When Disney’s newest cruise ship, the Disney Fantasy, sails into New York Harbor, it may look quite similar to the company’s previous ship the Dream, its “fraternal twin” that debuted just over a year ago. Together, Dream and Fantasy more than double passenger capacity for Disney Cruise Line and the company is understandably excited.
“Adding two new ships gives us the flexibility to provide guests with Disney cruise vacations to more parts of the world with a brand they have come to know and trust,” Rebecca Peddie, manager of public affairs at Disney Cruise Line, told us. “We’re excited about the flexibility that our expanded fleet gives us to explore new destinations and react to market conditions and preferences.”
Though the two megaships may share a common blueprint, the Fantasy has a wealth of new features — on display at the New York christeningThursday — created especially for its longer itineraries sailing from Florida’s Port Canaveral.
Though the ship will depart from Port Canaveral, it will make its first stop in New York City.
“New York has played an important role with our company’s history and the christening of the Disney Fantasy is a continuation of our commitment to this area,” Peddie explained. “It’s exciting to bring our new ship to an important market for Disney Cruise Line that is also a major media hub.”
Though the main purpose of the stop is to showcase the new ship, it’s also a chance for Disney to drum up interest for its other ship Disney Magic. Magic will commence trips from the Big Apple beginning in May.
“New York is one of the most popular international travel destinations in the world and the opportunity to sail from here is very appealing to our guests,” Peddie said. “We’ve continually heard from guests that they would enjoy the opportunity to sail on a cruise vacation from destinations closer to home, and since many of our repeat guests hail from that region, New York offers a unique proximity.”
Disney Magic will sail a total of 20 cruises from New York including eight-night cruises to the Bahamas, five-night cruises up the New England coast to Canada, plus two-night cruises that will give a sampling of the Disney Cruise Line experience.
On the eight-night cruise to the Bahamas, one of the many port adventures offered in Central Florida is the opportunity to visit Walt Disney World during the ship’s overnight call in Port Canaveral. Each guest on these itineraries will receive a one-day Walt Disney World Park Hopper ticket and roundtrip transportation between the ship and the resort.
The Disney Fantasy is 40 percent larger than the Disney Magic at 1,115 feet long with room for 4,000 passengers. The $900 million ship will leave New York and arrive at its Port Canaveral base on March 6, taking its maiden voyage on March 31.
Fantasy features new twists on the fun familiar to guests who’ve cruised on its sister ship Disney Dream, offering entertainment, activities, and dining experiences purpose-planned for seven-night cruises.
The ship’s signature show “Wishes” is a 45-minute “musical journey about three best friends who discover the secret to being a grown-up is staying connected to their inner child.”
Also new to Disney Cruise Line, “Disney’s Aladdin – A Musical Spectacular” is a fast-paced musical comedy during which Aladdin is back as the “street rat” of Agrabah meeting a Genie who grants him three wishes, battling the evil Jafar, and falling in love with Princess Jasmine.
Adults looking for nightlife can enjoy Europa – an entertainment district of high-energy sophisticated and trendy clubs and lounges inspired by the nightspots of Italy, France, Ireland, and London.
The Fantasy boasts heaps more fun on deck with features like the world’s only shipboard “water coaster,” the AquaDuck. There’s also a pool for outdoor film screenings, a Nemo’s Reef water-play area, a nine-hole miniature golf course, a sports deck, digital sports simulators, and adults-only pools and bar areas.
Other features include the Muppet’s interactive adventure game and the Animator’s Palate restaurant where passengers draw figures on placemats that are later animated in a sequence alongside classic Disney characters during the “Animation Magic” show.
Alex has written for Vanity Fair, Barrons, Bloomberg and Condé Nast Traveler.