April 5, 2011
The latest move shows a cruise line in serious itinerary diversification mode. As the Disney fleet expands -- Disney Dream made its splashy debut this past January, and sister ship, Disney Fantasy, will launch March 2012 -- the line has moved beyond the fairy tale confines of Port Canaveral (access to Disney World) and Los Angeles (Disneyland). Disney has been dappling with Mediterranean and Baltic itineraries of late, and Disney Wonder will sail the Mouse's first-ever season of Alaska voyages this year. Basing a ship in Galveston positions Disney as a drive-to option for millions of Gulf Coast and Texas cruisers.
As for Galveston, Disney Magic marks the latest big-name score for the resurgent port, which has been steadily rebounding after a devastating hit from Hurricane Ike in 2008 sent cruise lines scattering. In early March, Princess Cruises revealed that it will base the 113,000-ton, 3,080-passenger Crown Princess in the Texas homeport in 2012. Prior to that, Carnival Cruise Lines said the 130,000-ton, 3,690-passenger Carnival Magic -- due out in May 2011 as the second in the line's new Dream class -- was Texas-bound. But wait, there's more. Rumors are also rampant in the Cruise Critic community that big Disney news involving New York City and Seattle will be announced at a press conference tomorrow. Stay tuned. Share your opinion with 650,000 Cruise Critic members.
--by Dan Askin, News Editor