Brightly lit in neon red and electric blue, and with searchlights crisscrossing in the night sky, the Disney Fantasy made its official debut on New York’s Hudson River waterfront in showbiz style. The ship had arrived at the Manhattan Cruise Terminal on February 28 – the line’s first ever call in New York City – and after two days of media previews was christened on the evening of March 1.
The pre-christening entertainment in the ship’s 1,340-seat Walt Disney Theatre featured big-name entertainment worthy of the ship’s berth just a few blocks from Broadway: Actor Neil Patrick Harris hosted the song-and-dance extravaganza highlighting performances from the ship’s regular production numbers, and comedian Jerry Seinfeld made a very funny special-guest appearance. Other celebrities on hand were Alan Cummings, Tim Gunn, and Ty Pennington. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg even made an unexpected cameo. Also in the audience were company officials, including Disney President and CEO Robert Iger and Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Thomas Staggs.
And for the main event, singer Mariah Carey – godmother of the Fantasy – made the traditional maritime blessing of the ship as it was christened by Minnie Mouse. The Disney Fantasy begins a schedule of 7-day Caribbean cruises on March 31 from its homeport in Port Canaveral, Florida.
By M.T. Schwartzman