Will Disney ship be finished in time?

//Will Disney ship be finished in time?

disneydream.jpgThe weekend’s visit to Papenburg, Germany, for the float-out of Disney Dream has been fascinating and frustrating in equal measure.
It was exciting to be among the crowd of 10,000 who stood in the rain to witness Saturday’s event, and thrilling to be one of the first people on board for an extensive tour today – I was one of only two British journalists invited – but the hectic schedule and an almost non-existent internet connection at our hotel left me unable to file proper updates.
I can’t bring you any new pictures – Disney allowed only their official photographer to remove his lens cap this morning, and it will be a couple of days before his images are issued – but a quick catch-up is in order.
Let’s start by saying the ship looks beautiful – its profile is of classic ocean liner proportions, with a long, raking bow and a pair of bright red funnels each the size of a three-storey building. One of them is just for show; instead of venting smoke and fumes, it houses part of the Tweens Club for 11 to 13 year olds.
The interior is still an apparently chaotic construction site swarming with craftsmen laying carpets and marble floors and installing crystal chandeliers and 103-inch plasma screens. The air is full of the sound – and the smells – of drilling, cutting, welding and glueing metal and plastic everywhere.
The restaurants have their banquettes in place but are still waiting for tables and chairs to be installed; the Evolution nightclub looks more like a scrapyard than a sophisticated disco, and the hydraulics which move decking into place to cover the two main pools when it’s time for Pirate Party are still being tested.
To the untrained eye, it looks like it would take months rather than weeks to get everything ready to welcome passengers on board.
There’s no sign yet of the statue of Admiral Donald Duck which will stand in a prominent position in the central atrium but Mickey Mouse is in position on the stern in his Sorcerer’s Apprentice guise from Fantasia, directing the painting of the hull.
Scenery is being wheeled out on the stage of the Walt Disney Theatre and the Buena Vista cinema is pretty much complete. Most impressively, water is flowing through the 765-ft long Aqua Duck water coaster which is the ship’s signature feature.
In only two weeks the crowds will be back at the shipyard and lining the River Ems for the ship’s 40-km journey to the North Sea at Emshaven. After sea trials and another four weeks of frantic work, it will be ready to be handed over and will set out for its new home in Florida
The ship will be officially launched in Florida in January, and begins sailing three, four and five-night cruises to the Bahamas on January 26.
Meanwhile, in Papenburg, sister ship Disney Fantasy is beginning to take shape, ready for a 2012 launch.

By | 2017-06-15T16:00:18+00:00 1 November 2010|Cruise Ships|0 Comments

About the Author:

John Honeywell is a travel writer specialising in cruise ships and cruise travel. Winner of CLIA UK's Contribution to Cruise award 2017.

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