2 unique new cruise ships sailing in 2011

2010 was a good year for new cruise ships. Highlights included Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Epic that set the bar solidly higher for at-sea entertainment, highlighted by a Cirque Dreams and Dinner experience that was well received. Answering that call for improved entertainment, new largest-ship-in-the-world Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas followed nicely in the footsteps of older sister Oasis, clearly establishing herself as a unique ship of her own.

Looking forward to 2011, more new ships are on the horizon including Oceania Cruises new Marina, nearly double the size of the line’s existing three ships; Celebrity Silhouette, the fourth Solstice-class ship from Celebrity Cruises and another new yacht from Seabourn, the Seabourn Quest among others. Today we focus on two different ships by two different lines that will probably be the most talked-about of the bunch.

Disney Dream – at 128,000 tons, Disney Cruise Line’s new entry, the first of two with Disney Fantasy coming out next year, promises to steer Disney in a unique new at-sea direction. Sailing from Port Canaveral, the new ship will more than double the size of the Disney fleet carrying up to 4000 guests. Called “the most anticipated ship of 2011” by CruiseCritic.com editor Carolyn Spencer Brown

Carnival Magic – the second of Carnival Cruise Line’s Dream-class ship and will offer 3,693 guests a 7 to 12 day Mediterranean sailing in the Summer followed by a unique first for Carnival; home-porting a new ship in Galveston Texas. 130,000 ton Carnival Magic will make a total of 23 ships in the fleet. Look for this one to be launched with some unique, social ways capitalizing on Carnival’s signature “fun” element.

New Disney ship rekindles Walt’s fire

Disney Cruise Line Imagineers worked overtime looking for just the right mix of on-board features for the new Disney Dream, sailing January 26. The line has infused a spirt of imagination, grandeur and magical wonder that even Walt Disney himself might not have dreamed of.

“These new additions are near perfect moves for Disney,” says cruise industry expert, Stewart Chiron CEO, CruiseGuy.com. “Timing of their introductions couldn’t have been better. The biggest ships have been previously introduced and now all of the attention will be clearly focused on Disney’s newest class of ships.”

On board Disney Dream, the first new ship for the line since 1999, are more features, attractions and at-sea innovation than ever before.

The AquaDuck, a flashy on-board roller coaster unlike any attraction at sea, has twists, turns, drops, acceleration and river rapids – all while racing around the upper decks of the ship. Inside cabins with virtual “portholes” provide a real-time view outside of the ship via a live, high-def feed.

The 4000-guest Disney Dream combined with upcoming Disney Fantasy in 2012 will double the number of ships in the fleet and triple passenger capacity. But competition for guests has never been tougher and they will be up against new feature-heavy ships from other lines.

“As when Disney Magic was introduced, the cruising public had no idea how ‘fantastical’ these ships could be.” said Chiron adding “Now with about 13 years of ship operations and shipbuilding experience under their magical belt, hold on! Dreams will come true in ways made possible only by Disney.”

Hopes are high that new Disney Dream and upcoming Disney Fantasy will roll back the clock to a time wonder and magic when their existing ships were the latest and greatest at sea. Walt would like this.

Disney gets keys, takes new ship for a spin

It’s been a while since Disney Cruise Line launched a new ship. 1999 to be exact was when the line so closely linked with a magical and enchanting cruise experience for children of all ages drove off the lot with a new build.

Under construction for nearly two years, new Disney Dream officially became the property of Disney Cruise Line as the ship was handed off at Meyer-Werft shipyard in Germany. Next week the new ship will be Port Canaveral bound where her first revenue cruise will begin on January 26.

“The Disney Dream is an extraordinary ship, in part because of the collaboration of the superb shipbuilders at Meyer Werft and the innovative technology and storytelling that our Disney team has developed and implemented aboard,” said Karl Holz, president of Disney Cruise Line. “I cannot wait for our guests to experience this newest addition to our fleet, a ship that will delight and surprise all ages.”

Making space for Disney Dream at a newly-updated cruise terminal at Florida’s Port Canaveral moves Disney Wonder to the West Coast where sailings will include voyages to Alaska, a first for the line and a move applauded by fans of cruise vacations.

Disney Dream is scheduled to sail three-, four- and five-night cruises to the Bahamas. Sister ship Disney Fantasy, one of several new ships due out from an assortment of cruise lines, is currently in production at the Meyer Werft shipyard. Disney Fantasy is scheduled to set sail alternating Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries in 2012, also from Port Canaveral.

Disney Dream Cruise ship nears completion

Sailing from Florida this January, new 4000-passenger Disney Dream is just about ready to go. The new ship sailed out to sea last month for testing and to complete adding final details. Joining sister-ships Disney Wonder and Disney Magic, the new ship will have all the features of her two sisters plus some new attractions.

  • The ship will feature a first-of-its-kind water coaster, called the “Aqua-Duck” that will send guests racing above and around the upper decks of the ship.
  • Animator’s Palate restaurant will magically transform into an undersea wonderland with live, impromptu interactions with Crush, the animated sea turtle from Disney-Pixar’s “Finding Nemo.”
  • Themed children’s spaces will immerse children in their favorite Disney stories and feature some of today’s most innovative technology.
  • A nighttime entertainment district just for adults will be filled with sophisticated, trendy, fanciful and fun-filled venues.
  • Inside staterooms will have a “special” view thanks to a cruise industry first virtual porthole concept.

The Disney Dream will sail alternating three- and four-night cruises to the Bahamas and Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay. During summer 2011, the ship will sail four- and five-night itineraries with two stops at Castaway Cay.

Disney Dream starts sailing from Port Canaveral on January 26, 2011. Due to popularity, the maiden voyage is nearly full. However, there is still limited availability on the second Disney Dream voyage, January 30.

New Disney Dream cruise ship sails out to sea

The Disney Dream, the third ship in the Disney Cruise Line fleet, is now under its own power, conducting tests out on the North Sea.

The Dream left the Meyer Werft shipyard and was towed by tugboats 26 miles down the River Ems to Eemshaven, The Netherlands. This conveyance is unique to ships built at Meyer Werft, because it is so far inland. Some railroad bridges across the river had to be dismantled to allow the ship to pass.

Of course, the whole thing was done Disney-style, with fireworks and Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and Daisy Duck waving from the decks to residents gathered to watch the spectacle.

After the North Sea tests, known as the “test-and-adjust period,” the Disney Dream cruise ship will be dry-docked for a short time in Germany before being officially delivered to the Disney Cruise Line.

The Disney Dream will sail 3-, 4- and 5-night cruises to the Bahamas from Port Canaveral, Florida. The inaugural cruise is set for Jan. 26, 2011.

A fourth Disney Cruise Line ship – the Disney Fantasy – is also under construction at the Meyer Werft shipyard. The Fantasy will be completed in spring 2012.