It dawned on me the other day that it’s been awhile since I’ve written a Disney Cruise Line Connoisseur article, and there’s actually quite a lot to discuss. Back at D23 Expo 2017, the news broke that the company was increasing its fleet expansion plans from two new ships to three. Plus, just the other day, the brand recommitted to California and Florida homeports with expanded itineraries. So, let’s check it all out.
Previously, we knew that the Disney Dream, Disney Fantasy, Disney Magic and Disney Wonder would be adding a fifth and sixth vessel in 2021 and 2023, respectively, but now a seventh has snuck its way in for introduction in 2022. As a near doubling of the fleet, this is most significant, and the three new sister-ships will each be slightly larger than the latest Dream and Fantasy.
At this point, we still know very little about exactly what they will feature onboard. Surely, Disney staples like family staterooms, stellar entertainment, rotational dining and wonderful venues for everyone as well as just kids and adults will be in store. However, there will likely be several things unique to the new trio.
Technologically fresh, at least, will be how they are powered. The ships will be fueled by clean-burning liquefied natural gas, and they will all be built at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany, where the Dream and Fantasy were constructed.
No names have been decided on yet either, but that hasn’t stopped my wife and I from considering a scheme that will likely follow something along the lines of Disney Imagination, Disney Creation, etcetera. While it doesn’t quite fit with the other two, we’re also quite fond of Disney Legend for one of them, especially if that ship were somehow dedicated to the history of the company.
As exciting as all such details will soon be, where the ships will eventually sail is equally as intriguing. Disney generally likes to keep its newest ships based in Florida where they can be paired with a stay at Walt Disney World, so it’s likely that the next three will be based year-round in the Caribbean accordingly.
This would then free up the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy to roam elsewhere for the very first time. I think it’s likely that one of the median-sized ships will head permanently to the west coast, covering Alaska and Mexico seasonally while the other goes to the east coast and Europe seasonally.
The previously west coast-based Disney Wonder could then service Asia predominantly and also shuttle back and forth to California with Hawaii and Aulani perfectly in between. Then the Disney Magic could potentially be used in service of exotic itineraries on a sort of segmented world cruise that would be ideal in conjunction with Adventures by Disney. Suffice it to say, it’s an exciting time to dream.
Before 2021, 2022 and 2023 come, though, Disney has recently revealed that it will be returning to sail from Port Canaveral and Miami, Florida; San Diego, California and San Juan, Puerto Rico in 2019.
Year-round, the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy will continue their roundtrips from Port Canaveral to the Caribbean with the former on alternating 3- and 4-night trips and the latter on 7-night ones. Meanwhile, the Disney Wonder will leave from the homeport on 3- and 4-night cruises in February.
From Miami, the Disney Magic will feature 4- and 5-night sailings to the Caribbean at the start of 2019. Deeper in the Caribbean, the Wonder will sail from San Juan on 6- and 7-night voyages in January.
Additionally, the Disney Wonder will repeat its homeport departures from San Diego in 2019 with an extended season from March until May. The ship will embark on 2-, 4-, 5- and 7-night journeys to Mexico from California.
Of course, once the new ships arrive, these itineraries are sure to diversify greatly. Disney Cruise Line fans are in for one heck of a fun ride.
Are you just as excited about the future of Disney Cruise Line as we are? Share your thoughts in the comments section below…