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Disney Dream takes your imagination on a cruise.

Seeing the Disney Dream
I just returned from Papenburg, Germany, home of one of the oldest remaining full service shipyards in the world, Meyer-Werft. I was there with a small group of cruise journalists to witness the floatout of the brand new cruise ship, Disney Dream, still under construction but scheduled to enter service on January 26, 2011.

We were given three extensive tours at Meyer-Werft; first to see how ships are made in the shipyard facility, then a tour of the Disney offices with mock-ups of various parts of the ship, and finally we were taken aboard the actual ship for about six hours to see all of the interior details bottom to top, most already in place but protectively covered in plastic and tape.

Most shipyard visits require the use of one's imagination to envision the final product, but on this trip my imagination was enhanced by the "Disney Imagineers" who gave us a thorough preview of Disney Dream's coming attractions. Most of these Imagineers normally work in the Glendale, California, Imagineering laboratory, but they had been living in Papenburg, Germany, (a one-pub town) for over a year now to "project manage" the technology installations on the ship.

This was the most thorough shipyard visit I have ever experienced, but now having seen the ship as an adult if I could have just one wish granted by Aladdin's genie I would be eight years old again. I want to experience the ship as a child. But rest assured that Disney Dream will also appeal to adults - and I wouldn't want to miss that either.

The Disney Cruise Line Difference
The main difference between Disney and other cruise lines is that Disney is first and foremost a very successful entertainment company. Disney is financially strong enough that they could have easily built a fleet of ships to rival the other major cruise lines in the last ten years they have been in operation. But Disney Dream is just their third ship.

The reason they have not tried to take over the cruise industry completely is now apparent to me. This was the first time I had met with Disney Cruise Line, solely due to years of schedule conflicts, and I have to say I am really sorry about that now. I find these people very appealing and it has nothing to do with my favorite mouse. It is the way they exude a consistent awareness and dedication to the Disney reputation. They really care about the past, but they care even more about how the things they plan to do in the future will reflect on that past. In other words, a Disney cruise is not just another sea voyage; it is an extension of everything else that is Disney. And the last thing they would ever want to do is tarnish that good reputation.

Walt Disney laid the foundation for his entertainment dynasty by extolling good old-fashioned American values, and the people I just met from the Disney of today keep that original dream alive with a dedication beyond anything I expected. They not only believe that extolling the better virtue in life is a worthy and honorable pastime, they also have a dedication to bringing these values to life with a fine attention to detail.

Meet the Disney Dream
With the classic superstructure of a fine ocean liner, Disney Dream pays homage to the era of great liners like the Cunard Queen Mary, inaugurated in 1938. Like the original Queen Mary, Disney Dream is steeped in 1930s Art Deco tradition.

Disney Dream will appeal to Disney enthusiasts first, but it will also appeal to anyone who enjoys quality food, entertainment and comfort. Many Disney Dream passengers may be experiencing cruising for the first time and because of the Disney dedication to tradition they will learn a great deal about passenger vessels they probably did not know before.

Disney Dream has areas that will appeal to adults only, areas designed for parents to have fun with their children and other areas designed just for children (under staff supervision, of course). Within those children's areas there is even greater diversity to appeal to kids of various age groups ranging from 12 weeks to 18 years old.

Overall, the stateroom accommodations are among the best designs I have ever seen, especially for families. The dining options will satisfy the palates of the parents as well keep the children amused throughout the meal despite their searing temptation to return to their favorite playtime activity.

The range of attractions on Disney Dream will have something for everyone. The "AquaDuck" is a 685-foot waterslide that takes raft riders over the edge of the ship (inside an enclosed see-through tube) and through one of the smokestacks. All-age attractions include some of the finest entertainment at sea, including first-run Disney 3-D movies to be released on the ship the very same hour as they debut in movie theaters on land. For adults there will be an exclusive French cuisine restaurant with a menu designed by two-star Michelin chef Arnaud Lallement from l'Assiette Champenoise in Reims, France.

I just returned home last night, so it will be a few days before my articles, along with plenty of pictures, about Disney Dream will be online at CruiseMates. But I wanted to give a short overview. Stay tuned to CruiseMates for more on Disney Dream - pictures, menus and behind the scenes stories coming in the next few days.

Discuss the New Disney ships here: Disney Dream is Coming.

click on pictures below for larger images:

Verandah Stateroom   Steel Bedframe and art deco decor   Mini-suite

click on pictures below for larger images:

Enchanted Garden Banquette   Enchanted Art   Animator's Palate

click on pictures below for larger images:

Nemo's Reef slide for kids up to 8 years old   smokestack with AquaDuck running through it   Micky's slide in main pool area
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