Via its official blog, Disney Parks and Resorts today unveiled the first few of a new series of portraits by famed photographer Annie Leibovitz portraying celebrities in iconic classic Disney roles.
The new images feature Russell Brand poised as Captain Hook facing his nemesis, the crocodile known as Tick-Tock with the caption ‘Where every moment leaves you hungry for more’ and Jack Black, Will Ferrell and Jason Segel as the Haunted Mansion ghosts, Phinease, Ezara and Gus with the caption ‘Where you can go on the ride of your afterlife.
The images have been added to the beginning of our gallery of Disney Dream portraits below:
Additional images from the series will be included as special inserts in the fall 2012 issues of GQ, O – The Oprah Magazine, People, People En Espanol, Vanity Fair, Real Simple, Essence and InStyle.
In 2013, Disney Cruise Line will offer new itineraries, including an expanded portfolio of European cruises with new destinations such as Venice, Italy, and the Greek Isles. In addition, Disney Cruise Line will utilize a second homeport in Florida, with Caribbean sailings departing from the Port of Miami for the first time.
With the addition of the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy to the fleet of cruise ships, Disney Cruise Line is able to take more families to more destinations around the world. Disney Cruise Line has always catered to the unique vacation needs of families, and next year will be enhancing the cruise options for guests — whether it’s sun and sand in the Caribbean, outdoor adventures in Alaska or experiencing the wonders of Europe.
Highlights of the Disney Cruise Line 2013 schedule (which can be booked beginning Jan. 26, 2012) include…
Mediterranean from Barcelona
Beginning June 1, 2013, the Disney Magic returns to Europe with plenty of new twists to the Mediterranean itineraries, including a four-night option and special 12-night sailings in addition to seven-night itineraries that treat guests to the best of Europe during the three-month season.
The new 12-night sailings visit destinations such as Venice, Italy, and Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast on one itinerary and Ephesus, Turkey and the Greek Isles including Athens, on another. Each itinerary will offer a sailing departing in June and another departing in July.
All itineraries depart from Barcelona, Spain, as the Disney Magic takes guests on an exciting journey of richly diverse cities, cultures and people. With romantic boulevards, bustling bazaars, iconic locations, mild climates, sun-drenched islands and the brilliant blue Mediterranean Sea, guests will enjoy a world-class family vacation with legendary Disney guest service.
Rates start at $796 per person for four-night cruises, $1,015 per person for seven-night cruises and $2,244 for 12-night cruises departing from Barcelona for a standard inside stateroom, based on double occupancy.
Four-night Mediterranean Getaway
Ports: Barcelona; Nice (Villefranche), France; Palma de Mallorca, Spain
Departure dates: July 9, Aug. 6
Seven-night Mediterranean Cruise
Ports: Barcelona; Nice (Villefranche), France; Florence (La Spezia), Italy; Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy; Naples, Italy
Departure dates: June 1, 8, Aug. 10, 17, 24, 31
12-night Mediterranean with Greece
Ports: Barcelona; Nice (Villefranche), France; Florence (La Spezia), Italy; Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy; Athens (Piraeus), Greece; Ephesus (Kusadasi), Turkey; Mykonos, Greece; Valetta, Malta
Departure dates: June 15, July 13
12-night Mediterranean with Venice
Ports: Barcelona; Nice (Villefranche), France; Florence (La Spezia), Italy; Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy; Naples, Italy; Venice, Italy (overnight); Dubrovnik, Croatia; Valetta, Malta
Departure dates: June 27, July 25
Bahamas and Western Caribbean from Miami
Disney Cruise Line will sail from Miami for the first time on Dec. 23, 2012. One six- and one seven-night Caribbean sailing aboard the Disney Wonder will set the stage for a schedule of four- and five-night cruises from Miami to the Bahamas and Western Caribbean between Jan. 5, 2013, and May 2, 2013. The four- and five-night cruises have a variety of itineraries. Ports of call may include Cozumel, Mexico; Grand Cayman; Key West; Nassau, Bahamas, and Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay.
The itineraries offer families magical days at sea to explore all of the fun aboard the Disney Wonder and days in port to lounge on warm, golden beaches, to swim and snorkel in azure waters or to shop to their heart’s content in exotic marketplaces.
Rates for four- and five-night cruises departing from Miami start at $440 per person for a standard inside stateroom, based on double occupancy.
Ports: Miami, Cozumel, Castaway Cay
Departure dates: Jan. 5, 19, Feb, 2, 16, March 2, 16, 30, April 13, 27
Ports: Miami, Grand Cayman, Cozumel
Departure dates: Jan. 14, 28, Feb. 11, 25, March 11, 25, April 8, 22
Ports: Miami, Key West, Nassau, Castaway Cay
Departure dates: Jan. 10, 24, Feb. 7, 21, March 7, 21, April 4, 18, May 2
Western Caribbean from Galveston
The Disney Magic, which will begin sailing from Texas in 2012, will continue to sail from the Port of Galveston through May 2013, to the Western Caribbean.
Rates start at $750 per person for six-night cruises and $920 per person for eight-night cruises departing from Galveston for a standard inside stateroom, based on double occupancy.
Ports: Galveston, Grand Cayman, Cozumel
Departure dates: Dec. 15 and 29, 2012, Jan. 12, 26, Feb. 9, 23, March 9, 23, April 6, 20. May 4
Ports: Galveston, Key West, Grand Cayman, Costa Maya, Cozumel
Departure dates: Dec. 21, 2012, Jan. 4, 18, Feb. 1, 15, March 1, 15, 29, April 12, 26, May 10
Alaska from Vancouver
Beginning May 27, 2013, the Disney Wonder will sail seven-night cruises from Vancouver to Tracy Arm, Skagway, Juneau and Ketchikan, Alaska.
These cruises will combine the natural wonder and adventurous spirit of Alaska with the unparalleled, family-friendly experience found on a Disney Cruise Line ship. Disney Cruise Line worked closely with Alaskan tour operators to create exclusive-to-Disney family-friendly Port Adventures that allow guests to best experience Alaska’s natural beauty and rich history.
Rates for seven-night Alaska cruises departing from Vancouver start at $1,015 per person for a standard inside stateroom, based on double occupancy.
Ports: Vancouver, Tracy Arm (scenic cruising through fjord), Skagway, Juneau, Ketchikan
Departure dates: May 27, June 3, 10, 17, 24, July 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, Aug. 5, 12, 19, 26, Sept. 2
Caribbean and Bahamas from Port Canaveral
The Disney Fantasy and Disney Dream will continue to sail a variety of Caribbean and Bahamian itineraries departing from Port Canaveral.
The Disney Fantasy will sail out of Port Canaveral on seven-night Caribbean itineraries – alternating eastern (St. Maarten and St. Thomas) and western (Grand Cayman, Costa Maya, Cozumel). Special Eastern Caribbean sailings, January through April 2013, stop at San Juan, Puerto Rico. All Disney Fantasy itineraries include a stop at Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay.
Rates for seven-night Caribbean cruises on the Disney Fantasy start at $1,085 per person for a standard inside stateroom, based on double occupancy.
The Disney Dream will sail three-, four- and five-night cruises from Port Canaveral to the Bahamas and Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay.
Rates for three- and four-night Bahamian cruises on the Disney Dream start at $450 per person for a standard inside stateroom, based on double occupancy.
Adventures By Disney
Disney Cruise Line and Adventures by Disney will offer families unique land and sea experiences in the Mediterranean. Available on select departures, guests can maximize the magic with three-night or four-night pre-cruise Adventures by Disney vacation itineraries in Barcelona and Madrid. These immersive add-ons allow families to envelop themselves in the culture of the region with VIP access in the most-sought-after tourist destinations – such as the Sagrada Familia Cathedral in Barcelona and the El Prado museum in Madrid – as well as hands-on lessons in archeology, flamenco dancing, local cuisine and stained glass crafting. Each Adventures by Disney departure is led by knowledgeable Adventure Guides who handle all the planning logistics so parents can relax and enjoy quality time with their family.
Families can also enhance seven-night and 12-night Mediterranean sailings with Adventures by Disney Onboard Experience packages. Throughout the voyage, guests will have access to exclusive Adventures by Disney activities and concierge service from dedicated Adventure Guides. These guides will also lead travelers at each port, helping them unlock the wonders of each destination through exclusive excursions and off-the-beaten-path adventures. Specific itinerary and pricing information for the 2013 Adventures by Disney experiences will be available in March 2012.
All Disney Cruise Line pricing reflects a category 11C standard inside stateroom, Government Taxes and Fees not included. Bookings for the 2013 schedule open Jan. 26, 2012.
We should have more details in tomorrow’s updates, but we thought you’d be interested in knowing about some of the products recently added to DisneyStore.com which includes their exclusive Imagination and Magic fragrances, the Dooney & Bourke Disney Dream collection and a set of Mouse Ears from around the World Showcase at Walt Disney World’s Epcot.
To find the fragrances, visit DisneyStore.com and search for the following item #s: For Imagination: candle (6452047841554P); hand/body lotion (6452047841555P); hand wash (6452047841556P); and room spray (6452047841557P). For Magic: candle (6452047841558P); hand/body lotion (6452047841559P); hand wash (6452047841560P); and room spray (6452047841561P).
For the ears: Mexico (7505002522380P); Germany (7505002522378P); Italy (7505002522379P); England (7505002522377P); and Canada (7505002522376P).
At this time, the Dooney and Bourke are all listed as Sold Out but they should hopefully become available soon. They are: Crossbody bag (7501002522445P); Wristlet (7501002522444P); Satchel (7501002522443P); and Tote Bag (7501002522442P).
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.
The news comes by way of Dynamic Travel and Cruises, a travel agency located in Texas, who claims to have obtained it from a reporter at the Houston Chronicle who claims it came off of an official Disney website, although the original source appears unclear at this time.
DISNEY MAGIC (NEW YORK, GALVESTON)
With the Disney Fantasy moving in at Port Canaveral, the displaced Disney Magic will be headed north to find a temporary home in New York City before moving south to Galveston. Meanwhile, the Disney Wonder, which will continue sailings out of the port of Los Angeles, will also be sailing out of Seattle.
For New York, the Disney Magic will sail a total of 20 cruises, including eight-night cruises to the Bahamas, five-night cruises to Canada and two-night cruises at sea.
The eight eight-night Bahamas cruises (5/25, 6/2, 6/22, 6/30, 7/20, 7/28, 8/17, 8/25) will include a day at Castaway Cay, Nassau and a stop at Port Canaveral. Reportedly, as part of the Port Canaveral stop, each guest will receive a one-day Walt Disney World Park Hopper ticket with roundtrip transportation between their Disney ship and the resort. Rates start at $1,240 per person for a standard inside stateroom, based on double occupancy.
The nine five-night cruises up the New England coast (6/10, 6/17, 7/8, 7/15, 8/5, 8/12, 9/2, 9/7, 9/12) 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. Rates start at $715 per person for a standard inside stateroom, based on double occupancy.
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
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.
Outsmart Your Smart Room
Hopefully they’ll tell you at check-in, but in order to make your stateroom lights, television and air conditioning/heating operational, you’ll need to insert your Key To The World (KTTW) into the slot next to the door. This automatically returns those elements to their last on/off configuration. It’s meant to be an energy saver but can also be less than desirable sometimes. So rather than just leaving your KTTW inside the slot, use any (credit-card size) card that fits into it. Even the slip of paper on which they write your stateroom number at check-in is reported to do the trick!
Get to Know Your Bath/Shower
One of the coolest (and hottest!) elements of the Disney Dream staterooms is the combination bathtub and shower. It’s also one of the strangest to learn how to operate (this is where having a photo would really come in handy). In the absence of a photo, here’s my attempt at explaining just how to make most of the innoventive bathroom appliance:
There are three controls to the bath/shower: The temperature knob, the water valve and the drain control. The drain control is by itself and will be right below you as you look into the bath/shower. Simply flip the square knob on the top from side to side to open/close the drain.
To turn the water on/off, use the lower lever below the temperature knob. Pull it out to turn on the water, push it back down to turn the water off. To switch between bath, overhead/’rain’ shower and the removable/adjustable showerhead, turn the lever between left, right and center positions.
The temperature knob is the easiest to understand, but has an additional feature: a child safety temperature control. With the lock engaged, the water temperature goes to a very warm and comfortable level. If you wish to get the water even hotter, press the tiny button on the top of the knob in and continue to turn in the heat direction. Warning, it can get VERY hot.
You spent how much!?!
Although you can go to guest services to get your current balance statement, you can also use the MENU button on your in-room television remote and select the Guest Services option to view your current statement (although it can be a bit confusing). While you’re there, check out the on demand services where you can choose from many on-demand films, even non-Disney ones, if you ever get tired of the live ABC, Disney Channel, ESPN and CNN offerings. And they’re all at no additional cost!
The AquaDuck Always Has a Minimum Wait of 20 Minutes Posted
Yes, you read that correctly, it always at least 20 minutes posted. This is simply because the wait time is on a wheel whose times start at 20 (and subsequently go in five minute increments to 60). On the Maiden Voyage, I never even saw the number go higher than 20, although I’ve been assured it has, at least on earlier cruises.
So how do you know if the wait time is really 20 minutes? You can just ask the crew member at the ride’s entrance. One crew member told me an easy way to guess is the staircase that’s out in the open. If passengers reach the lowest platform on the stairs, it’s 40 minutes. When you can barely see someone at the top of the steps, right before it goes inside, it’s about 15-20 minutes. If you can’t see anyone at the top, it’s a 15 minute wait at most.
Midship Detective Agency (the Enchanted Art Game)
If you followed all the Imagineer previews of the Disney Dream and read initial trip reports, you’re already familiar with this interactive game which uses augmented reality technology to take you on a ship-wide tour of the enchanted art to solve a whodunit mystery featuring several Disney villains. Here’s your tip: Other than two decks, the enchanted art you need to visit alternate between the Forward and the Aft of the ship as you move up and down decks. Don’t make that journey for each deck, but simply do every other deck at one time. So for example, if you go to 5 Aft, just continue to 7 Aft, 9 Aft, etc., then cross the ship (maybe even on one of the mid-ship levels) and do the same on the Forward side. Also note that the game is only operational from 9 am – 9 pm as a courtesy to fellow passengers (it does get a bit loud).
You can only see each show once.. unless…
Known for its amazing staged performances, Disney Cruise Line has three amazing shows on board the Disney Dream with one (and a half) exclusive to just her. Each show is performed three times nightly so that all passengers on board have the opportunity to see the show. As a necessary precaution, you will have to check in for your show with your Key to the World card to ensure you’re going to only the show you’ve been assigned to. But there is still hope if you wish to see a show more than once: the standby line. Five minutes before each performance, passengers in the standby line will be permitted to enter the theater on their non-scheduled times, available seating permitting.
Some shopping lines can get very long, but not all of them!
If a line in one of the shops (I’m looking at you, Sea Treasures) is too long for your tastes, you’re actually allowed to simply walk to one of the many other open shops and complete your purchases. Don’t believe me? Ask a crew member!
Elevators are not your friends (sorry)
This is a couple of tips rolled into one, especially since the first part applies to all ships, but especially the Disney Dream where there are many more passengers to share them with. Try to avoid using the midship elevators as much as possible since they are the most popular and you’ll be waiting the longest for them. Instead, go forward/aft depending on your destination and choose the elevators less traveled [in]. Also note that if you’re planning on hitting deck 12, you won’t have much luck doing so via the Aft elevators (not sure about forward). This is because 12 Aft is where you’ll find Palo, Remy and Meridian and no exit to the deck. Instead you’ll have to go to either 11 (through Cabanas, which keeps its doors open all night) or 13 and walk down/up the steps. If 13 is your deck of choice, be forewarned that only the first elevator car on either side of the bank goes to 13. The other pair top out at 12.
One of the best spaces on board is the least obvious
Those lucky, lucky teens. Even if you aren’t one, I encourage you to explore Vibe on the first day when it has its open house (don’t forget the Oceaneers Club and Lab too! (you can skip Edge)). The ‘problem’ with Vibe is that despite the ship maps at the elevators showing it on deck 5, its entrance is actually on deck 4. To get to it properly, go to deck 4 forward, go outside on the port side (that’s left for you landlubbers) and go under the jogging track where you’ll find steps leading up to it. There is a wheelchair only access point in deck 5 forward, but use that at your own risk/reward/discretion.
Since I couldn’t get to ten, anyone else have some special Disney Dream specific tips to share? I’d love to hear them.
(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.
DISNEY DREAM MAIDEN VOYAGE — BY THE NUMBERS
Before we get to the details in which the Devil is patiently awaiting us, let’s toss around a few interesting statistics about the maiden voyage:
While all of the numbers are surprising extremes, the only low number is the total number of passengers. Despite a capacity of 4,000 passengers, the Disney Dream Maiden Voyage saw only 3,100. This was a result not of being unable to sell the staterooms, but rather the large number of single passengers that offset families and the theoretical maximum based on 2,500 available staterooms.
Of the 3,100 passengers, a whopping 500 cruisers were at the Disney Cruise Line Castaway Club platinum level, meaning they had been on at least 10 cruises with DCL prior. Coupled with the number of Silver and Gold level passengers, first-timers, although represented, were in the extreme minority.
Finally, a relatively high number of 100 staterooms had opted in for a back-to-back cruise.
Now it’s time for the nitpicking. What was it about the Disney Dream that sometimes made passengers wish they could wake up and find themselves back on solid ground:
NOT READY FOR PRIME-TIME
As one passenger quipped, ‘you would have thought they would have had five or six cruises by now.’
Passengers noted multiple areas in which glass had broken during the Transatlantic trip and had not yet been replaced, instead having some sort of netting in their places.
Multiple guests reported issue with the in-room safes not working as well as issues with the stateroom Cisco phone system in which messaging did not work at all for most of the cruise and often gave guests difficulty when dialing extensions throughout the ship. One guest informed me that she had much trouble with scheduling her wake-up call which ultimately insisted on calling her stateroom multiple times, even after she had answered the phone to the sound of nothing. Another guest, intent on simply using the provided in-room alarm clock radio had tremendous difficulty trying to operate it.
The worst of the complaints I head, however, came second hand and centered on a passenger who shared an adjoining stateroom with a stranger and was unable to keep the door between the rooms shut. Ultimately crew ‘remedied’ the situation by keeping the door closed as much as possible using plastic tie wraps.
On a personal note, I witnessed a couple of issues with the enchanted art such as the interactive ship’s wheel on deck 5 never working and even one enchanted art monitor appearing to be completely off at one point. Despite reporting it to guest services and even Cruise Director Rachel Quinn, I never once got to see the wheel in action, although I’m told it worked on prior cruises.
On debarkation day, the circular button panel at the elevator bank closest to my stateroom was apparently being held in place by two strips of packing tape.
LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION
Choose your room carefully as many passengers learned the hard way (or make that the heard way) that their stateroom location wasn’t inducing the sweetest of dreams.
The largest number of gripes I heard came from those in the Deck 5 Forward area. Despite having an outside (almost hidden) entrance to teen club Vibe on Deck 4, it didn’t take long for the patrons to realize there was a much more easily accessible entry point on Deck 5. Although the door at the end of the hall was meant only for wheelchair access, we hear it was completely unpoliced and unenforced and when it came time for last call at Vibe after midnight, the teens didn’t have to go back to their stateroom, but they couldn’t stay there. And in fact, many teens would congregate in other areas of the ship for hours after closing time.
Guests staying above the Buena Vista theater, where first (and second) run Disney films are shown throughout the day learned quickly that a lot of bass and action in films such as TRON: Legacy made them feel like they were part of the action as well. TRON: Legacy, which has a running time of over two hours, started at 10:30 pm on two nights of the ship, meaning it was well after midnight before those guests received some peace.
Those dining at Remy and Palo on Deck 12 were also in for an added, unadvertised bonus treat: Goofy’s Sports Deck on Deck 13. We have since learned that Disney Cruise Line was aware of the issue already and had even kept that area off limits during initial cruises just to work on dampening the noise of the balls bouncing on the basketball court. Long story short, it didn’t work.
DON’T BLAME THEM, THEY JUST WORK HERE
One significant issue was the inordinate number of new hires for the ship. We hear that up to 75% are new hires, many of whom had never worked for any cruise line. The remaining crew, from the Disney Wonder and Magic, were mostly managerial and on the back-end. In fact, Rachel Quinn wasn’t the only Cruise Director on board, so was Brent Davies who was providing support in the back-offices as Rachel gave more face time to the passengers and media on board.
With the new hires came several inherent problems. Although there were several cruises prior to the Maiden Voyage, this was by far the largest group of passengers they had to support, and it can only get worse here-on-in.
For starters, many of those on board started in Germany back in September/October and that meant that by the time the Maiden Voyage happened, they had already fulfilled about half of their contract. Many had made this the first time they had worked for a cruise line and while none had anything bad to say about Disney in terms of how they were treated, many just weren’t prepared for the harsh realities of giving up their lives and families for several months and have just decided that when February, March or whenever rolls around, they will not be looking to extend their contracts.
Perhaps knowing that much of their staff would already be on short-time, there was little emphasis on training as that seemed to be the heart of many of the trip’s complaints.
For example, multiple guests told us that they opened their refrigerators to find leftovers from cruises prior to the Maiden Voyage. While one simply found canned beverages, another found half-empty bottles of alcohol, which is, of course, a huge safety issue on many levels.
At Castaway Cay, one frantic family was running late for their stingray excursion and went to guest services on the island for directions. The guest services crew member whipped out a map of the island and helped them out by pointing in a direction for them to go only to learn several minutes later when the family angrily returned, that he had given them the wrong direction.
In his defense, he explained to me that this day was only his second on the island and he had never been further than 50 feet beyond the guest services kiosk. He expressed genuine concern in regards to the lack of exposure to the island and its services prior to having to serve it, let alone the lack of training he received. He also was concerned that he had no phone or radio so he couldn’t even turn to anyone else for support. Instead, he could only do the best he could and just hope he was giving the right advice most of the time. To bolster his argument, he added that every single one of the guest services crew was a new hire.
From personal experience, as I alluded to the difficulty of finding the regular entrance to Vibe which was on Deck 4 Forward, I asked no less than six crew members and not one of them had a clue where it was, one even going as far as to send me to the Aft side of the ship (apparently confusing the teen area with the adults-only area, The District).
M STANDS FOR MERCHANDISE, MADNESS, MURDER AND MAYHEM
There’s certainly one area that Disney has never had a problem with and that’s making money, particularly when it comes to merchandise. However the company sometimes has issues with logistics and the Disney Dream was just no exception.
With a high number of SKUs promoting the Maiden Voyage as well as the year-long (but still physically limited) Inaugural Voyages collection, many items became hot commodities at the shops which would open at 6:30 pm on most nights, while the ship was at sea. While this worked out tremendously well for those who would line up early and fight the cramped space, particularly in Sea Treasures which had little space for the guests who crammed into it to grab everything they could — and everything, they did.
The problem lay in the fact that 6:30 pm meant that approximately half of the ship was dining at the time and did not get the first picks at merchandise when the shop would open. An officer involved in merchandising confirmed to me that they did not anticipate passengers with eBay dreams grabbing everything in site so essentially all of the available merchandise was laid out for opening with little or no consideration given to those who were at first seating.
Lastly, to add insult to injury, despite having four or five (or more) crew at Guest Services at most times during the day, the line would constantly be incredibly long and slow. So much so that one passenger recounted being on line when Disney executives happened by and immediately made note of the situation. Shortly thereafter, an area consisting of lounging chairs across from the guest services was replaced with a queue of red ropes so that the line didn’t extend into the elevator area.
It wasn’t all bad however, there were some unanimous decisions in the pro column for the ship. Everyone we heard from raved about the food on the ship and the new staged production, Disney’s Believe failed to leave any dry eyes by the time its curtain fell. And I will gladly go on the record as saying each of the crew I had encountered and dealt with were tremendously helpful and courteous, often going above and beyond the call of duty. If only that level of service ever reached the parks…
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.
Here are some first look photos from the event. Unfortunately due to the eagerness to share these photos with you, they are raw and unedited as initially shared so there’s a fair amount of sensor dust on the camera (shame on us). Hopefully cleaned up images will be available in the upcoming days.
Also please look forward to an equally poor quality gallery of photos as the Disney Dream encountered the Disney Magic as she was docked at Castaway Cay.
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.
In related news, popular artist SHAG will making a signing appearance on the ship this evening to promote his new line of prints and merchandise for Disney Cruise Line. We’ve also learned that Disney Parks and Resorts Chair Tom Staggs is onboard and will be making a presentation to guests on board tomorrow morning, although we don’t expect anything really shocking to be said, just a cheap thrill (recording devices are strictly prohibited due to the nature of the event, however).
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.
Photo by Gene Duncan, courtesy of Disney Cruise Line