PORT CANAVERAL, Fla. – The Disney Dream cruise ship returned to port Monday morning after a testing sailing this weekend, marking a major step to returning to sailings for the first time since the pandemic started.
The Disney Cruise Lines ship departed from Port Canaveral Saturday afternoon on a “test sailing,” making it the first cruise ship to depart from the port with passengers on board since the pandemic started. All of the passengers are Disney employees who volunteered for the two-day trip.
Officials said the Disney Dream was the last passenger sailing to depart from Port Canaveral on March 13, 2020, before the cruising industry shutdown because of COVID-19.
Port Canaveral is also preparing for its first sailing with the Carnival’s brand new Mardi Gras on July 31.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention put a no-sail order in place since last spring for all sailing from the U.S. due to the pandemic. After a year without cruise operations, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis sued the CDC and the Biden Administration to lift the order. A federal judge ruled in Florida’s favor but a new court of appeals ruling has put that on hold.
DeSantis has argued that the CDC’s no sail order is a case of government overreach.