Disney Cruise Line announces it’s holiday festivities

Disney Cruise  Lines
Beginning in early November, Disney Cruise Line adds sparkle to each ship, through the new year, with traditional “Turkey Day” fanfare, Christmas feasts, “snow flurries,” New Year’s Eve galas and Disney characters dressed for the occasion.

Special holiday events include a nightly tree lighting in the atrium lobby, visits from Santa Claus and his elves, traditional holiday feasts, family holiday crafts, holiday storytellers and more. When the ships stop during the holidays at Disney’s private island in the Bahamas, Castaway Cay, the celebration continues with “snow flurries,” a decked-out Christmas tree, Disney character meet-and-greets and holiday island music.

Guests will enjoy a bountiful Thanksgiving Day feast, with Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse and friends dressed in traditional Thanksgiving attire. On Christmas Eve, guests can leave milk and cookies for Santa when he visits the ship at midnight. Christmas services will be held on Christmas Day with a midnight mass on Christmas Eve, and Hanukkah services will be held each day, Nov. 28-Dec. 5. To celebrate the new year, voyages include a special New Year’s Eve party to ring in 2014, complete with music, sparkling wine in commemorative flutes and a midnight countdown with balloon drops.

If you are interested, you will want to book as soon as possible. They do book up fast for their holiday cruises.

To learn more about Disney Cruise Line or to book a vacation, guests can visit www.disneycruise.com, call Disney Cruise Line at 888-325-2500 or contact a travel agent.

Disney Cruise Line greets NYC with world’s largest bumper sticker

Yesterday morning, Disney Cruise Line’s flagship vessel, the Disney Magic, arrived in New York Harbor donning the world’s largest bumper sticker. Usually found on the back of family minivans, the 50-foot-long by 11-foot-wide super-sized sticker is larger than a city bus. The ship set sail yesterday afternoon, marking the beginning of Disney’s first-ever consumer sailings out of Manhattan – allowing local residents to experience a Disney vacation in their own backyard.

The Disney Magic will sail a total of 20 cruises from New York – including eight-night cruises to the Bahamas and five-night cruises up the New England coast to Canada plus two-night cruises that will give a sampling of the Disney Cruise Line experience over a weekend:

The eight Bahamas cruises will include a day at Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay; Nassau, Bahamas; and a stop at Port Canaveral, Fla., giving guests an opportunity to visit the nearby Walt Disney World Resort. As part of this itinerary, each guest will receive a one-day Walt Disney World Park Hopper ticket and roundtrip transportation between their Disney ship and the resort. Departure Dates: June 2, 22, 30, July 20, 28, Aug. 17, 25

The nine five-night cruises up the New England coast will call at Halifax, Nova Scotia, and Saint John, New Brunswick. In these popular Canadian ports, guests can soak in splendid natural vistas, explore historic sites, visit quaint cafes and charming shops, and browse Canada’s oldest farmer’s market. Departure Dates: June 10, 17, July 8, 15, Aug. 5, 12, Sept. 2, 7, 12

Rates for two-night cruises start at $996 per person for a standard inside stateroom, based on double occupancy. Departure Dates: June 15, July 13 and Aug. 10

To learn more about Disney Cruise Line or to book a vacation, guests can visit disneycruise.com, call 888-325-2500 or contact their travel agent.

Follow us aboard the Disney Fantasy and Silver Spirit

We’re back and headed to two different ships this next week. This weekend we’ll be previewing Disney Cruise Line’s newest ship, the Disney Fantasy. And over the next week we’ll be posting updates from SilverSea’s Silver Spirit.

We’ll have our full reviews and posts here, but to follow us live from the ship, you’ll want to follow our Twitter account and like our Facebook page.

You can find us on Twitter at Twitter.com/CruiseGuide

You can like us on Facebook at Facebook.com/CruiseNews

Disney’s Fantasy to live up to its name

Animator's Palate on the Disney Fantasy brings the magic of Disney animation into the dining room with a new show. The dinner show allows families to create and participate in a whole new way. Guests‚ drawings are magically animated to skip, skate and dance side-by-side with Disney characters. Image courtesy Disney Cruise Line

By Michael Coleman

Disney Fantasy, the new Disney Cruise Line ship set to debut next spring, will bring to life many of the innovative features guests have been enjoying aboard the recently launched Disney Dream including AquaDuck – the world’s first shipboard water coaster.

New design elements and guest experiences, however, will give the Fantasy an identity all its own.

Fantasy is the second of two newly-designed Disney Cruise Line ships that take the family cruise experience to new heights. Sister ship to the Dream, which entered service in January 2011, the 4,000-passenger Fantasy will sail week-long Caribbean cruises from Port Canaveral with its maiden voyage scheduled for March 31, 2012.

Animation Magic
Animator’s Palate on the Fantasy brings the magic of Disney animation into the dining room with a new show called “Animation Magic.” The dinner show celebrates the magic of Disney animation and allows families to create and participate in a whole new way.

Nighttime Fun
On the Fantasy, adult guests step into a world that’s all their own at Europa — a nighttime entertainment district exclusively for guests 18 and older that features sophisticated bars and trendy lounges inspired by the very best in European travel.

Aladdin Debuts at Sea
A new ship means new main stage entertainment at the 1,340-seat Walt Disney Theatre. New to Disney Cruise Line, “Disney’s Aladdin — A Musical Spectacular” takes the stage on Fantasy. During this Broadway-style production, guests laugh along with the wise-cracking Genie and the cast from the classic animated Disney film, “Aladdin.”

Fairy Tales Alive
At Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique on the Fantasy, aspiring young princesses and pirates receive the full fairy tale treatment with pixie-dusted and piratical makeovers at this very special salon.

On the web: www.disneycruise.com

Disney Dream launches with fanfare and flair

Fireworks light the sky over the Disney Dream Jan. 19 as the newest Disney Cruise Line ship is christened in a gala ceremony held at Port Canaveral. Walt Disney Company president and CEO Bob Iger and Walt Disney Parks & Resorts chairman Tom Staggs joined a host of Disney characters to officially christen the 130,000-ton ship. Photo by Disney/David Roark

By Matt Roseboom

Those of you familiar with Disney theme parks wouldn’t expect their cruise line to launch their third ship with just a boring speech and a small bottle of champagne. The grandest of expectations were met recently during the christening of the Disney Dream with characters, celebrities, singers, dancers, fireworks and a 16-foot-tall champagne bottle.

A helicopter hoisted a huge bottle full of “dreams” across the bow of the ship during a christening ceremony on Jan. 19 at Port Canaveral, officially welcoming the new 4,000-passenger Disney Dream.

Academy and Grammy award winner Jennifer Hudson performed at the ceremony, along with Disney characters and dancers. Hudson is the Godmother of the Disney Dream – a fitting choice, as she got her start as a singer aboard the Disney Wonder cruise ship in 2003.

Some 3,000 people were gathered for the christening ceremony including celebrities, media and members of the public. The ceremony concluded with the bottle smash and fireworks shot from the portside ship.

Besides being a bigger version of Disney’s other two ships – Wonder and Magic – the Dream features a number of innovations including art that comes alive, a full-blown shipboard fireworks show, interactive video floors and gigantic video game screens.

Other new features include:

– Video “portholes” that provide inside staterooms with an ocean view. The screens allow guests to see a real-time view outside the ship. High-definition cameras placed on the exterior of the ship feed live video to each Magical Porthole. As guests observe the views, they may glimpse animated characters such as Peach the starfish from “Finding Nemo,” the flying balloon house from “UP” or even Mickey Mouse going by the “window”.

– Aquaduck is a cruise first: a shipboard water coaster featuring twists, turns, drops, uphill acceleration and river rapids. Spanning four decks in height, AquaDuck utilizes high-powered water jets that push riders upward and forward — and at one jaw-dropping point – takes guests 12 feet over the side of the ship in a translucent “swing out” loop allowing them to look down on the ocean 150 feet below.

– An updated restaurant from Disney’s other two ships, Animator’s Palate seemingly becomes immersed in an undersea environment. Crush, the surfer-dude sea turtle from “Finding Nemo,” makes a special appearance, swimming around the restaurant and engaging in live impromptu interactions with diners.

– Remy, Disney Cruise Line’s first premier dining option, made its debut on the Dream. The French-inspired, gourmet restaurant offers a sophisticated new dining concept exclusively for adults.

– In addition to the many expected children’s areas and activities, adults can escape into The District, a nighttime entertainment area with five unique venues. There’s also Senses Spa & Salon, which offers 17 private treatment rooms, spa villas and Rainforest, a special section offering steam, heat and hydrotherapy.

In 2011, the Disney Dream will sail three, four and five night itineraries to the Bahamas and Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay. The Dream will be followed by a new sister ship, Disney Fantasy, in 2012.

Disney Dream coverage on Orlando Attractions Magazine – The Show:

Follow us on the Disney Dream and Allure of the Seas this week

Cruise News Weekly staff will be boarding the two newest cruise ships in the water this week and you can follow along on our social media sites.

We’ll be boarding the brand new Disney Dream on Wednesday, Jan. 19 for a two night preview. And starting Sunday, Jan. 16, we’ll be on Royal Caribbean’s brand new Allure of the Seas for a week cruise. The Allure trip will also include a concert by top recording artist Taylor Swift on Friday, Jan, 21.

We’ll be posting live photos, information and videos (Internet connection willing) right from the ships as we check them out. Look for a full review of the Disney Dream and a follow-up story to our Review of the Allure of the Seas in the coming weeks.

Here’s where you can find our updates.
Twitter: Twitter.com/cruiseguide
Facebook: Facebook.com/cruisenews

In addition to our coverage of the Dream, you can watch the christening event live on Disney Cruise Line’s Facebook page.

Disney’s newest cruise ship arrives at Port Canaveral with fireworks

Photos and video by Joe Moschinger

The newest Disney Cruise Line ship, the Disney Dream, sailed into her homeport of Port Canaveral this morning after a 16-night trans-Atlantic voyage from Germany, where it has been under construction for nearly two years. Beginning with a maiden voyage on Jan. 26, the Disney Dream will sail three-, four- and five-night cruises to the Bahamas, calling Port Canaveral home. Continue reading “Disney’s newest cruise ship arrives at Port Canaveral with fireworks”

Show Time aboard Disney Dream

Entertainment options aboard the new, 14-deck, 4,000-passenger Disney Dream will feature everything from a mermaid soaring over the stage in a stunning aerial ballet to pirates rappelling from atop the ship’s funnel during a swashbuckling adventure. The ship’s maiden voyage, from Port Canaveral to the Bahamas, is scheduled for January 26, 2011. Image courtesy Disney

By Michael Coleman

Who else would you expect to raise the entertainment bar for a family at sea?

When the 4,000-passenger Disney Dream debuts in January, 2011 the iconic company will also roll out what officials dub “the most elaborate original musicals presented at sea’’ plus over-the-top deck parties and, bursting above it all, the largest fireworks spectacular aboard a cruise ship.

Every night will be show time in the Walt Disney Theatre, an elegant, 1,340-seat entertainment palace that is at once classic and ultra-modern. Spanning three decks with orchestra and balcony seating, the theater is resplendent with art deco styling recalling luxurious show places of a bygone time. At the same time, it is equipped with theatrical technology that makes it one of the most advanced venues on land or sea, allowing producers to bring original productions and Disney stories to life.

Three onboard production shows are planned.

Headlining the musical repertoire is “Disney’s Believe,” an original stage spectacular premiering aboard the ship. Combining a heartfelt story with a captivating musical score, the lavish production tells the story of a workaholic father who, through the power of Disney magic, reconnects with his daughter and learns a valuable lesson about what is important in life. More than 20 of Disney’s most beloved characters take the stage including Cinderella, Peter Pan, Mary Poppins and Belle from “Beauty and The Beast.”

“The Golden Mickeys,” an award-style show celebrating the musical heritage of Disney animated films, is a Disney Cruise Line guest favorite. On the Disney Dream, the show gets an extra sprinkle of glitz and glamour with new production numbers including an aerial ballet featuring Ariel from “The Little Mermaid” and a romantic duet performed by Rapunzel and Flynn Rider, lead characters of Disney’s newest animated feature, “Tangled.”

The malevolent world of the Disney villains takes a comical spin in “Villains Tonight!,” the first full-scale musical production dedicated to the Disney villains. The show is a fun-filled musical comedy starring Hades (“Hercules”), who embarks on a quest filled with wacky antics and amusing musical numbers to bring evil back into the Underworld. “Villains Tonight!” features a “Who’s Who” of Disney “baddies,” including Ursula (“The Little Mermaid”), the Evil Queen (“Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”), Captain Hook (“Peter Pan”) and Scar (“The Lion King”).

Meanwhile, the vessel transforms into a pirate ship with two new events brimming with buccaneer fun and a new fireworks spectacular.

Look for “Mickey’s Pirate in the Caribbean’’ a family-friendly interactive show featuring famous Disney characters. Then, a special appearance by Captain Jack Sparrow, from the “Pirates of the Caribbean” films, kicks off “Club Pirate’’, a high-tech, open-air dance party on the upper decks of the ship

The only cruise line in the world offering fireworks at sea, look also for “Buccaneer Blast’’, a pyrotechnic spectacular choreographed to a dramatic score featuring songs from the “Pirates of the Caribbean” movies, Peter Pan and the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction at the Disney theme parks.

On the web: http://disneycruise.disney.go.com

Video: A look at what’s new on Disney’s private Castaway Cay

Castaway Cay, Disney Cruise Line’s private island in the Bahamas, has received a number of enhancements this year. They’ve added more water-based family-fun and additional conveniences such as another dining location in anticipation of the larger Disney Dream launching next year.

Here’s a video outlining all the enhancements.

Remy to offer an adults-only fine dining experience on the Disney Dream

Disney Dream’s classic French design restaurant will feature graceful curved lines on chair backs, in wall treatments and etched in glass; Nouveau-style floral and leaf design in the carpet; and warm lighting. Remy from “Ratatouille” will be subtly integrated into the design. Artist rendering by Disney Cruise Line

By Matt Roseboom

When Disney’s newest ship, Disney Dream, launches early next year, it will offer a number of firsts, a new “Villains Tonight!” stage show, a water coaster and virtual portholes for inside cabins, among other things. Now they’ve announced their first-ever premier dining option. A new restaurant called Remy will offer French-inspired, gourmet cuisine by two award-winning chefs.

Remy will meld classic and contemporary styles with a new dining concept exclusively for adults. With a subtle nod to the hit Disney Pixar film “Ratatouille” and its diminutive French rodent star Remy, the softly lit main dining room with seating for 80 is designed in Art Nouveau style with a palate of soft greens, deep reds and rich golds. The Remy character is subtly and artfully integrated into the design.

Dinner will start with a signature chilled Champagne cocktail made tableside, followed by eight to nine small courses complemented by a wine list. Polished touches at Remy include a tableside trolley for serving international cheeses, decanting stations for wines, and post-prandial coffee service including French press and grand crème.

Tables are elegantly set with Frette linens, Riedel glassware, Christofle silverware and china made exclusively for Remy, with accents such as purse stools for women’s handbags. The serving staff will be part of the story, dressed in long white aprons, black jackets or burgundy vests and bow ties.

“From the moment our guests walk through the door, they are seamlessly transported to a fine French dining experience,” said Ozer Balli, vice president, Disney Cruise Line Hotel Operations.

A private Chef’s Table dining room seats 16 and offers a glimpse into the kitchen. The room is furnished with rich “Ratatouille”-inspired décor — bold red carpet, chairs and drapes with touches of gold, opulent chandeliers, and scenes of Paris on the walls. Chef’s Table has its own entrance to the kitchen to allow the chefs’ easy access, and offers a special multi-course menu.

A glass-walled wine room with marble flooring has seating for up to 16 guests amid more than 900 bottles of wine including a rare selection of Old World wines balanced with a solid selection of New World wines. Cruisers are invited to meet with a sommelier in Remy’s wine room to taste and pre-select their wines for the evening.

Chef Arnaud Lallement from l’Assiette Champenoise, a Michelin two-star restaurant just outside Reims, France, and Chef Scott Hunnel from award-winning Victoria & Albert’s at Walt Disney World, are collaborating to create a French-inspired menu featuring products and seasonal ingredients sourced from around the world. Master Pastry Chef Erich Herbitschek of Victoria & Albert’s and Chef Mattieu Gerard Siegrist of l’Assiette Champenoise will lend their talents to create Remy’s breads and desserts. French-trained Chef Patrick Albert will be the executive chef.

On the Web: disneycruise.com