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:

Silversea christens Silver Spirit at Port Everglades

Cruise travel’s latest luxury vessel, the 540-guest, all-suite Silver Spirit, was christened today at Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale. She offers 270 suites that range in size from 312 to 1,668 square feet, boasts six restaurants and the brand’s largest spa at 8,300 square feet. Photo courtesy Silversea Cruises

By Michael Coleman

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL., Jan. 21, 2010 — Silver Spirit, Silversea Cruises’ elegant new vessel, was formally christened here today before 450 guests and dignitaries at Port Everglades.

The ship’s godmother, Silvia Lefebvre, sister of Silversea chairman Manfredi Lefebvre, presided over the festivities. 



“Today is a proud day for Silversea as we celebrate the christening of our new ship and what is the culmination of much effort and planning,” said Amerigo Perasso, Silversea’s president and chief executive officer.

“From her sophisticated Art Deco interior design and extra-spacious suites to a host of new amenities and services, Silver Spirit embodies the innovative spirit of our company and is a dramatic step forward for our award-winning concept of ultra-luxury cruising.” 



Silversea’s chief operating officer, Kenneth W. Watson, acknowledged the recent earthquake tragedy in Haiti, and announced that the company had made a charitable donation to the American Red Cross on behalf of guests departing on tonight’s Grand Inaugural Voyage.

Silversea officials and local dignitaries participated in today’s launch of Silver Spirit. The 36,000 ton, 12-Deck vessel is Silversea’s largest ship to date. Photo by Michael Coleman.
Godmother Lefebvre christened the ship with a bottle of Moët & Chandon champagne. A replica of the champagne bottle will be auctioned off as a memento during Silver Spirit’s Grand Inaugural Voyage to benefit the Maruzza Lefebvre d’Ovidio Foundation, a non-profit organization spearheaded by Ms. Lefebvre. A major part of its energy and resources is dedicated to the diffusion of palliative care for children, babies and adolescents affected by incurable disease.

At 36,000 tons, and accommodating 540 guests, Silver Spirit features the largest suites in the Silversea fleet, 95 percent of which feature a private veranda. The onboard decor lends a sophisticated 1930s Art Deco ambiance to the public spaces, highlights of which include an indoor/outdoor spa measuring more than 8,300 square feet, a resort-style pool and a choice of six dining venues including Seishin, showcasing Asian-fusion cuisine, and the innovative Stars Supper Club, offering trendsetting menus and all-night entertainment. 


Tonight, the ship departs on her 91-day Grand Inaugural Voyage exploring over 20 countries and 45 ports throughout the Americas. Silver Spirit will then spend the summer in the Mediterranean before repositioning to the Caribbean for fall and winter cruises. 



One of cruise travel’s leading luxury operators, the line offers many large-ship amenities aboard its intimate, all-suite vessels: Silver Cloud, Silver Wind, Silver Shadow, Silver Whisper and now Silver Spirit. With the inclusion of the regal expedition ship Prince Albert II, launched in 2008, the company’s itineraries encompass all seven continents.

Tomorrow: We’ll take a closer look at this new, luxurious vessel.

Silver Spirit is the first newly-constructed cruise ship for Silversea Cruises since 2001, bringing the Silversea fleet to a total of six vessels. The 5,414 square-foot pool deck features three Jacuzzis and a grill. Photo by Michael Coleman.

Michael Feinstein to help launch Silver Spirit’s 91-day Grand Inaugural Voyage

Guests sailing aboard Silver Spirit’s 91-day Grand Inaugural Voyage this month are set to enjoy an exclusive evening of entertainment when multiple Grammy Award-nominee Michael Feinstein takes to the stage. The performance will follow a gala bon voyage dinner to be held aboard Silver Spirit in Fort Lauderdale on Wednesday, Jan. 20, the day before the ship embarks on an expansive journey exploring over 20 countries and 45 ports throughout the Americas – for the very first time.

“Every detail of Silver Spirit’s Grand Inaugural Voyage has been designed with a highly discerning and experienced traveler in mind, and we want the onboard entertainment experience to be of equally exceptional caliber,” said Christian Sauleau, Silversea’s executive vice president of vessel operations. “We’re delighted to have such an extraordinary performer as Michael Feinstein on hand to help us celebrate the launch of our new flagship and what is sure to be the voyage of a lifetime for our guests.”

An outstanding vocalist and pianist, Michael Feinstein is renowned for finding “lost,” older songs and breathing new life into them. His repertoire includes songs by such great songwriters as George Gershwin, Irving Berlin, Johnny Mercer, and Duke Ellington.

The newest addition to Silversea’s ultra-luxury, six-ship fleet, Silver Spirit debuted in Europe in December and will host several days of inaugural activities in Fort Lauderdale when the 540-guest, all-suite ship arrives on Tuesday, Jan. 19. Among the highlights is the Christening Ceremony scheduled to take place on Thursday, Jan. 21.

Video: Seven celebrity godmothers help name Oasis of the Seas

Oasis naming

Royal Caribbean International officially named its newest cruise ship, Oasis of the Seas, yesterday, during an elaborate maritime celebration designed especially for the world’s largest and most revolutionary cruise ship.

Putting a new twist on one of maritime’s longest standing traditions, the global cruise line had not one, but seven celebrity godmothers — Gloria Estefan, Daisy Fuentes, Shawn Johnson, Keshia Knight Pulliam, Michelle Kwan, Jane Seymour and Dara Torres — preside over the festivities. The celebration took place throughout the seven signature neighborhoods onboard Oasis of the Seas, culminating with the traditional Champagne bottle breaking ceremony followed by a fireworks display in the AquaTheater, the ship’s dazzling oceanfront theater.

Marking the finale of 10 days of preview sailings, the naming ceremony provided Royal Caribbean the opportunity to give back to the community, doubling as a one-night inaugural celebration-fundraiser to benefit the non-profit Make-A-Wish Foundation, which grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions. Celebrities including NBA legend Michael Jordan, Corbin Bleu of High School Musical and Olympic gymnast, Oasis godmother Shawn Johnson and Dancing With the Stars professional dancer, Karina Smirnoff were in attendance, granting the wishes of several children that wanted to meet them.

Royal Caribbean has enjoyed a long relationship with Make-A-Wish. Since 2000, the cruise line has hosted more than 1,300 children who wished to go on a cruise to destinations around the world and has contributed more than $2.8 million in in-kind services and $372,000 in discount savings through its Wishes at Sea program.

Through employee and guest fundraising efforts, Royal Caribbean has also raised more than $480,000 and 460,000 frequent flier miles, used to secure airline tickets for children’s wish travel and help the Make-A-Wish Foundation conserve critical financial resources. The cruise line donated 1,000 staterooms for this inaugural, once-in-a-lifetime event to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, with all proceeds benefiting the nonprofit organization.

Seven godmothers chosen for Oasis of the Seas’ seven neighborhoods

When Royal Caribbean officially names its newest cruise ship, Oasis of the Seas, on Monday, Nov. 30, 2009, the cruise line will continue its tradition of innovation by putting a new twist on one of maritime’s longest standing traditions.

While normally bestowing the honor of godmother on one special person, Royal Caribbean has chosen seven extraordinary godmothers to represent the seven neighborhoods onboard Oasis of the Seas. Each of the seven godmothers was chosen because they personify strength of character, exemplify the spirit of giving, and are role models for men, women and children alike.

The godmothers include:
Gloria Estefan, world-renowned singer, songwriter, actor and author, who was godmother of Royal Caribbean’s Empress of the Seas
Michelle Kwan, the Olympic Games medalist is an all-time great and the most decorated figure skater in United States history, and is also an American Public Diplomacy envoy promoting education, positive health practices and respect for diversity
Jane Seymore, a multiple Emmy and Golden Globe winning actor, as well as an Officer of the British Empire, who remains actively involved in the J and J Foundation benefiting children in need. Based on her philosophy that keeping an open heart despite adversity can bring a wealth of love, hope and inspiration into life, she founded the website www.KeepAnOpenHeart.com, a community where people can share stories and engage in a dialogue about living with an open heart.
Dara Torres, twelve-time Olympic medalist and oldest female swimmer to compete in a record five Olympic games (1984, 1988, 1992, 2000 and 2008)
Keshia Knight Pulliam, film and television actress is well-known for her role as Rudy Huxtable on the classic sitcom “The Cosby Show.” The youngest actress ever nominated for an Emmy Award when she was only 6 years old, she presently stars on the TBS television comedy “Tyler Perry’s House of Payne” and was most recently seen starring in the hit motion picture “Madea Goes To Jail.”
Shawn Johnson, four-time medalist at the 2008 Olympic games for women’s gymnastics and cancer philanthropist, who in addition to serving as a godmother for Oasis of the Seas, will be granting wishes onboard as part of her work with the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Daisy Fuentes, international television personality and producer, beauty and fitness expert, and recognized role model for Latin-American women in the United States, who is committed to improving children’s health and treatments through St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, Starlight Children’s Foundation and the March of Dimes.

“It is a humbling and equally exciting privilege to have these seven exemplary women take on the responsibility of being godmothers of Oasis of the Seas,” said Richard D. Fain, chairman and CEO, Royal Caribbean Cruises. “We felt it only fitting that our most revolutionary ship be named by an outstanding group of women who embody the same excellence in their respective fields.”

The seven women will take their posts to officially name the ship at a ceremony during a one-night inaugural celebration-fundraiser onboard Oasis of the Seas to benefit the non-profit Make-A-Wish Foundation, which grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions. Tickets for the once-in-a-lifetime event begin at $500 per person.

Guests who wish to continue their adventure onboard will receive an exclusive discount price, beginning at $650 per person, on a four-night cruise package sailing to the cruise line’s private beach destination, Labadee, departing the morning following the event on Tuesday, Dec. 1 (rates based on double-occupancy and stateroom package).

For reservations to this exclusive event combined with the four-night sailing, contact Cynthia Paez, Royal Caribbean International, at (877) 202-1520, ext. 12751, or [email protected]

Oceania Cruises’ Marina under construction

Oceania Cruises' executives Frank Del Rio, left, and Bob Binder celebrate the birth of Oceania's newest ship - Marina - during a keel laying ceremony in Italy over the weekend.
Oceania Cruises' executives Frank Del Rio, left, and Bob Binder celebrate the birth of Oceania's newest ship - Marina - during a keel laying ceremony in Italy over the weekend.

A ceremony marking the keel laying for Oceania Cruises’ Marina was held over the weekend at the Sestri Ponente shipyard of Fincantieri near Genoa, Italy. Continue reading “Oceania Cruises’ Marina under construction”