http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/articl...RGDVECI9C1.TMP


Disney Magic's summertime visit to the West Coast was "hugely popular," according to Disney Cruise Line executives, but don't look for a repeat performance -- seasonal or permanent -- anytime soon.

The 12-week Mexican Riviera itinerary that ended Aug. 20, scheduled to coincide with Disneyland's 50th anniversary, was an opportunity for the company to showcase the service to "a whole new audience," said Christi Erwin, a spokeswoman for the line.

"The pace of bookings for these special West Coast cruises was exceptional from the day they were offered," she said. "We are delighted with the success of these cruises."

The not-so-fairytale ending for Disney-philes in the West, however, is that after getting a taste of the Magic, it could be years before it or any other Disney ships come back. The cruise line has only a pair of 1,750-passenger vessels, both built in the '90s, and they are fat and happy spending their days in the Caribbean and the Bahamas.

The line has drawn up plans for a third ship, Disney Cruise Line President Tom McAlpin said in June, but the continued strength of the euro over the dollar makes building new ships in Europe (where nearly every large passenger ship is built) unattractive. "More ships? Yes, but the time isn't right," McAlpin said.