CONFIRMED: Disney to Set Sail from New York, Galveston and Seattle in 2012; Bookings Start April 8

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Ahead of a scheduled announcement from Disney Cruise Line in New York City on April 6 in which Disney is expected to make its itinerary plans known for 2012, a purported press release has been leaked and already making waves by offering up all of the juicy details.

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REPORT: Duffy to Helm Atrium of Disney Fantasy (April Fools’)

IMPORTANT UPDATE: HAPPY APRIL FOOLS’ DAY! (we hope!)

Duffy mouse ears at Disney ParksWith several hundred characters in the Disney family and just four ships (for now), the chosen character’s bronze image in the atrium of a Disney Cruise Line ship is a rare, distinct and very high honor indeed. To date, the chosen few have included Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and Ariel, all of whom have a strong connection to either Disney’s history itself or the sea. Now the fourth mouse-keteer has been revealed by sources to be none-other than the beloved Duffy the Disney Bear.

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Photo: Space Shuttle Discovery Cruises Above Disney Dream

Space Shuttle Discovery launches above Disney Dream (Matt Stroshane/Disney) This long-exposure photo shows the new “Disney Dream” cruise ship docked in the foreground at Port Canaveral, Florida, as the Space Shuttle Discovery blasts off in the background from nearby Cape Canaveral, Fla. at 4:53 p.m. ET on Feb. 24, 2011. The mission marks Discovery’s final liftoff for NASA’s oldest orbiter. The Disney Dream is the newest ship in the Disney Cruise Line fleet, and sailed on its maiden voyage from Port Canaveral last month.

Photo by Matt Stroshane, courtesy of Disney Cruise Line

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Photos: Disney Cruise Line’s Disney Fantasy Receives Keel Laying Ceremony

Today, Disney Cruise Line celebrated the keel laying of the Disney Fantasy at the Meyer Werft shipyard. This is the second of two newly-designed ships that take the family cruise experience to all new heights. Sister ship to the Disney Fantasy, Disney Dream, entered service on Jan. 26, 2011.

Minnie Mouse, Karl Holz (Kent Phillips/Disney)

The keel laying ceremony is a significant milestone in the ship building process when the first block, or section of the ship, is lowered into the building dock and a coin is placed under the keel for good fortune. Placing the coin was Karl Holz, President of Disney Cruise Line, assisted by Minnie Mouse.

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Disney Suspends Travels to Egypt and Tunis via Disney Cruise Line, Adventures by Disney

Due to political instability at their scheduled destinations, Disney Destinations has issued an alert notifying that itineraries involving Egypt and Tunis have been canceled and modified respectively.

For Egypt, this means that all of the new Adventures by Disney excursions have been canceled through August of 2011. Disney is in the process of reaching out to travel agents and customers who have booked the excursion to offer alternatives.

In the case of Tunis, which is a scheduled port of call on 10- and 11-night European Cruises aboard the Disney Magic, the scheduled stop is being replaced by Palermo, Italy. No additional timeframes have been offered.

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Disney Dream: Top (Not Quite) Ten Tips to Making the Most of Being Onboard

I was hoping to be able to offer a top ten list of some really great tips I learned through my own experiences on board the Disney Dream, but like when it came to paying my stateroom bill, I came up a bit short. So here’s hoping some of what I learned the hard way can help some of you.

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Report: Disney Dream Maiden Voyage a Nightmare for Many

(Okay, first of all, nightmare is a HUGE stretch here, but catchy titles sell)

Disney Cruise Line’s newest and largest ship, the Disney Dream, saw its official maiden voyage this past week and for all the improvements in both form and function on the ship — which is nearly 150% larger than the ‘classic’ ships — there were also plenty of disappointments to be found for many of its passengers who were essentially guinea pigs for the ship which just may not have been ready for prime-time.

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Report: Disney Dream Christens AquaDuck with Donald Duck

Donald Duck rides the AquaDuck during its christening onboard the Disney Dream

Just moments ago, the Disney Dream held a formal christening ceremony for its AquaDuck water coaster and we were there beside gal pal Daisy to help bring the event to you. Before he took his own maiden voyage on the AquaDuck, Donald Duck christened the first-of-its-kind attraction by adding in water collected from Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach waterparks located at Walt Disney World.

Then it was go for launch as Daisy cheered on her man — er, duck.

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First Look: Disney Dream Dooney & Bourke Inaugural Bags

Disney Dream Inaugural Dooney & Bourke

Although they won’t be going on sale until 6:30 pm this evening, these Disney Dream Inaugural patterned bags by Dooney & Bourke have already caused quite a stir upon the maiden voyage of the Disney Dream.

Although fashion accessories is not an area we admittedly excel at, it’s our understanding that the pricing for said line is surprisingly normal, running from $45 for the wristlet to $260 for the largest tote. Guests on board are limited to a purchase of two per style and while there seems to be some debate amongst passengers as to whether the design will be available onboard beyond the maiden voyage (apparently there is a distinction between the terms inaugural voyage and maiden voyage), we’ve been assured by the crew that these puppies are geared to sell out once and for all this trip around.

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Photo: Jennifer Hudson Christens the Disney Dream

Jennifer Hudson, Robert Iger and Thomas Staggs at Disney Dream christening (Gene Duncan/Disney)Oscar-winning actress and Grammy Award-winning singer Jennifer Hudson (left) poses Jan. 19, 2011 at Port Canaveral, Fla. with Walt Disney Company president and CEO Robert A. Iger (middle), Walt Disney Parks and Resorts chairman Thomas O. Staggs (right) and a ceremonial bottle of Champagne at the christening ceremony for the new “Disney Dream” cruise ship.

Hudson is the godmother for The Dream, the newest Disney Cruise Line ship which will have its maiden voyage on January 26.  Before performing on “American Idol” and winning an Academy Award for “Dreamgirls,” Hudson was a performer for one of the Disney Cruise Line ships.

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