Disney Cruise Line Adding 3 New Ships
Disney Cruise Line is now planning three new ships in the next phase of expansion, which will nearly double the size of the fleet. The first two ships were previously announced last year with the above concept art.
While no new concept art depicting the seventh Disney Cruise Line ship was released, we’ve had our crack team of graphic artists working tirelessly since the announcement to bring you an accurate* rendering of how the ship should look. (*Note: rendering accuracy not entirely accurate.)
Previously, the plan for the two new ships was to have them built at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Germany with scheduled completion dates of 2021 and 2023. The third ship will be slotted in between the previously-planned ones with a scheduled completion date of 2022.
Ship names, entertainment options, design plans, and itineraries are still in development, but Bob Chapek did indicat that each of the new ships would have its own unique experiences to distinguish them from one another. Presumably, this means something more than the standard differences in restaurants, atriums, and other details that make each of the ships distinct. (At least, it sounded like more based upon what he said.)
The three new ships will be powered by clean-burning liquefied natural gas and each will be the same size: approximately 135,000 gross tons with 1,250 guest staterooms. That’s slightly larger than the newest Disney Cruise Line ships, the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy.
When this was originally announced, I wondered why it’d take so long. Then I did some research into the shipyard that is building these, and discovered they are at full capacity for the foreseeable future. There has been an unprecedented boom across the entire cruise industry, and one consequence has been growth among the major lines.
In essence, this means that Disney is waiting in line for a while (POETIC JUSTICE! 😉 ) until these ships can be built and finished. With that in mind, it sort of makes sense they’d add another ship to the order, anticipating future growth now and getting ahead of the line, so to speak.
I’m pleased that Disney Cruise Line is expanding even further. Clearly, the demand is there for these cruises, and having more ships should help with that. (Also, selfishly, it should make deals easier to find.)
At the same time, I have a bit of trepidation. I consider Disney Cruise Line to be Parks & Resorts’ best product, with the highest guest service standards, maintenance, and attention to detail. While I love all of the parks, I think Disney Cruise Line is the best current exemplar of the fabled “Disney Difference” of the 1980s-1990s.
Part of me worries that such rapid expansion–nearly doubling the size of the fleet–will spread Disney Cruise Line’s talents too thin, and in the process, dilute the brand. I really don’t want standards anywhere to slip, as I think that’s such a big part of what makes Disney Cruise Line appealing.
I’m not suggesting that this will happen, or even that I expect it to happen. It’s just a concern, and not an unreasonable one given what can happen as business units go from their lean stage to a more bloated, larger scale. Hopefully, that does not occur here.
So far, all of the growth that has occurred with Disney Cruise Line has been (I think) for the positive. While I’m a more recent fan of the cruise ships, I prefer the newer ships to the older one, and I think Disney has learned some lessons as it has gained more experience in the cruise industry, allowing the company to iterate on past designs and make technical and functional improvements in the process. If that trend continues with these 3 new ships and Disney Cruise Line maintains its exceptional guest and soft services, the bar will be raised even further.
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What do you think of Disney Cruise Line adding three new ships to its fleet? Do you share any of the same excitement or concerns as me? Have any name ideas for the new ships? Any other thoughts or ideas about this? If you have questions or thoughts, please share them below and we’ll try to respond!
I propose the following names for the new ships:
* Pixie Dust
Recently chatted with one of the ship’s captain. Will not mention names. But he made an interesting comment. The hull age of both the Wonder and Magic are approaching end of life for ships. So does Disney retire the two older ships or go for huge expensive major repairs? My guess is that the 7th ship now on order means that one by one the two older ships go through major repairs and that Disney sails only 6 for several years afterward. Just my guess. My favorite by far: the Wonder. The shows, the restaurant experience is much better than the other three. IMHO. Mark
My main concern lies with straying away too much from the magic formula about modern boats with a nostalgia design (Disney trade mark a doing things). i.e. the latest bar on the Wonder about Cadillac. Very impressive but have nothing to do on a cruise ship. Would be terrific in a Downtown D/D Springs. I cross finger they stay away from “milk carton” giant cruise ships that remind me more a modern, soul-less shopping center.
In my dreams, the 7th ship would have be a smaller one. Maybe even smaller than the Magic/Wonder class. That way it would gain a stronger identity and may provide different cruises itinaries. (sp?)
I’m so excited for the new ships. As a Platinum CC member and as an Australian i have written many letters to DCL in the past to have them send the Wonder ‘Down under’ when it’s not in Alaska. I think it would be fantastic if they based one of their cruise ships in the Asia pacific region. Hong Kong, Tokyo, Singapore runs along with Sydney, New Zealand and the South Pacific Islands. I would prefer to fly to Hong Kong or Tokyo to board a ship because it’s a lot shorter flight than to the USA. As you have pointed out with your posts about Tokyo and Hong Kong Disneyland parks, there is a huge market for Disney there that is largely untapped by DCL. These markets are all currently serviced by other cruise lines but my husband refuses to cruise with them because they are not up to Disney’s standards. The only real issue that i can see is that the Asian market prefers to cruise with a Casino which is a Disney no no but i doubt it will be a deal breaker.
This! Imagine take a DCL trip and hit Tokyo, shanghai, hongkong for one trip! That’s a 4-in-1 type of vacation!!!! Will check out of the boxes for most disney fans!
Did you hire Josh for that artist rendering?
I actually hired a very talented, world-renowned artist named Jorsh. (I think he’s Swedish.) 😉
It’s really quite impressive. Thank you for this art.
I am very excited for a larger fleet. DCL currently has some sailings from the port in our town, but they don’t have a ton of them. I’m hoping that an expanded fleet might mean more sailings from our port and (REALLY REALLY HOPING) that they might even add sailings to Tokyo… maybe out of Hawaii, if not California? I know those distances are greater than people tend to think because the Pacific is massive, but I would be interested in a Tokyo land and sea vacation option.
I hope that as Adventures by Disney has grown, the itineraries for these ships grow as well. I totally can see Disney doing something where they hit Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Yokohama (Tokyo) as part of a “Taste of Asia” cruise… complete with at least one one day for excursions… 😉
I’m excited for a larger fleet that offers more diversity of itineraries to compete with other lines. Although it’s hardly the most “new” of the news, it’s one I’m most excited for in the long term.
Although Disney gets the #1 satisfaction scores, cruising is one area they definitely have a lot of competition. Seeing the new ships their competitors are building, they probably have to add to the fleet to keep up.
The extra 7th ship makes me wonder if another line cancelled a project and a slot opened up for Disney. I wonder what happens if another global recession or, heaven forbid, large scale armed conflict happens. The cruise industry has expanded so much it seems they would be hurting a lot if demand plateaus or takes a dip.