The brand new DISNEY DREAM was named today at Port Canaveral, Florida, by singer and actress Jennifer Hudson, American Idol alumnus and star of the film, “Dreamgirls”. Roving MaritimeMatters’ journalist Peter Knego was on hand to capture the events in Port Canaveral as they unfolded and will file a full report with numerous photos in due course.
The ceremony took place pierside in the brilliant sun with dozens of performers (many of whom were dressed as Disney characters) and speeches by Disney President Robert A. Iger, President and CEO of The Walt Disney Company and Thomas O. Staggs, Chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. As the events proceeded, a pirate ship cruised past the bleachers and alongside the massive vessel, which was anchored in the middle of the Port Canaveral turning basin. Godmother Jennifer Hudson sang a song and Rev. Dr. Warren D. Langer Jr. blessed the ship. The event climaxed as Hudson named the DISNEY DREAM, prompting a helicopter to lift a giant bottle of champagne off a barge and deliver it to the ship’s bow. Fireworks blasted and the vessel was slowly turned around and backed into her pier, where inaugural guests eventually boarded. Numerous television news and variety shows were on board as well as celebrities Whoopi Goldberg and John Stamos as the DISNEY DREAM made her way on a two night cruise to Castaway Cay, the Disney private island in the Bahamas.
The 130,000 gt DISNEY DREAM is the third ship in the Disney Cruise Line fleet. Boasting 14 decks, with length of 1,115 feet, a beam of 125 feet, 1,250 staterooms with a capacity for 4,000 passengers and 1,458 crew members.
Similar in profile and decor to the previous two Italian-built Disney ships, DISNEY MAGIC and DISNEY WONDER, the DISNEY DREAM was built at Meyer Weft in Papenburg, Germany, and will begin her official maiden voyage January 26.
MARTIN COX - Founder and publisher of MaritimeMatters, inspired by maritime culture and technology growing up in the port of Southampton. He works as a photographer in Los Angeles, and his works has been exhibited in LA, San Francisco, New York, London and Iceland. Martin is the co-writer of the book “Hollywood to Honolulu; the story of the Los Angeles Steamship Company” published by the Steam Ship Historical Society of America. The Los Angeles Maritime Museum has commissioned artworks and collected his photographs.