PHOTO: Disney Cruise Line’s fleet will consist of seven ships by 2023. (photo courtesy of Disney Cruise Line)
Over the weekend at Disney’s D23 Expo fan convention, Disney Cruise Linemade a surprise announcement that the fleet would soon be adding three new ships rather than just two.
A fresh pair was already planned for launch during 2021 and 2023, and the seventh was slotted in for 2022.
“We decided two ships wouldn’t be enough to hold all of the exciting new experiences we have been dreaming up to take family cruise vacations to a whole new level with immersive Disney storytelling, world-class family entertainment, and imaginative innovations that are fantastically fun and uniquely Disney,” chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Bob Chapek said in a press release.
“By the time all three new ships are sailing, we’ll have nearly doubled the size of our existing fleet.”
Like the last two—Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy—the next three ships will be constructed at Meyer Werft shipyard in Germany. It was also revealed that they will be powered by clean-burning liquefied natural gas (LNG) for the first time in the fleet. Each in the trio will be sized the same at approximately 135,000 gross tons accommodating 1,250 guest staterooms, making each a little larger than the Dream and Fantasy.
The preceding two are 129,690 tons albeit with a comparable capacity. So, the new ships will be roomier with greater passenger space ratios for guests to roam about.
So far other details have yet to be revealed, but I did previously analyze the earliest renderings hereto glean some understanding. Final ship names and designs are still forthcoming. (My wife and I are hoping for a naming scheme along the lines of the Disney Creation and Disney Imagination.)
I was onsite for the entire expo, and in person at the big Parks and Resorts panel. There, Chapek also said, “Each of our ships will have their own unique experiences, so we can’t wait for all of you to sail with us.”
Currently, Disney is making a concerted effort to have distinctive production shows on each vessel dedicated to recreating different films on stage.
READ MORE: TravelPulse On Board: Disney Fantasy Review
Most recently, “Frozen, A Musical Spectacular” has come aboard the Disney Wonder. Disney Dream will next receive “Beauty and the Beast” in November. In fact, we were treated to a splendid live sampling of some of the performance’s numbers at the convention.
It’s likely that each of the three new ships will feature a separate show as well—easy to do since Disney has such a large library of other classic and future movies to adapt.
Sister-ships generally have some common features, however. The Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy both have the AquaDuck water coaster, for instance. Is it possible instead that each new ship will have its own unique deck attraction as well?
I’ve often speculated that it’s only a matter of time before a cruise line attempts to install a roller coaster at sea. This might be Disney’s opportunity to do something so bold.
Otherwise, classic Disney Cruise Line amenities are sure to still come along for the ride such as family-friendly cabins with split bathrooms, rotational dining rooms with different themes, a dedicated cinema and theater, fireworks deck parties and, of course, the presence of the lovable Disney characters.
The main benefit of having seven ships over the existing four, however, is where they can be deployed year-round and seasonally. The Dream and the Fantasy are currently in the Caribbean permanently, with the Disney Magic and Disney Wonder respectively going to Europe and Alaska seasonally.
With another three ships, in stands to reason that the Wonder might stay on the West Coast all the time, heading also to Mexico, Hawaii and across to Asia. The Magic similarly might remain in Europe throughout the year.
Either way, it’s likely at least two of the new ships will stay in the Caribbean to service the line’s bread-and-butter itinerary while the Dream and Fantasy have the freedom to go elsewhere in the world.
For more information, contact a travel agent, call 888-325-2500 or visit disneycruise.com.
This post first appeared on TravelPulse.