The Disney Cruise Line will offer a first look at its new ship, the Disney Wish, in an online event next week.
The Disney Wish virtual reveal event will happen on Thursday, April 29 at 11am Eastern, 8am Pacific. We will have the link for you on the Theme Park Insider home page so you can watch the event live. I also will be participating in a virtual press conference after the event, which I will report on when the press event concludes.
The Disney Wish is set to begin sailings in summer of 2022, though of course everything in the travel industry right now is dependent upon progress in the fight against Covid. (Get your vaccinations, if you haven't started already!)
The Triton-class Disney Wish will be the DCL's largest ship, at 144,000 GT, and will be the fifth ship in the Disney Cruise Line fleet.
* * *
We wanted you to read this article before we make our newsletter pitch, unlike so many other websites. If you appreciate that - and our approach to covering theme park news - please sign up for our free, twice-a-week email newsletter. Thank you.
I can't find it right now, but I remember some industry research on how far in advance you need to start marketing a destination in order to get people to visit at a certain time. So there's some sense in advertising now to get people to plan a visit in late 2021 or 2022, when things might be (more) open.
That said, as a Californian, I don't want the state marketing itself to anyone outside California borders right now.
I was amused, however, to see the NBC announcers plug the Jurassic World VelociCoaster on the IndyCar race telecast yesterday. It's not often that my two favorite things - theme parks and IndyCar - come together.
They were doing the same during Premier League soccer all weekend as well.
The California tourism ads have been hard and heavy the past 2 weeks here on the East Coast. I've seen at least one (sometimes 2) during each day of Jeopardy last week, and pretty regularly during primetime broadcast shows last week too. The first ad was a bit shocking, but the regularity with which the ads are being run is getting downright disturbing knowing how tightly California supposedly wants to control incoming tourism (i.e. no foreigners at theme parks). It's almost like the right hand doesn't know what the left hand is doing.
Russell, keep in mind that California is planning to drop almost all of their restrictions as of June 15th, with the only ones remaining being the mask requirement and restrictions on large indoor events. Given that it probably takes at least a few months for the average traveler to get their trip in order and California desperately needs a decent summer tourism season (at least by Covid standards), it doesn't surprise me that they've started advertising heavily.
What's the cruise ship called, the Death Wish? Oh, the Disney Wish?
Call it the "Everybody's Vaccinated" and then we can talk.
Every cruise line currently advertising in the UK which is commencing UK-only or 'seacation' cruises from this June are requiring all passengers to be fully vaccinated. Interestingly that doesn't include Disney who are apparently 'still considering' it. Given that their demographic includes a lot of children who won't be getting the vaccine I can understand why but most lines have decided to create a totally vaccinated environment to reassure passengers and likely keep them safe.
That's a good point David. DCL is one of the most family friendly cruise lines in the world, and without approved vaccines for children, they cannot possibly sail with ONLY vaccinated passengers. DCL is in a very interesting conundrum, because they either remain beached waiting for the pandemic to pass so they can sail without requiring vaccines or they sail without their most loyal and lucrative fanbase and the main reason their business exists.
There are a number of cruise lines that will attempt sailing this summer (though none from US ports while the CDC prohibition stays in place) trying to promote a safe environment by either limiting to vaccinated passengers and crew or forcing guests to go through rigorous testing before boarding (including PCR testing 72 hours prior and rapid antigen testing at the boarding terminal and upon disembarking and re-boarding at each port of call). However, even all of these additional steps don't outweigh the current cruising climate which includes:
1. Lack of Ports of Call - Many countries are simply not allowing cruise ships to dock or tender to shore even with strict health and safety protocols. In Europe, all travel between EU (and even Schengen) countries for leisure is prohibited, and that prohibition may extend through the summer, especially for non EU citizens. Guests are liable to book a cruise that sails an itinerary that looks nothing like the one they booked once they get on the boat. Small itinerary changes are expected, but many sailings this summer will likely be limited to just 1 or 2 viable ports of call over a week-long cruise.
2. Counterfeit documents - It was obvious from the second the CDC developed the COVID vaccination cards that they would be ripe for fraud schemes. There are no counterfeit protection measures on these cards, and the FBI has already identified numerous outfits that have been producing and selling fakes online to people wanting to circumvent any vaccination rule. The assumption that those who oppose vaccination would accept their plight of a society that mandates vaccination verification to participate in routine activities was greatly exaggerated. While local authorities can perform random cross-checks of vaccine cards with their databases, cruise lines and port authorities don't have easy access to this information, and will simply rely on a little white card that is more easily forged than an elementary school kid's report card. People can also fake test results, though producing fake vaccination cards is much easier.
3. Knife's edge planning - Most cruise lines that are maintaining bookings through the summer are giving guests maximum flexibility, which could cause entire sailings to get cancelled at the last minute. For example, my parents are currently booked on a North/Baltic Sea cruise that departs from Amsterdam in August. However, their cruise line has allowed them the opportunity to cancel and receive a full refund (without even buying insurance) within 48 hours of departure for any reason. That means the cruise line will have to maintain bookings up until the last minute that could cause sailings to be cancelled if too many passengers cancel abruptly before departure. The cancellation goes both ways, and a cruise line could just as easily cancel a booking at the last minute on guests - my parents are planning on arriving a few days before departure, so they might already be in Europe when the cruise line decides to scuttle the cruise. The lack of certainty, especially from those who are desperate for a vacation (and any sense of a return to normalcy), makes cruising right now one of the worst possible vacation choices.
I think the only cruises that are viable right now will be the smaller ships (<200 passengers), many of which never stopped sailing, and have itineraries that feature numerous days at sea and limited ports of call (all in countries that never prohibited docking or tendering throughout the pandemic).
I am a little disappointed that they went for a smaller cruise ship. I think a sweet spot is around 160-180 GT.
I have been on 3 of the 4 Disney ships. They were the first cruises we took. We loved them, however, once we started trying RCL, we thought it was a much better product, not to mentioned cheaper.
I think the 12 and under kids club on the DCL ships are outstanding and maybe the main dining room food is a bit better (or was 6 or 7 years ago). Otherwise, I thought the DCL are lacking as compared to the RCL ships.
I would have liked to see Disney add a concourse level with stores, restaurants, bars and clubs.
I guess it is possible that they added it, but unlikely with the the size of the ship and the number of cabins.
This just reminds me walking through local bookstore and only now seeing WDW guides with stuff on Covid guidelines, etc but few 2021 guides for many places, such as Europe.
Also do see ads and even brochures for some of those river cruises in the U.S. but not sure if they specify dates, etc.
This article has been archived and is no longer accepting comments.
I thought it was interesting to see a Disney Cruise Line add on TV the other day, but it didn't have a website or phone number to call or even an appeal to make a booking. It will be interesting to see if DCL is able to make any sailings in 2021, and if bookings return anywhere close to normal for 2022 (not to mention all the make-goods from all the cancelled sailings)
The strangest recent ads I've seen are for California tourism (though they refrain from showing and clips from theme parks). For a state that has been so focused on prohibiting outsiders from visiting, it's odd to see this recent ad blitz practically begging out-of-staters to flood California tourist attractions.