NEWS: Disney Cruise Line Passengers Sue Claiming They Caught COVID-19 On Ship

Disney Cruise Line canceled many of its sailings beginning back in March of last year, and has continually canceled more sailings over the last few months.

Castaway Cay

But, now some individuals who sailed on a Disney Cruise Line ship prior to those closures have sued Disney claiming they contracted COVID-19 while on their cruise.

According to the Orlando Sentinel, Disney Cruise Line is currently facing 4 federal lawsuits. These lawsuits are from Utah and Arizona tourists who claim that they contracted COVID-19 while on board the Disney Fantasy last March, right before cruises were suspended due to the pandemic.

Disney Cruise Line Pool on the Disney Dream

The lawsuits were filed in the federal court’s Orlando division on March 2nd. The tourists involved in the lawsuits claim that they contracted COVID-19 while on board and started to feel sick.

The Orlando Sentinel shares that the lawsuits claim that Disney refused to let passengers cancel or reschedule their cruises even if they had “autoimmune diseases and compromised health conditions.” So, the tourists reportedly claim they were “left without any option” but to go on their planned trip from March 7th through the 14th, 2020.

Daisy Duck

The lawsuits also claim that Disney continued to allow passengers to “eat in buffet settings, provide group entertainment activities aboard the vessel (such as dancing) and otherwise allowed passengers to fully participate in the subject cruise as it there was no COVID-19 outbreak.”

Enchanted Garden

The lawsuits say that the child of some of the plaintiffs (who had an unspecified autoimmune disease) was taken to a hospital intensive care unit just days after the cruise ended with a high fever and difficulty breathing. The child and those plaintiffs ultimately tested positive for COVID-19, according to the lawsuits filed.

Disney Dream

The claims of another one of the lawsuits says that one of the plaintiffs had a child with an autoimmune disease, and another with asthma. According to the lawsuits, the children had various symptoms and later tested positive for COVID-19 on April 15th. The kids’ mother also felt sick on board and eventually tested positive for COVID-19, according to the lawsuit.

The Orlando Sentinel shares that on March 8th, 2020, the U.S. Department of State recommended that Americans not travel on cruise ships. The Sentinel also notes that Disney currently has a COVID-19 warning on its website that indicates “By sailing with Disney Cruise Line you voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19.”

Disney Cruise

Disney has responded to the allegations saying, “Our thoughts continue to be with those around the world who have been affected by COVID-19. We disagree with the allegations and will respond to them in court. No guests or Crew reported symptoms of Covid-19 while aboard the Disney Fantasy during the March 7, 2020, sailing. Disney Cruise Line communicated health and safety information with guests in advance of and during their sailing and had numerous protocols in place at the time.”

For the moment, Disney Cruise Line has canceled select sailings through August. We’ll keep an eye out for any more Disney Cruise Line updates and let you know what we find.

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3 Replies to “NEWS: Disney Cruise Line Passengers Sue Claiming They Caught COVID-19 On Ship”

  1. Lesson to learn here is to factor trip insurance as a cost of your vacation. We are all enticed to save that “unnecessary” expense, but this is a good example of why it’s money well spent.
    I certainly don’t understand people suing Disney for catching Covid. How can they prove they didn’t catch it on the airplane flying in for the cruise? What if Disney is able to prove that the plaintiffs are actually the one’s who brought Covid onto the ship with them? Can Disney countersue the guest in that case and if so, for how much? It’s amazing how no matter what happens, it is always someone else’s fault any more and there’s always a lawyer advertising to help you get money for alleged damages.

  2. I have a feeling we’ll see a lot more lawsuits because that’s just how the world is today, but I also think that this virus is going to completely change the cancellation policies for cruise lines and theme parks alike. I can’t imagine that anyone will ever be able to refuse you your refund if you cancel a trip from here on out. Everyone will claim that they are sick and that companies are being negligent for not issuing refunds and “forcing” people to go even though they are sick. Which when you think about it, is probably a major factor in how quickly this virus has spread. As long as anyone can remember, people go ahead with their plans when they aren’t feeling well because no one can afford to lose their money. Even Disney resorts don’t let you cancel after you’ve made that last payment so yeah, they pretty much have been a key factor in the spread of plenty of germs in their time. I know in the past I’ve always sucked it up and carried on when I didn’t feel good. I can’t afford to throw money in the trash.

  3. My husband and I along with his aunt and uncle who are both considered high risk for COVID-19 co-morbidities, were scheduled to leave on March 7th, 2020 for a 7 night cruise on the Fantasy. My husband and I were completely packed and ready to head out the door on Friday, March 6th to spend the night with his aunt and uncle near Nashville, TN before flying to Orlando on the 7th when I received the DCL email stating the option to reschedule our cruise for a future sailing at not cost or penalty. We stopped what we were doing and called our family to let them know about this option. They were ecstatic upon hearing this news as they were worried about their safety and well being embarking on a cruise at that time. They encouraged us to call DCL to reschedule and we did just that for both bookings. I share all of this because I would hope the folks suing DCL were made aware of this option to reschedule. I will be honest, seeing that email lifted so much stress and anxiety at the time for me and my family.