Disney Dream no nightmare

Given that Walt Disney’s first Mickey Mouse cartoon was called Steamboat Willie, it’s is probably appropriate that the Disney Corporation now encompasses cruising.

The next Disney cruise ship is called the Disney Dream, and is due to be launched in January 2011. This will be the biggest Disney ship yet, and continues the Disney quest for innovation. One of the major improvements over older vessels is that nearly all Dream staterooms are designed for families of three people or more. There are spacious suites with private verandas, oceanview staterooms with “oversized” portholes and inside staterooms with “virtual portholes” – video screens with a live feed from the ship’s bridge along with animated Disney characters who show up unannounced at various times.

As usual, there will be accommodation to suit every budget. For families that want to travel in style Disney Dream offers the Concierge Royal Suite. At an amazing 1781 square feet (165 sq metres) with veranda, it includes a master bedroom with queen-size bed, one in-the-wall pull-down double bed and one in-the-wall pull-down single bed in the living room.

But wait! There’s more! The Concierge Royal Suite also includes two bathrooms; a master bath with double sinks, a rain shower and a whirlpool tub and another half-bath with sink and toilet. Plus there is a separate whirlpool tub on the veranda along with patio furniture and Plexiglas railings with childproof locks. The suite includes a living room, media room, an open dining salon, a pantry, wet bar and walk-in closets. There are two 42-inch LCD high-definition flat-screen TVs, one in the living room and one in the bedroom, an iPod docking station, couch, desk, chair and dining table. So you need never leave your suite to hobnob it with the hoi polloi.

Disney Dream will have many of the same restaurants as the first two Disney ships, but upgraded to reflect the latest in technology. Animators Palate is inspired by Disney’s famous animation. This room includes a unique dinner show where “virtual windows,” actually video screens, come to life with interactive Disney characters who engage the diners in conversations. Cabanas is a casual dining restaurant serving fresh food for breakfast and lunch. At dinnertime the restaurant includes table service with specialties from the main dining room. Enchanted Garden is a main dining restaurant inspired by the gardens of Versailles. Disney Corporation maintains that every meal magically transforms from day to night during the service, but does that mean that the actual food will change?  Or does the decor change?

The ship is not totally geared towards kids, as adults will also be catered for. Palo is an intimate restaurant on deck 12 serving Northern Italian cuisine for dinner only. Apparently, Palo offers sweeping ocean views and elegant decor for guests aged 18 or older. Remy is another adult only exclusive restaurant serving French cuisine.

Royal Palace is a main dining room inspired by classic Disney films like Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty (don’t eat the apple!). It will serve breakfast lunch and dinner.

Of course, when you think Disney you think entertainment, and Disney Dream does promise to provide top notch entertainment for the whole family. The ship will offer one of the plushest and largest movie cinemas at sea featuring first run films in digital 3-D and Dolby surround sound with plush, stadium-style seating. The Walt Disney Theater is the live performance venue for the showing of original, Broadway-style Disney production shows.

There are several nightclubs and lounges on Disney Dream; some for adult’s only, some for all ages and some for kids only. The all-ages lounges include 687 where families can enjoy games and activities during the day and adults can have a cocktail at night.

For activities whilst at seas there will be a magnificent pool deck water-park, including the longest and first waterslide at sea to feature raft-riding.

Perhaps the only thing that could improve the Disney dream is to have Capt. Jack Sparrow take over as captain, and put her on a course for world’s end.

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