Photos by Darrell Scattergood
Following weeks of anticipation, Disney Cruise Line’s newest ship, the Disney Wish, has finally made its debut in Port Canaveral, Florida. With Florida’s Patrick Space Force Base in the background, the ship was greeted by Disney characters at a private ceremony shortly before sunrise on Monday. Approximately two dozen local residents watched from the pier of Jetty Park nearby. Several leatherback sea turtles and dolphins were seen frolicking in the cove as the ship approached.
Disney Wish is the first of three new Disney ships to be built at Germany’s Meyer Werft shipyard through 2025. The vessels will be powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG). The trio will be slightly larger than the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy, weighing in at approximately 144,000 gross tons each.
When the Disney Wish sets sail on its official maiden voyage July 14, the ship will offer new experiences soaked in Disney storytelling, including immersive dining experiences themed to Frozen and Marvel, and an upscale lounge set in the Star Wars galaxy.
Each sailing’s itinerary will offer planned activities for children and young teens, including a completely reimagined Oceaneer Club that will have an entrance directly connected to the Grand Hall. A Marvel Superhero Academy pledges to train young recruits alongside some of their favorite superheroes.
Walt Disney World ambassador Ali Manion predicts that young guests will enjoy the outdoor water coaster.
“The Wish has the AquaMouse, which is the first ever Disney attraction at sea. It will fully immerse you with lots of fun in the middle of a Mickey Mouse cartoon,” Manion explained.
Disney World employees gathered at the private ceremony at Port Canaveral to welcome the new ship to port. The ship’s official maiden voyage is scheduled for July 14 and will include a water salute.
“It is truly an emotional moment. Something special, not only for Walt Disney Cruise Line, but for the thousands that help make this all possible,” said Walt Disney ambassador Raevon Redding.
The Florida charity Give Kids the World recently announced its eight winners for the maiden five-night voyage as part of a promotion offered with Disney. The Orlando nonprofit resort hosts families with children with who have life-threatening illnesses. They will stay in the two-story Disney Wish Tower Suite inspired by the Disney animated film Moana. After completing its maiden voyage, the Disney Wish will book three- and four-night itineraries from Port Canaveral to Nassau in the Bahamas and Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay.
Port Canaveral Director and CEO Captain John Murray attended the reception.
“We have anticipated this homecoming of the Disney Wish for some time and know that our entire Port community is excited to have her sailing from our Port,” said Murray. “We are proud of the longstanding partnership we have with Disney Cruise Line, and the arrival of the Disney Wish adds to the growing number of impressive cruise ships providing high quality guest experiences from our Port.”
Port Canaveral hosts nearly five million revenue cruise passengers through its terminals and six million tons of cargo annually, including bulk, break-bulk, project and containerized. The Port is strategically located to service all Florida markets, as well as the Southeastern United States. In addition to cruise facilities and diverse cargo operations, Port Canaveral offers diverse recreational opportunities.
See Disney Wish sailings here Disney Wish Cruises (cruisecompete.com)
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