Tag Archives: disney cruises

IN PURSUIT OF RETRO; CRUISE SHIPS GO BACK TO THE FUTURE

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Artist’s impression of Saga’s new Spirit of Discovery. Picture credit: Saga Cruises

There’s been a bit of a quiet revolution going on among some of the cruise lines in the past few years. After years on end of new, looming floating tower blocks, each more staggering in scale than the last, there has been  a subtle, yet definite return in some quarters to a more classic style of ocean liner look.

Don’t get me wrong- this is not some wild eyed rant against the new generation of floating resorts. I understand and appreciate the rationale that has brought them into being, and you cannot argue with their continuing success in sheer financial terms. Rows of balcony cabins are now de rigeur on modern ships and, as a lover of my own private space outside, it ill behoves me to start casting aesthetic aspersions.

And yet it’s nice to see a slow but steady return to a sense of ageless, elegant exterior styling. Take a look at the ship in the above illustration as a prime example.

Slated to enter service in 2019, the 60,000 ton Spirit of Discovery is the first of a brace of sister ships being built in Germany for Saga Cruises. That raked bow, sleek hull and single, proud funnel is a deliberate tribute to a pair of former Saga beauties of the past, the much lamented Saga Rose and Saga Ruby. And, with cool, classic interiors more reminiscent of the Art Deco era overlaid with elements of country club casual, these new ships are fine examples of how modern design can still accommodate contemporary tastes.

Of course, Disney Cruise Line can rightly take credit for this ‘back to the future’ look. Their quartet of large, retro vessels are a deliberate nod towards the likes of the old Queen Elizabeth and the Normandie. So much so that the company even went to the extent of building a virtual carbon copy of Southampton’s old, now long gone 1940’s Ocean Terminal to service them at their home port of Port Canaveral. And again, under multiple layers of ‘Mickey Modern’ embellishments, the decorative theme of all four ships is a distinctive Art Deco style.

Now, that same line has announced plans for a trio of even larger sister ships. Here’s hoping that this tremendous new trio adhere to the strong, hugely popular retro theme that has been hitherto so successful for them. With the new generation of screamingly advanced Virgin new builds looking like a trio of giant, floating steam irons, some calm, classic constructions are to be warmly welcomed.

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Another flank view of the elegant new Spirit of Discovery. Picture credit: Saga Cruises

DISNEY CRUISES ANNOUNCES THREE PRONGED NEW CRUISE PROGRAMME FOR 2017

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Disney Magic will return to New York sailings in fall 2017

Disney Cruises had announced it’s return to east and west coast USA cruising for autumn of 2017, with a series of voyages based out of both New York and San Diego, as well as a return to cruising out of the Texan port of Galveston.

On October 21st 2017, Disney Magic will sail one seven night cruise to the highlights of Maritime Canada and the US east coast. Slightly earlier, another five night itinerary sails an abridged version of this cruise on September 27th. Slated ports of call for the company stalwart will include Bar Harbour, Charlottetown, and Saint John, New Brunswick.

Eschewing cooler autumn climes, the Disney Magic will also offer a series of escapes to the highlights of the Bahamas. Passengers on each of the half dozen seven and eight day sailings will be offered a complimentary day pass to Walt Disney World Park in Orlando, inclusive of round trip transportation.

From Galveston, sister ship Disney Wonder will operate some eight, seven night round trip cruises to the Caribbean and the Bahamas. The first cruise sails on November 10th, and the last departure is a December 29th New Year’s Eve itinerary. Ports of call on offer include Cozumel, Key West, Grand Cayman, Falmouth,  and Disney’s own private island experience, Castaway Cay.

Prior to these sailings, Disney Wonder will make a welcome return to the west coast of the USA, offering a series of sailings out of San Diego. Ranging from two to seven nights’ duration, the season starts with a two night sailing to Ensenada on September 15th, with repeat runs on September 22nd and October 13th, respectively.

A special, three night run on October 5th will also include a day at sea.

In terms of the seven night round trips, the Disney Wonder will offer a pair of voyages to the three ‘greatest hits’ ports of the Mexican Riviera- namely Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan and Cabo San Lucas. Dates for these are September 24th and October 15th, respectively.

The remainder of the short season in Pacific Mexico is rounded out with a quartet of four and five night sailings to Cabo San Lucas and Ensenada, before the ship makes a return voyage to Galveston, via the Panama Canal, to operate her Texas itineraries.

Nice to see Disney getting a bit out of its normal comfort zone, and it will be interesting to see how the New York fall sailings fare in terms of bookings.

As ever, stay tuned for updates.