(11:39 a.m. EST) -- Now arriving, Disney Dream.
Cruise Critic was on hand this morning when Disney Dream, Disney Cruise Line's first new-build in more than a decade, was christened in Port Canaveral. Several hundred onlookers and media attended the short ceremony, overseen by the ship's godmother, "American Idol" alum and Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson. The "Dreamgirl" started her career as a performer on Disney Wonder in 2003.
In true Disney style, the event kicked off with an elaborate show, an appearance from all the characters, oversized puppets and fireworks. There were a few words from Robert A. Iger, president of the Walt Disney Co., who spoke about the journey to this point. Still, this was more of a Broadway-style show than a traditional christening.
The highlight was a smiling (and thin!) Hudson, who spoke excitedly to the crowd. "I hope this ship will make dreams come true, just like they did for me." She sang a song for the roaring crowd before Dream was blessed by the Rev. Dr. Warren D. Langer Jr.
The 128,000-ton, 2,500-passenger Dream, which upholds Disney's classic ocean-liner design, shone brightly under sunny skies. Amenities onboard include a 750-foot "watercoaster," a pyrotechnic-laden deck party and Remy, a French venue with cruising's steepest surcharge ($75).The ship will make its maiden voyage on January 26, then sail three-, four- and five-night Bahamian cruises out of Port Canaveral.
We'll be onboard the next few days, reporting back regularly on Disney's newest dazzler. Be sure to check back often to follow our live coverage.
--by Carrie Calzaretta, Cruise Critic contributor
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