Today, Erin Foster, coauthor of The Unofficial Guide to Disney Cruise Line, shares with us what she knows about the new ships coming to Disney Cruise Line in 2021 and 2023.
Disney Cruise Line has announced that it will be expanding its fleet from the current four ships by adding two more ships, for a total of six. That’s terrific news for fans of Disney cruises, but before you get too excited, you should know that the anticipated launch dates are several years away.
What we know about the new ships is that they will be constructed by Meyer Werft, the same shipyard that built the Disney Dream and the Disney Fantasy. They will be slightly larger than the Dream and Fantasy, at about 135,000 gross tons each, with a planned 1,250 staterooms per ship.
Because that’s so little to go on, we, like you, have a million questions. First, what will the ships be named? We’re putting money on Imagination and Adventure, but we’ve heard speculation about Discover, Enchantment, Illumination, Inspiration, Wish, Vision, Charm, and a handful of others.
More significant questions include: Will the new ships offer more family-size staterooms that sleep parties of five or six? Will one or more of the ships have a permanent home at a location other than Port Canaveral? Will a regular itinerary to Cuba be on the itineraries? Will Disney Cruise Line begin to serve the Asian or Australian markets? How will Castaway Cay be impacted? Will the new ships be fitted with more, or less, adult-oriented amenities than the current fleet? How will the new ships be decorated? Will the older Disney ships, the Magic and the Wonder, see price reductions? How will the new ships’ dining and entertainment offerings differ from those currently seen on Disney Cruise Line?
The list of unknowns is virtually endless, but what seems clear is that Royal Caribbean is a formidable competitor, currently beating Disney on both price and amenities on many routes. To sustain a six-ship fleet, Disney will have to bring the full force of its Imagineering power to create spectacular advancements in guest experience.
We don’t expect to see any real information until 2019 at the earliest, when bookings will likely begin for sailings on one of the new ships in 2021. Until then, it’s fun to speculate.