone was here. Right in front of us was a party that booked their second cruise on the day at sea (omg what a wonderful thing to do, I'll keep that in mind for a later cruise). They were told… they COULD get off the ship but were cautioned against it as it would means that they would have to test at port and may be denied boarding if their test was positive! Eventually they were recently recovered so I'm not sure if they stayed on the ship. (Not sure I like this part about Disney saying “well I don't really want to know if you're positive to Covid”. I do hope they have been tested the day before, but still.)

Best part of the story is that we were told that… we could also stay on the ship as we've been already cleared by Prenetics on the day earlier! That's why we didn't get the message on the app as we hadn't booked a Port Adventure. Maybe they should communicate with GS more so they know the rule as well.

So, we got back to deck 4 and enjoyed seeing the ship “hibernates” between the two cruises. At some point the Navigator app stopped working, with a message saying they were “preparing for the next cruise”. Then lights when out. Music stopped. The atmosphere in the atrium was ethereal. This was an exciting yet bizarre experience, being in plain daylight but with only a few safety lights scattered all over. As the whole ship was now being considered “backstage”, every few minutes crew members would unite in the atrium for their morning briefing. Very weird feeling to get a glimpse at behind the curtains. (Will not report more as I feel it was already a privilege to witness and hear.)

Then slowly, life came back.

Lights were being turned on.

More and more crew members would be dispatched on deck 3/4 in preparation for the the first guests heading to their muster station for check-in.

Music is now back. People from Prenetics embarked.

Then Goofy came. Made the show, for the joy of the crew as there were still no guests. I still remember the happiness of an employee of an external custodial company that was on her way and suddenly stopped and told her colleagues she HAD to make a picture of this moment. I mean, we live difficult times, things change and not always for the good, but this is part of the Walt Disney's heritage that is not going to get lost. Goofy could have come 10 or 15 minutes later and still be in time for guests.

Then the first guests embarked, and you know, “the Disney Magic would like to welcome…”


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More interesting tidbits — I broke this up as this post is quite long already:
  • If you have the chance on staying on the ship between two voyages, maybe DO NOT use elevators. When power was cut, the elevators were out as well.
  • We already completed check-in using the “Project Screen” website. My wife was even cleared to sail (recently recovered) but it looks like they don't need guests to complete this procedure at all, as we got a phone call around 5pm from Prenetics asking us that our wife refuses to be tested if asked to. Indeed, the agent just knocked the door a few minutes ago, we explained she should be already cleared to sail and that she probably wouldn't need to test. They did not know about it as they had two tests (one for me one for her) but they said the understood the situation, that they would report it and come back if DW still needed to be tested.
 


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