Disney sails from New York, Galveston and Seattle next year.
|Disney sails from New York, Galveston and Seattle next year.|
Disney: New U.S. Ports for 2012
Right now, Disney Magic is with her new big sister ship, Disney Dream, sailing out of Port Canaveral. But this winter she heads to Europe for cruises out of Barcelona from May to September. She will then return to Port Canaveral until next May when she heads to New York City for the first time.
Next summer (2012), Magic will sail 20 cruises out of New York City with two completely different itinerary options. There will be eight eight-night cruises sailing down to Nassau, Bahamas, Castaway cay (the private island) and Port Canaveral where every guest will get a one-day "Park Hopper" pass to Disney World in Orlando, with roundtrip transportation from the ship, all included in the cruise fare. The Park Hopper pass allows guests to visit the Magic Kingdom, Epcot Center or both - as much ground as you can possibly cover in a single day.
The other New York Option is a five day cruise north to Canada, visiting Saint John, New Brunswick and Halifax, Nova Scotia. There are also three short two-day "cruises to nowhere" scheduled for June 15, July 13 and August 10.
After the New York summer season Magic will make her way south to Galveston, Texas, for the line's first visit to the popular new cruise port. The first of 12 seven-day cruises is scheduled for September 22, 2012. The Western Caribbean itinerary calls in Cozumel, Grand Cayman and Costa Maya.
This year (2011) it is sister ship Disney Wonder that is on the road. The current 2011 schedule has her sailing out of Los Angeles down to Mexico this winter and out of Vancouver to Alaska this coming summer. Disney Wonder is currently scheduled to return to Los Angeles for Mexico cruises from September 2011 through April 2012.
But for the 2012 summer Alaska season, Disney Wonder's home port will be changed from Vancouver to Seattle. The Seattle 2012 seven-day itineraries include Tracy Arm Fjord for glacier watching, Skagway, Juneau, Ketchikan and Victoria, British Columbia in Canada.
On her way back to Los Angeles, Disney Wonder will sail four Pacific Coast cruises from Los Angeles with stops in San Francisco, San Diego and Ensenada. Then she will make another "first" for Disney, a rare one-time roundtrip voyage to Hawaii, sailing from Los Angeles on April 29. The cruise will include the Hawaiian Islands and Ensenada, Mexico, as the solitary stop in a foreign port.
Interestingly, rumors were circulating about Disney ships going to Galveston and to Hawaii for the first time last summer, but Disney would not confirm anything at the time. It looks like the magic mirror was working pretty well as most of the rumors we heard back then have now materialized.
All of this wandering around the U.S. is now possible because the new Disney Dream is now in service in Port Canaveral. Even better - she is about to be joined by the even newer Disney Fantasy - scheduled to debut in the U.S. on March 31, 2012. While the Dream will offer mostly three and four-day cruises, (and some five-day itineraries) usually taken in conjunction with a stop at Disney World in Orlando, the new Disney Fantasy will offer seven-day Caribbean cruises.
Disney has branched out to offer West Coast, Alaska and even European cruises before, but 2012 will be the most extensive schedule of U.S.-based home-ports ever by Disney. It is notable that the entire summer of 2012 the entire Disney fleet will be sailing from U.S. ports; New York, Port Canaveral and Seattle.
Indeed - 2012 should be a very interesting year with many cruise lines announcing new schedules mostly because of rising fuel costs and new legislative restrictions mandating that cruise ships must burn a cleaner but more expensive fuel when close to U.S. and Canadian coastlines.
It is also notable that despite the higher costs (relative to prior years) of cruising out of U.S. ports, Disney is not returning to Europe in 2012. In 2011 many cruise lines had come to see Europe as the best place to be for its growing market and stronger currency, but 2011 is shaping up as a bit of a challenge for U.S. cruise lines in Europe - mostly due to rising airfare costs.