We Tested Positive For Covid at the Port and Here's What Happened

ForMyBoys

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 13, 2013
I'm writing this to give information to all of you considering cruising DCL during pandemic times. We had a cruise booked Jan 2-8th. We had two connecting staterooms and are a family of 5. All of us are vaccinated and had no symptoms. We used Disney transfers and boarded a bus to the port at approx 9am. The bus was full. We arrived at port at 10ish and were led to a testing site where we each tested then were assigned a tent to wait for results.

To get results you log into the safepassage website. Effectively we found out on the website that our 18yo (who is vaccinated and had no symptoms) tested positive and we weren't clear to sail. Everyone around us were high fiving and making thier way to the port and my kids were devestated. There were no instructions on what to do if you weren't clear to sail. We told the woman at the front of the tent that we were not clear to sail and she must have misheard us and asked us to walk to the cruise port but there were big signs saying not to unless you are clear to sail. My husband wanted to ignore the sign because we were told to walk to the port. I went back and told the lady the signs say we shouldn't walk to the port because we weren't clear to sail. I then told her we had a positive test and she directed us to stay still and someone would get us.

They brought us to a waiting room in a mobile home and a Dr came to talk to us. They could clearly see my son who tested positive was doing well. Then they officially told us we couldn't sail and they offered a full refund OR credit. I chose credit but after reading the letter (non transferable etc) asked to switch to refund because I wasn't sure if my college age son could sail with us again. They switched it no problem. And did put both connecting reservations on the form. I am working on rebooking and found out I am no longer eligible for the 10% discount due to getting a refund. I plan to call tomorrow to see if I can get a refund for one room and credit for the other but I'm not holding out hope. They made us decide there in the moment which option we wanted and gave us very little info.

Then they asked us to describe our luggage and said they would provide free transport back to the airport once luggage was collected. We arrived a bit before 10am and all this happened before 11am.

2 hours later she came into check on us and provided a letter showing the refund for both staterooms. We asked on status of our luggage and she wasn't sure. I mentioned we hadn't had breakfast (we expected a big lunch on board) and she brought us each one little bags of chips and bottles of water. I finally got my 11yo calmed down.

Then another 2 hours passed. So it was then 3pm. No one had given us an update or checked on us. We were in a sterile room with just chairs. I posted a photo. My husband went looking for someone and mentioned it is 3pm and we have 3 kids and we're hungry. Seems they don't really have anything simple like boxed lunches nor anywhere to purchase food. My 11yo was very upset and we finally had him feeling better a couple hours later, but then he was crying again. Being put alone in a sterile room for 4 hours after the devastation of not being on the cruise was about the most unDisney like thing that could happen. He could also see the ship and people having fun on the ship deck outside the window.

At 3:30 I took my 11yo son for a walk to calm him down even though I don't think we were supposed to leave that room for anything but going to the restroom. The lady who gave us chips/water earlier in the day saw us and asked why we were still there. I told her we'd been left alone and no luggage and she called someone on her walkie talkie. Finally at 4:15pm someone came to get us. They put us on a Disney bus with our luggage and drove us back to the airport. We arrived back at the airport at 5:30pm. 8 and half hour ordeal.

No one helped us arrange for lodging or rental cars or anything. We of course had our phones and figured it out. The internet at the port wasn't very good so booking everything was a pain.

We bought insurance through the Disney Cruise Line which was closed on Sundays. I called the next day and while I haven't filled out the report seems likely our rental car and lodging won't be covered since it wasn't an official Trip interruption if we never boarded the cruise and we're being told only the cruise fare itself us eligible for trip Cancellation coverage. Note: I would not buy Disney trip insurance...look elsewhere.

All in all it was a horrible day and experience. You'd think they'd at least have something little for the kids stuck in this. Maybe a coloring kit and micky bars?? Small lunches or something???

I'm happy to answer any questions you have, just wanted to share a real life experience.
 

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Mango7100

DIS Veteran
Joined
Mar 13, 2019
I am very sorry for your experience. That sounds so disappointing. Absolutely they should be more prepared to help with snacks or something for families waiting hours in tents, that is unacceptable. And I believe you are correct in that DCL insurance only covers the cruise itself, whereas independent trip insurance can cover the entire trip (getting to and from port). I hope your son stays asymptotic.
 

Freeman867

Mouseketeer
Joined
Mar 25, 2021
I'm writing this to give information to all of you considering cruising DCL during pandemic times. We had a cruise booked Jan 2-8th. We had two connecting staterooms and are a family of 5. All of us are vaccinated and had no symptoms. We used Disney transfers and boarded a bus to the port at approx 9am. The bus was full. We arrived at port at 10ish and were led to a testing site where we each tested then were assigned a tent to wait for results.

To get results you log into the safepassage website. Effectively we found out on the website that our 18yo (who is vaccinated and had no symptoms) tested positive and we weren't clear to sail. Everyone around us were high fiving and making thier way to the port and my kids were devestated. There were no instructions on what to do if you weren't clear to sail. We told the woman at the front of the tent that we were not clear to sail and she must have misheard us and asked us to walk to the cruise port but there were big signs saying not to unless you are clear to sail. My husband wanted to ignore the sign because we were told to walk to the port. I went back and told the lady the signs say we shouldn't walk to the port because we weren't clear to sail. I then told her we had a positive test and she directed us to stay still and someone would get us.

They brought us to a waiting room in a mobile home and a Dr came to talk to us. They could clearly see my son who tested positive was doing well. Then they officially told us we couldn't sail and they offered a full refund OR credit. I chose credit but after reading the letter (non transferable etc) asked to switch to refund because I wasn't sure if my college age son could sail with us again. They switched it no problem. And did put both connecting reservations on the form. I am working on rebooking and found out I am no longer eligible for the 10% discount due to getting a refund. I plan to call tomorrow to see if I can get a refund for one room and credit for the other but I'm not holding out hope. They made us decide there in the moment which option we wanted and gave us very little info.

Then they asked us to describe our luggage and said they would provide free transport back to the airport once luggage was collected. We arrived a bit before 10am and all this happened before 11am.

2 hours later she came into check on us and provided a letter showing the refund for both staterooms. We asked on status of our luggage and she wasn't sure. I mentioned we hadn't had breakfast (we expected a big lunch on board) and she brought us each one little bags of chips and bottles of water. I finally got my 11yo calmed down.

Then another 2 hours passed. So it was then 3pm. No one had given us an update or checked on us. We were in a sterile room with just chairs. I posted a photo. My husband went looking for someone and mentioned it is 3pm and we have 3 kids and we're hungry. Seems they don't really have anything simple like boxed lunches nor anywhere to purchase food. My 11yo was very upset and we finally had him feeling better a couple hours later, but then he was crying again. Being put alone in a sterile room for 4 hours after the devastation of not being on the cruise was about the most unDisney like thing that could happen. He could also see the ship and people having fun on the ship deck outside the window.

At 3:30 I took my 11yo son for a walk to calm him down even though I don't think we were supposed to leave that room for anything but going to the restroom. The lady who gave us chips/water earlier in the day saw us and asked why we were still there. I told her we'd been left alone and no luggage and she called someone on her walkie talkie. Finally at 4:15pm someone came to get us. They put us on a Disney bus with our luggage and drove us back to the airport. We arrived back at the airport at 5:30pm. 8 and half hour ordeal.

No one helped us arrange for lodging or rental cars or anything. We of course had our phones and figured it out. The internet at the port wasn't very good so booking everything was a pain.

We bought insurance through the Disney Cruise Line which was closed on Sundays. I called the next day and while I haven't filled out the report seems likely our rental car and lodging won't be covered since it wasn't an official Trip interruption if we never boarded the cruise and we're being told only the cruise fare itself us eligible for trip Cancellation coverage. Note: I would not buy Disney trip insurance...look elsewhere.

All in all it was a horrible day and experience. You'd think they'd at least have something little for the kids stuck in this. Maybe a coloring kit and micky bars?? Small lunches or something???

I'm happy to answer any questions you have, just wanted to share a real life experience.

This is exactly the problem... they deny boarding, but offer NO help whatsoever in a time where you have a high probability of having kids involved and a high level of disappointment. I can't believe they aren't more organized on this for such a high customer service oriented organization like Disney.

How'd you end up getting home? Renting a car? Did they have any concerns on someone having COVID? Did you stay at a hotel? Did they have any concerns?
 

ForMyBoys

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 13, 2013
Thanks for posting. Were there any other families with the same situation?
No problem. We were told an entire wedding party was denied boarding, they had a planned wedding on board, and yes there were clearly other families there in our situation in other rooms, but we didn't interact with them. When they brought us to the bus to take us back to the airport there were 4 or 5 groups of luggage sitting by ours. I'm assuming belonging to other families that couldn't board. We were put on the bus back to the airport alone. Just us and the driver.
 

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  • ForMyBoys

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 13, 2013
    If you test postive, can you request a retest? Everyone has heard of false positives stories.

    That does sound awful with the waiting and no food and no information.
    No one mentioned a retest and we didn't ask but I assume no. It is a PCR test so likely fairly accurate.
     

    ForMyBoys

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 13, 2013
    I'm actually surprised that they brought you back to the airport. You're not supposed to fly if you've knowingly tested positive.
    This is exactly the problem... they deny boarding, but offer NO help whatsoever in a time where you have a high probability of having kids involved and a high level of disappointment. I can't believe they aren't more organized on this for such a high customer service oriented organization like Disney.

    How'd you end up getting home? Renting a car? Did they have any concerns on someone having COVID? Did you stay at a hotel? Did they have any concerns?
    I assume they just wanted us out of there so we weren't their concern anymore :) Plus the airport is an easy place to rent a car or get transportation. We ended up renting a car and a stand alone home via Airbnb.
     
  • a1tinkfans

    Spreading Some Pixie Dust Today!
    Joined
    Aug 12, 2006
    So sorry to here about .. it All. I hope ur son stays A symptomatic AND that the rest of you stay well.
    it’s such a crazy situation.

    May I ask if ur willing to answer… did ur family have any/or negative testing Before heading to the Port for ur cruise?
    If u flew in, was that required of ur flight , and u were all negative?

    How can one even fly home then, with a positive covid test. I’m so sorry to hear about the Entire situation. The kids especially must be So disappointed, wiped out emotionally and physically.
    In such challenging times, one would think Disney… of All cruise lines would have Concrete Help for such instances…they clearly dropped the ball here.

    And had you followed along and ignored the signage? I can imagine some family might just do that. Then what… clearly covid on the ship before it even started. Your Honesty is appreciated.
    And since you were all together in line at the port, it’s also more likely than not that others Were in the least.. Exposed to
    covid. If no testing ahead, how can anyone have confidence on the ship??

    WHY would Any cruise line ( esp Disney which is Kid Heavy) wait till embarkation to test?? , it’s just Added Stress especially with their ..imho, Complete Lack of Customer Service, as u experienced. Awful Experience!
    I truly hope ur family is doing well and wish you The best of luck
     

    WB1971

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Apr 9, 2008
    Very sorry to hear this for you, terrible. Testing at the port is the stupidest idea I’ve ever heard of. For this reason exactly. Who wants to roll the dice like that?
    I dropped my friends off at Harmony of the Seas today, they tested at home yesterday and were on the boat today less than 25 minutes after they got out of my car. It’s all too much for me, completely over the top, but Disney getting so many things wrong these days (compared to others) it’s crazy.
     

    a1tinkfans

    Spreading Some Pixie Dust Today!
    Joined
    Aug 12, 2006
    Very sorry to hear this for you, terrible. Testing at the port is the stupidest idea I’ve ever heard of. For this reason exactly. Who wants to roll the dice like that?
    I dropped my friends off at Harmony of the Seas today, they tested at home yesterday and were on the boat today less than 25 minutes after they got out of my car. It’s all too much for me, completely over the top, but Disney getting so many things wrong these days (compared to others) it’s crazy.
    Agree wholeheartedly!
     

    ForMyBoys

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 13, 2013
    This is terrible. I’m very sorry this happened to your family. I hope everyone stays well!
    So far so good. No symptoms and we are all doing well. :) We all (except my 18yo) just got antigen tests today to be cautious and all were negative.

    May I ask if ur willing to answer… did ur family have any/or negative testing Before heading to the Port for ur cruise?
    If u flew in, was that required of ur flight , and u were all negative?
    My husband is a nurse and did test right after Christmas for work and was negative. The rest of us didn't test. We were all vaccinated, including my 11yo, with no symptoms so didn't anticipate anything. You aren't required to test before flying within the US, you just have to attest to no symptoms, close contact or receiving a positive test.

    And had you followed along and ignored the signage? I can imagine some family might just do that. Then what… clearly covid on the ship before it even started. Your Honesty is appreciated.
    And since you were all together in line at the port, it’s also more likely than not that others Were in the least.. Exposed to
    covid. If no testing ahead, how can anyone have confidence on the ship??
    Like I posted the bus to the ship was FULL. Clearly no spacing there. No spacing in the line to get tested either. They did have chairs separated in distanced groups in the tent but after sitting on the bus and in line for the tests I found that laughable. My husband being a nurse contracted covid pretty early on as did I from him. We both got sick but not super sick and recovered well plus we're vaccinated so honestly we aren't super concerned and if we were we surely wouldn't choose cruising. :)

    WHY would Any cruise line ( esp Disney which is Kid Heavy) wait till embarkation to test?? , it’s just Added Stress especially with their ..imho, Complete Lack of Customer Service, as u experienced. Awful Experience!
    I truly hope ur family is doing well and wish you The best of luck
    I agree! I think they should allow tests to be provided within 3 days like flying back from overseas to the US. Then we wouldn't have had to isolate away from home and could have rescheduled the cruise and flight. I assume though some feel it is overreaching to require a vaccine and test. I'm not sure why they landed on this procedure.
     

    TreeFalls

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jun 22, 2016
    Here's our story, for some related info:

    We arrived at port canaveral in 2 cars (my immediate family in one car, 4 other family members in another), and asked not to drop off our luggage until after we tested. They pushed back a little, but agreed.

    My immediate family was split between two staterooms, with 2 other family members in the other car joining one room. One of those two people tested positive at the port. We thought we'd all be denied boarding, but because we traveled separately, my immediate family was allowed to board. The physician was instrumental in making it happen, they did something in their system to clear the other 2 people once they learned we traveled separately. (FWIW, it did increase the cost of our cruise- we were originally responsible for half a four-person room, then became responsible for an entire 2-person room).

    It was sad for them (and for us because we'd been looking forward to all going), but the refund process was quick and they could leave right away because they hadn't dropped off luggage.
     

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