Disney Cruise Line began construction on two new ships this week and held aÂ steel cutting ceremony at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg Germany. The new ships, which will be similar in design to Disney Wonder and Disney Magic are due to be launched in 2011 and 2012. The first piece of steel to be cut this week was in the shape of Mickey Mouse and will be used to decorate the bow of each new ship.
Each ship will have 1,250 staterooms and will weigh 128,000 tons. Each new Disney cruise ship will carry 4,000 passengers, significantly more than the 2,700 capacity of the Magic and Wonder.
There is still a lot of speculation about where the new Disney ships home port will be, but the current opinion is focusing on the West Coast ports of San Diego and LA’s San Pedro. The West Coast and European itineraries have been a huge success for Disney and have sold out very quickly. So it seems they are looking towards setting up a permanent port in California. This would of course fit in well with cruise guests having a land and sea vacation at Disneyland.
The San Diego port district is preparing to build a $28 million cruise-ship terminal to upgrade the exisitng facility. Having traveled from San Diego port last month I can certainly confirm that it needs an upgrade! It would be a fantastic opportunity for the port of San Diego if Disney decided to award it the contract.
No one at Disney will yet confirm the new itineraries but it is thought that there may some news later this month. There is some speculation that Disney will send the new ships to Florida and move Disney Wonder and Magic elsewhere. If I had to guess? The West Coast will get Wonder or Magic, a European port will get a new ship, and 2 will have Florida as the home port.
Also on the subject of cruise lines I just spent some time saving almost 25% on a cruise to Alaska I have already booked – not with Disney unforuntately, I am still hoping they add an Alaska itinerary but am not too hopeful they will given their demographic. I had booked the cruise a while ago and was happy with the rate for 2 connecting balcony cabins (we need 2 cabins as we have 3 kids – Disney of course has family cabins). I was checking online to see if I could get a better deal and found that prices had dropped a lot. So I called my agent and got the cost reduced. So always remember to keep checking prices for any changes. I just saved a lot of money for the price of a phone call and some time spent on research.
Wherever Disney’s new ships go I am definitely aiming to be on one of the first cruises. I travel with other cruise lines too but there really is nothing quite like Disney.
Photos used under Creative Commons from lemoncat1