Disney Dream to sail in profitable waters, magic a bonus

When new Disney Dream arrived in Florida this week, crowds gathered to celebrate. New ships arriving are always a special event and this one was no exception. But beyond the first-look hoopla, the new ship will have some real-world financial impact that’s pretty cool to consider.

Buoyed by a nod from Wall Street analysts, shares in Walt Disney Co hit a 10-year high Wednesday, due in part to the arrival of Disney Dream. The new ship and sister-ship Disney Fantasy coming in 2012 represent a $1.8 billion investment that will increase the line’s guest capacity by nearly 150 percent.

Older and smaller ships Disney Magic and Wonder will be redeployed to make room for the new, larger ships that bring with them more jobs and more revenue for ports they visit too. The Bahamas will see an estimated $3 million additional spending and $900,000 in tax revenue the first year alone.

The cruise business has been a profitable venture for Disney, with ships sailing fuller and demanding higher prices than other major cruise lines. While other lines carry an average of two guests per cabin, Disney’s family focus gets them an average of 3 and that adds up to higher profits.

It’s no surprise that rival lines Royal Caribbean International and Norwegian Cruise Line have tried to capture that profit magic by adding Dreamworks and Nickelodeon characters to their on-board programming. It’s a bold attempt to stifle the effect of Disney’s increased capacity but side by side, it’s pretty hard to beat the mouse on his own turf.

“Oh, this line is all for kids?” you say? Not so fast.

Disney has gone out of its way to attract adults as well with new features on board that let adults ditch the kids, at night anyway, for features along the lines of the latest and greatest being offered by the newest of ships on other lines.

Wrap it all up, tie a bow on it and sing “Happy Birthday”, Disney Cruise Line’s new child may very well be the future of cruise vacations. Now that’s magical.

Photo- Disney Cruise Line

Chicago Marriott and Nickelodeon partner for unforgettable family getaway

Your kids have a problem, and it’s in the TV. They squeal with delight at the sight of SpongeBob and lose their minds when Big Time Rush comes on air. Now, Marriott and Nickelodeon are partnering to make your kids’ dreams come to life (and likely give you an extended headache with all the screaming, but it’s not about you, it’s about the kids).

The Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile is located within walking distance to the best shopping, restaurants, and attractions in downtown Chicago. Of course, it’s also near Navy Pier, so you can take your kids (and their SpongeBob dolls) to the famous ferris wheel for an afternoon. Book the “Nickelodeon Your Stay” package and your kids will enjoy:

  • Free Nickelodeon activity book
  • Silicone bracelet with access to a secret game website
  • Nickelodeon bag with sunglasses
  • Build Your Own SpongeBob
  • Splash ball
  • Turndown service with pillowcase and bedtime book

Be sure that promotional code NK6 appears in the Corporate/Promotional code box when making your online reservation.

As for you? We’re happy to report that the Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile has a lobby bar with 24 beer taps to choose from and a great top shelf liquor for those who need a something stronger than a beer.