September 04, 2020
(Updated 1:35 p.m. EDT) -- Disney Cruise Line is reportedly set to limit overall capacity to 70 percent aboard its fleet of four ships when it returns to service and enforce embarkation arrival times, according to officials with the Port of Galveston.
Disney plans to limit the number of passengers in its cruise terminal at any given time, with passengers given specific embarkation and arrival times which will be strictly enforced.
The port and cruise lines are preparing for late departures due to the extended time embarkation and disembarkation will now require on turnaround days.
The news comes from a September 1 meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Galveston Wharves where Rodger Rees, port director and CEO for the Port of Galveston, shared Disney's plans.
Scott Sanders' who writes Disney Cruise Line blog, which was among the first to report on the developments, notes that this could be why Disney Cruise Line's online check-in process is being updated.
When Disney Wonder resumes operations from the Port of Galveston, the line is targeting an occupancy level of 70 percent. The ship's next currently scheduled sailing is a cruise to the Bahamas from Galveston on November 20.
The news is the first glimpse so far at what Disney Cruise Line might implement in terms of policies and procedures when it resumes service later this year. Currently, Disney has cancelled sailings through at least October 31, 2020.
Staggered embarkation times are nothing new, and have been used by many cruise lines in the past few years. Enforcing these times, however, is new. It is not known as of yet how these changes will impact Concierge and Platinum Castaway Club members, which were previously allowed to arrive at any time during the embarkation process.
Disney Cruise Line isn't commenting on the reported changes at the moment, however, stating that it is still working through its resumption of service plans.
"We are carefully working to prepare for our return to service when it is appropriate to do so," a Disney Cruise Line representative told Cruise Critic in an email. "We look forward to sharing more details at a later date."