If the omicron surge has you flashing back to earlier in the pandemic, this news won't help matters.
Disney's newest cruise ship, the Disney Wish, is delaying its first summertime sailing by six weeks because of COVID-related issues at its shipyard in Germany. Instead of setting sail June 9, passengers will have to wait until at least July 14.
The German company that is building the ship says omicron came at a crucial point, delaying its production schedule. The unwelcome news means Disney has to cancel 12 sailings for the season. The cruise line is offering a full refund or a 50% discount for any impacted guests who want to rebook through the end of 2023.
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Many other cruise lines have been affected by the omicron surge. Celebrity Cruises, a subsidiary of Royal Caribbean, canceled a slate of cruises on the Celebrity Solstice, Celebrity Infinity, and Celebrity Eclipse though March. In the case of the Celebrity Eclipse, sailings won't begin again until the end of April.
And after an initial round of cancellations, Norwegian Cruise Line said it would halt sailings on five more ships thanks to COVID-19, affecting sailings of the Norwegian Dawn, Norwegian Getaway, Norwegian Joy, Norwegian Escape, and Norwegian Pearl scheduled to depart as late as Jan. 22. Norwegian previously canceled trips on eight ships, a few scheduled to set sail as far in the future as late April.
Royal Caribbean also paused operations on multiple ships and canceled some cruises. Five ships — Vision of the Seas, Serenade of the Seas, Jewel of the Seas, Symphony of the Seas, and Independence of the Seas — were affected.
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The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been investigating more than 90 ships over COVID-19 outbreaks. The CDC, which has recommended that even vaccinated people avoid cruises for the time being, starts an investigation if 0.1% of passengers test positive for the coronavirus.
Still, the CDC's guidance recently became voluntary for most cruise lines when its extended conditional sailing order expired Jan. 15. The agency's rules have required 95% of crew and passengers to be fully vaccinated under most circumstances.
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