If you have a fleet of ships, you really need a Commodore to unite them. For years Tom Forberg has been the defacto maritime head of Disney Cruise Lines. He’s played a key role in the creation of each of the four ships and was… Read More »Disney Cruise Line Becomes A True Fleet
By all accounts the first 5 days of the most recent 7 day cruise on the Disney Fantasy were fantastic. Sure they had to skip Castaway Cay due to hurricane Sandy, but sometime you have to roll with the punches when you travel during Hurricane season. Well, the last night of the cruise the Fantasy did a lot of rolling. The ship and is passengers encountered 12 hours of 40-50 foot swells and 80 MPH winds as it sailed back to Port Canaveral overnight. It sounds like Captain Tom Forberg was at the helm, which means the ship was in capable hands, but still a frightening experience for any guest to endure.
The question being debated online is whether Disney intentionally sailed into rough weather hoping to keep to a tight turnover schedule for the ship or if they found the storm stronger than expected. The ship was within 200 miles of the storm, well within the tropical storm strength winds of the 1000 mile wide Hurricane Sandy. I tend to believe Disney Cruise Line thought the storm would weaken as it moved north, but instead it strengthened and slowed down capturing the Disney Fantasy in its impact zone. In the end, not an ideal scenario for Disney Cruise Line. They probably could have erred more on the side of caution, but it sounds like the close encounter with a hurricane wasn’t intentional.
A few videos have surfaced and things look like they got pretty severe. There were many reports of damage on the ship from broken doors to smashed furniture. Remy and Palo apparently were a mess with many dishes and glasses lost in the rough seas. Additionally, some rooms experienced slight flooding as pools overflowed and flooded those decks. Luckily there were no reports of injuries.
This iReport from CNN has some of the most dramatic footage.
More videos from onboard the Disney Fantasy below the jump:
Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse are joined by (from left to right) Bernard Meyer, managing partner of Meyer Werft, Captain Wolfgang Thos, also from Meyer Werft, Captain Tom Forberg and Karl Holz, president of Disney Cruise Line as they celebrate Disney Cruise Line taking possession of its newest ship.
Mickey Mouse turns out to be a better sailor than he is a movie star. The Disney Cruise Line is reportedly booked to 75% for 2012, even with the Disney Fantasy about to add 40% more capacity to the fleet. Thinks are looking good, even though bookings have softened recently after the Coast Concordia accident. Disney CEO Bob Iger still says, “Generally speaking, we’re looking at a very, very healthy year ahead for that business.”
In fact, just this week, Disney Cruise Line took possession of its fourth and newest ship, the Disney Fantasy, from the Meyer Werft shipyard in a traditional maritime ceremony aboard the ship. The Meyer Werft flag was lowered, while the Disney Cruise Line flag was raised, transferring ownership from the shipbuilder to Disney.
Captain Tom Forberg will officially take the helm of the Disney Fantasy for Disney Cruise Line. As part of the Disney Cruise Line ship construction team, Captain Forberg has been with the company for more than 15 years and was responsible for launching Disney’s first three ships, the Disney Dream, the Disney Magic and Disney Wonder. You can be assured the ship is in the very best hands with Captain Tom at the helm.
“Today we celebrate the culmination of a wonderful partnership, as we take possession of the Disney Fantasy and prepare for the journey home to Florida. This ship is the result of the superb craftsmanship from the master shipbuilders at Meyer Werft and the innovation, imagination and ingenuity of the Disney team, who have partnered together so beautifully to bring this ship to life,” said Karl Holz, president of Disney Cruise Line. “We are eagerly anticipating our guests, who will experience storytelling in enchanting new ways onboard the Disney Fantasy while making magical memories that will last a lifetime.”