The Big Red Boat was the first of Disney Cruise Lines and was part of the now defunct Premier Cruise Lines. Disney ended its affiliation with Premier after they launched the Disney Magic and Premier tried to go it alone. They did an affiliation with Loony Tunes (Warner Brothers) and Nascar but it failed and the cruise line went under in 2000.
It was a low end carrier that had a fleet of three of four ships: The Big Red Boat I, Big Red Boat II, Big Red Boat III (Formerly Carnival Festival and The Seabreeze. After going bankrupt the Seabreeze conveniently sank while being towed into port to be stripped and then onto the breakers, in India to be scrapped. The insurance value was higher than the scrap value. Quite interesting but nothing, illegal was ever proved.
Many people cruised on Premier and many people loved it as an economy line and have many fond memories of cruising on the older ships. Some of Premier's ships were true ocean liners, such as HAL's, Rotterdam and they still had that feel. I would have loved to have sailed on them just to have been able to feel the ship feeling instead of the huge cruise ships that now sail. They may not have had the amenities that the new ships had but they had history.
So, The Big Red Boats were real and they played a major portion in the history of cruising and to many people they will be fondly remembered and perhaps to others they may be the cruise from hell.