Peter Knego does a double take on this Decked! series of posts with side-by-side (or, rather, top-to-bottom) looks at the similarities and differences between Disney Cruise Line’s twin, state-of-the-art megaships DISNEY DREAM and DISNEY FANTASY.
Disney Cruise Lines
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All photos by and copyright Peter Knego 2012 unless otherwise noted.
DISNEY DREAM from DISNEY FANTASY at sea.
Operators: Disney Cruise Line
Registry: Nassau, Bahamas
Builder: Meyer Werft, Papenburg, Germany (hull numbers S687 and S688)
Entered Service: 2011, 2012
Gross Tonnage: 128,000
Length: 1,115 feet
Beam: 121 feet
Draft: 28 feet
Passenger Capacity: 2,500 double occupancy; 4000 maximum
Number of Crew:1,458
Propulsion: Five MAN diesel engines; twin screws
Maximum Speed: 23.5 knots
The 2011-built DISNEY DREAM off Castaway Cay.
In January of 2011, Disney Cruise Line introduced its first new ship in twelve years, the 128,000 gross ton DISNEY DREAM, which was followed in February of 2012 by the nearly identical DISNEY FANTASY. Almost tripling Disney’s capacity, they join the 1998-and-1999-built, 83,000 gross ton, 2,800 passenger DISNEY MAGIC and DISNEY WONDER
- The 2012-built DISNEY FANTASY at Castaway Cay.
For the most part, the DREAM and FANTASY are structurally identical and easily distinguished from the smaller ships by their much taller silhouette. The FANTASY has been given a few extra tweaks and while both ships share the same blueprint, the DREAM features Art Deco-influenced stylings versus the Art Nouveau trappings of the FANTASY.
DISNEY DREAM builder’s plate.
DISNEY FANTASY builder’s plate.
DISNEY DREAM and DISNEY FANTASY are products of the Meyer Werft of Papenburg, Germany. Located on the River Ems, Meyer is considered the world’s best contemporary shipyard by most cruise ship connoisseurs. Their attention to detail and quality of fittings sets the bar for other ship builders. Recent Meyer ships include Celebrity Cruises spectacular SOLSTICE Class, NCL’s STAR and JEWEL Class, P&O’s AURORA and ORIANA, and Royal Caribbean’s RADIANCE Class.
DISNEY DREAM stern character: Mickey Mouse.
DISNEY FANTASY stern character: Dumbo.
Each of the four Disney ships has her own “character” mascot on the stern. On the DREAM, it is Mickey Mouse and on the FANTASY, it is Dumbo the Elephant.
3/4 Stern Views
DISNEY DREAM at Port Canaveral.
DISNEY FANTASY at Castaway Cay.
With their striking red, black, white and yellow livery as well as their stately profiles, the Disney ships are a combination of classic and futuristic. Their long bows with “faux sheer” paintwork, rounded superstructures, twin cylindrical funnels and terraced, semi-rounded transom sterns are inspired by some of the great liners of yore, including NORMANDIE, QUEEN ELIZABETH and BREMEN/EUROPA.
Livery and Superstructure Detailing
DISNEY DREAM at Port Canaveral
DISNEY FANTASY at Port Canaveral.
But the detailing, from the grillwork atop the funnels, the polished glass panels, the pleasingly rounded corners of the balcony bulwarks and oversized circular windows, is cutting edge.
DREAM “Glow” from port Fwd. Deck 13.
FANTASY “Glow” from Stateroom 9116.
DREAM “Glow” from Deck 3 Promenade.
One particularly enchanting feature on all four Disney ships is the flood lighting at the waterline that casts a haunting blue glow as their mighty hulls slice through the sea.
DISNEY DREAM AquaDuck.
DISNEY FANTASY AquaDuck.
Speaking of futuristic, the much-heralded AquaDuck watercoaster is not only one of the most innovative floating attractions but one of the most beautiful to behold as gurgling jets of water and the occasional human flush through its 765-foot-long, curvaceous Plexiglas tubes.
DISNEY DREAM AquaDuck entry.
AquaDuck is accessed from the port side of the aft funnel crown.
DISNEY DREAM AquaDuck.
Within seconds, riders are plunging into a loop that extends off the side of the ship, 150 feet above the sea.
Facing forward from DISNEY DREAM’s AquaDuck.
Facing forward from DISNEY FANTASY’s AquaDuck.
The ride soars over the pool deck and through both funnels before ending in a yellow trough, 46 feet below where it all began.
Outlook Bar and Radio Studio
DISNEY FANTASY Outlook Bar, facing forward.
DISNEY FANTASY Radio Studio, facing aft.
The Deck 14 level of the forward funnel is home to one of the ship’s best-kept secrets, the Outlook Lounge. Unfortunately, during both of my cruises on the DREAM and FANTASY, the space was utilized for broadcasting equipment storage. Directly behind the Outlook, overlooking the midships pool area, there is a Radio Studio.
The Edge (tween center)
DISNEY DREAM Edge, facing forward with blinds closed.
DISNEY FANTASY Edge, facing forward.
Edge, a lounge for tweens aged 11 to 13, is located on the Deck 13 level of the forward funnel.
DISNEY FANTASY, Edge, facing aft.
DISNEY FANTASY Edge corner, facing aft.
DISNEY DREAM Edge. Totally random carpet shot.
Edge’s decor is described in company literature as “retro with bright colors and funky finishes” and the facilities include computing stations, an interactive 18 by 5 foot video wall, a lighted dance floor with a descending movie screen, video karaoke and more…
Forward Deck 13
DISNEY DREAM, forward Deck 13, facing starboard.
DISNEY FANTASY, forward Deck 13, facing port.
There is an open crescent of observation space at the forward end of the ship’s uppermost level, Deck 13.
DISNEY DREAM forward Deck 13, facing port.
DISNEY FANTASY forward Deck 13, facing port.
On the DREAM, a sheltered area just behind the forward observation area is called the Satellite Sun Deck. On the FANTASY, this is enhanced with a wading fountain under the central radome.
DISNEY DREAM, facing aft along the starboard side of forward Deck 13.
DISNEY FANTASY, facing aft along the port side of forward Deck 13.
Open sunning spaces follow on either side of forward Deck 13.
Forward Deck 13 Concierge Sun Deck
DISNEY DREAM, Concierge Sun Deck, facing forward/starboard.
DISNEY FANTASY Deck 13 Concierge Sun Deck, facing aft.
DISNEY FANTASY Deck 13 Concierge Sun Deck, facing port.
A screened-in area forward of the mast housing is home to the Concierge Sun Deck, a private area reserved for occupants of the ship’s concierge level suites, which can be accessed via a stairway that leads to the deck below.
View facing aft from Forward Deck 13
DISNEY DREAM, facing aft from forward/starboard Deck 13.
DISNEY FANTASY, facing aft from forward/starboard Deck 13.
DISNEY FANTASY, facing aft from forward Deck 13.
A terrace flanking the Currents Bar at the aft end of forward Deck 13 offers impressive views of the midships superstructure and those two massive funnels. On the DISNEY DREAM, at the base of the forward funnel, there is open sunning space and on the DISNEY FANTASY, there are some shade awnings and a small wading pool.
DISNEY DREAM Currents Bar.
DISNEY FANTASY Currents Bar.
With its streamline and neon stylings, the open air Currents Bar has a very South Beach sensibility.
Aft Deck 13
DISNEY DREAM, facing forward from aft/starboard Deck 13.
DISNEY FANTASY, facing forward from aft/starboard Deck 13.
Deck 13 recommences with Goofy’s Sports Deck, aft of the funnels. From here, one can find some subtle differences in the AquaDuck tubing.
DISNEY FANTASY AquaLab from aft Deck 13.
On the FANTASY, there is a view of the AquaLab at the foot of the stairs leading up to Deck 13.
DISNEY DREAM, aft Deck 13, facing aft from starboard.
DISNEY FANTASY, aft Deck 13, facing aft from starboard.
Both ships have open terraces surrounding the mast housing on aft Deck 13.
DISNEY DREAM Games Court, facing port.
DISNEY FANTASY, aft Deck 13 Games Court.
DISNEY DREAM Sports Simulator.
DISNEY FANTASY Sports Simulator.
Both ships have netted games courts and a sports simulator.
DISNEY DREAM, aft Deck 13, facing port from aft.
DISNEY FANTASY, aft Deck 13, facing port from aft.
DISNEY DREAM over stern from Deck 13.
DISNEY FANTASY, over stern from Deck 13.
And both ships have mini-golf courses and the same view over the stern.
DISNEY DREAM, starboard Deck 12, facing aft.
Midships Deck 12 is a sunning and promenade deck that stretches from the base of Forward Deck 13 to Aft Deck 13. On the FANTASY, there is that additional wading pool at the base of the forward funnel and the shade awnings shown earlier.
DISNEY DREAM Quiet Cove Pool, facing starboard from Deck 12.
DISNEY FANTASY, Cove Pool, facing starboard from Deck 12.
Both ships have an attractively curvaceous terrace overlooking the adults-only Quiet Cove Pool area.
DISNEY DREAM, starboard Deck 12, facing aft, ctd.
And both have bright yellow cowl ventilators on either side of the funnel. The distinctive Disney Cruise Line livery is actually taken from the colors of Mickey Mouse.
DISNEY DREAM midships pool area, facing forward from Deck 12.
DISNEY FANTASY, midships pool area, facing forward from Deck 12.
Deck 12 overlooks the two pools on midships Deck 11. The forward Donald’s Pool is for families and the aft Michey’s (wading) Pool if for children.
DISNEY FANTASY, midships pool area, facing forward from Deck 12 with pools covered.
At night and during deck parties, the pools can be covered with retractable dance floors.
DISNEY DREAM, Waves Bar, facing aft/port.
DISNEY FANTASY, AquaLab, facing port/aft.
On aft Deck 12, DISNEY DREAM has the al fresco Waves Bar versus the AquaLab water park of the DISNEY FANTASY.
DISNEY DREAM, Waves Bar.
DISNEY FANTASY, AquaLab, facing port.
Which would you prefer? A dry something or other at the stylish Waves Bar or a drenching in the perpetually wet AquaLab?
DISNEY DREAM Quiet Cove Pool, facing aft.
DISNEY FANTASY Quiet Cove Pool area, facing aft.
The open air portion of Deck 11 commences with the Quiet Cove Pool area.
DISNEY FANTASY, Quiet Cove Pool, facing starboard.
This adults-only haven has a small pool (all of the pools on Disney ships tend to run on the small size) with a steamy wet sitting area in front of the bar. On either side, there are Jacuzzis overlooking the sea under the shelter of Deck 13.
DISNEY DREAM, midships pools, facing aft.
DISNEY FANTASY, midships pools, facing aft.
And here are some views of the often “cacophonic” Deck 11 midships pools.
DISNEY FANTASY, midships Deck 11, facing aft from port.
Sheltered seating accommodates casual diners and those settling in for a quick munch from Flo’s Cafe on the starboard side (Pizza, Hot Dogs, Fries, etc.) and the Frozone Treats (ice cream) on the port side.
DISNEY FANTASY, midships Deck 11 pool area, facing forward.
And here is a night view of the pool area with both pools still open.
Deck 4 Promenades
DISNEY DREAM starboard promenade, facing aft.
DISNEY FANTASY, starboard promenade, facing aft.
We’ll conclude the first DISNEY DREAM Versus DISNEY FANTASY Decked! with a look at the ships’ beautiful, fully encircling promenades on Deck 4.
DISNEY DREAM The District alcove.
On the DREAM, the adults-only District has special alcoves that adjoin the promenade.
DISNEY FANTASY, port promenade, facing forward.
Here is the DISNEY FANTASY’s promenade at night.
DISNEY DREAM The District alcove at night.
And we’ll close this post out with a nocturnal look at one of the DREAM’s alcoves.
End of DISNEY DREAM Versus DISNEY FANTASY Decked!, Part One. Much more to come…
Special thanks: Martin Cox, Rob DiStefano, Jason Lasecki, Mike Masino, James McAuliffe
DISNEY DREAM Versus DISNEY FANTASY Decked!, Part Two
Having documented over 400 passenger ships and taken more than 200 cruises, MaritimeMatters’ co-editor Peter Knego is a leading freelance cruise writer, a respected ocean liner historian and frequent maritime lecturer both on land and at sea. With his work regularly featured in cruise industry trades and consumer publications. Knego also runs the www.midshipcentury.com website which offers MidCentury cruise ship furniture, artwork and fittings rescued from the shipbreaking yards of Alang, India. He has produced several videos on the subject, including his latest, The Sands Of Alang and the best-selling On The Road To Alang."
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