Disney Cruise Lines christened its newest ship, the Dream, in Port Canaveral, Florida, on January 19. The red-carpet, waterside spectacle featured marching bands; drum corps; flag bearers; singers; dancers; and Academy Award–winner Jennifer Hudson, the ship’s godmother, who worked aboard the Disney Wonder before realizing her dreams of stardom. See our Top Disney Dream Cruise Experiences.
Cinderella, Jasmine, Belle, and all the best princesses attended, as did all the most rambunctious pirates. Minnie, Goofy, Donald, and many other classic Disney characters were also on hand. But, as usual, it was Mickey who stole the show, especially with his dramatic christening using an enormous bottle full of dreams.
Your Dream Sail
The Dream, the third ship in Disney’s fleet after the Wonder and the Magic, is also the largest, able to accommodate 4,000 guests in 1,250 state rooms. It’s an art deco–style vessel with dining, entertainment, and activities for all ages. It also has the first-ever shipboard water ride, the AquaDuck, and interior staterooms whose virtual portholes have real-time ocean views—and occasional appearances by Disney characters.
The ship sails from Port Canaveral throughout the year on three- to five-night Bahamas cruises, that include a stop at Disney’s Castaway Cay. There are a couple things that will make booking your Dream cruise . . . well, dreamy.
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Shop around: Although it’s easy to plan and book a Dream cruise or an entire cruise-air-parks package through disneycruise.com, shopping around can pay off in terms of both price and flexibility. This is especially true for air travel and, if you’re including a theme-park visit, accommodations.
Consider your flight options: Also, don’t just price flights and ground transfers for Orlando International Airport. Check out Orlando Sanford, Melbourne International near Port Canaveral, or Daytona Beach International.
Book a year ahead: This helps you score a more-affordable stateroom and enables you to set aside funds over time. Disneycruise.com requires a deposit of 10%, give or take, of the total. You don’t pay the balance until 75 to 90 days before departure, depending on the category of stateroom.
Remember there are other Disney ships: Oh, and don’t despair if the Dream is full. In addition to the Wonder and the Magic, you can now book on Disney’s fourth ship, the Fantasy, which sails to the Caribbean beginning in April 2012.
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Photo Credits: Champagne “Dreams” Christening courtesy Disney Cruise Lines; Characters at Christening courtesy Moira Taylor; State Room with virtual porthole courtesy Disney Cruise Lines / Matt Stroshane; Dream interior detail courtesy Disney Cruise Lines / Gene Duncan.