Disney Dream at Meyer Werft (photo: Andreas Depping)The Disney Dream will set sail at the end of January, sailing three-, four- and five-night cruises to the Bahamas from Port Canaveral. She will be joined by her sister ship, the Fantasy, next April, which will be sailing seven-night alternating Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries.

The new ships allow Disney to offer more varied programs: the 1998-built 85,000-ton, 1,750-passenger Disney Magic will continue to sail seven-night Caribbean cruises from Port Canaveral, but will return to Barcelona for another summer season in the Mediterranean.

Meanwhile, the 1999-built sister ship, the Disney Wonder, has already been redeployed to the West Coast, where she will divide her time between Mexican Riviera cruises from Los Angeles, calling at Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan and Cabo San Lucas; and Alaska cruises from Vancouver.

Aquaduck water slideFamily Cruising

Not surprisingly, the 128,000-ton, 1,250-stateroom Disney Dream has been designed for families, featuring a water coaster and magical portholes for inside staterooms, providing guests with a real-time outside view by means of live video feed from high definition cameras on the exterior of the ship. (Disney prefers to give the number of staterooms instead of double-occupancy passenger capacity.)

Disney refers to the new ship as a magical oasis for children – where they can “become immersed in their favorite Disney stories with the help of caring counselors, beloved Disney characters and a sprinkling of Pixie dust.”

According to the cruise line, nearly an entire deck has been dedicated to children and youth spaces “designated to inspire, entertain and unlock the imagination of children from ages three to 10.

Dining

Disney continues its rotational dining concept first introduced on its original ships, the Magic and the Wonder.

Throughout their cruise, guests visit different restaurants for dinner – with their service staff accompanying them.

There are also areas reserved for adults only, including the District, with five different entertainment venues; the spa; the Palo, an Italian specialty restaurant, which was first introduced on the Magic; and Remy, called Disney’s “first-ever premier dining option, with French inspired cuisine.”

Disney Dream (photo: Andreas Depping)Stepping Up

With the two new, larger ships, Disney is not only able to offer more varied itineraries, but will sail from more ports – Los Angeles, Vancouver and Barcelona in addition to Port Canaveral – and will have the ability to carry significantly more passengers.

Disney’s passenger capacity will jump from an estimated 230,000 in 2010 to 383,250 in 2011 and 508,250 in 2012 – with all four ships in service.

For a full report with exclusive pictures and interviews from the Disney Dream launch, read the 2011 Spring edition of the Cruise Industry News Quarterly Magazine, the most read publiction in the cruise industry. Click here to subscribe.