Welcome to Jim Hill Media - Entertainment News : Theme Parks Movies Television

Unofficial Guide's Disney Dish Episode 49: History of the Disney Cruise Line

PODCASTS

Transcriptions & Directory of Disney Dish podcasts with Jim Hill and Touring Plans' Len Testa

Unofficial Guide's Disney Dish Episode 49: History of the Disney Cruise Line

  • Comments 0

Len:  Welcome back to another edition of the Unofficial Guide Disney Dish Podcast with Jim Hill. It's Len Testa, your host and today Jim and I have a treat for you. We're recording live from Serenity Bay , the Adult Beach of Disney's Cast Away Cay. I gotta tell you, is one of the best locations, Jim, we have ever recorded,

 

Jim: Dear Lord.

 

Len: We're at the far end of the Adult Beach, the water... it's about eighty-five degrees outside, maybe eighty-four. The water is crystal clear. The nearest people are probably a hundred yards from us. We can see all the way down the ocean. There's islands in the distance. It's just beautiful where we're at. So Jim, thanks for being here with us.

 

Jim: Oh, God. Thank you. This has been a treat. I mean, just to get here... And I guess to... what's so ironic is we are here at this so peaceful so mellow a surrounding and this only exists because Michael Eisner was so insanely competitive. Just,

 

Len: That is absolutely fine.

 

Jim: You know, but it's just. I mean, to get to... How Disney got into the cruise business... They never really meant to be in this business.

 

L: Really?

 

J: Well no, it was one of these things where Premier Cruise Line which had, you know, everybody else  had... thought of cruising as kind of an older thing. And Premier bought a bunch of boats and decided "Okay, the niche to go after is families." So they were the big red boat.

 

Len: I remember this, okay (???).

 

Jim: And the whole notion of "Well, if we're going to do family stuff, why don't we try to bundle a couple days in the Caribbean with a couple days at Walt Disney World?" And Disney- and this is before Eisner walks in the door. This is Eighty Three or thereabouts. Frankly, they're in a financial position because of all the spending on Epcot and they're having to spend their own money to build Tokyo cause they blown through that (???). So it's like, this comes through the door and it's like "Absolutely, sure. You want to license the rights of the official cruise line of Walt Disney World. Go right ahead." But now Eight Three becomes Eighty Four, Ron Miller is out, Michael Eisner is in. And just like Michael did with everything, it's like, "Okay, excuse me, who, what is that thing up the road there, Busch Gardens?" And it's like, "People are going there. Nanana. No, we need our own zoo."

 

Len: We need our own zoo.

 

Jim: You know, Animal Kingdom. And "What is this Church Street Station thing where they go to at night?" It's like "Nanana, no. We need one of our own." So we got a Pleasure Island. And over time Michael eventually turned his eyes on Premiere. And it's one of these things where it's like, "Let me get this straight. We have all these people who then get on a bus, go over to Port Canaveral get on a cruise line... We don't get any of that?"

 

Len: We don't get any of the (???) spending of that?

 

Jim: You know it's like "Come on!" So, nine years in there was an announcement that Premier and Disney were going to separate,

 

Len: Nine years in, so this is what, the,

 

Jim: This would have been, I want to say Ninety Two or thereabouts.

 

Len: Ninety Two, okay.

 

Jim: Yeah. And Disney then... Well, Premier turns around and is like "Okay, well, it's not..." They still have the rights to sell vacation packages. They're just not the official cruise line. They figure that, you know, one of the perks was that they did have the Disney characters on their boats.

 

Len: Really? Oh.

 

Jim: Yeah. So.

 

Len: That was probably big back then.

 

Jim: It was, it was. And but they turned around like, "Oh, people aren't gonna notice. Let's get Bugs Bunny." And it's like, EEERRRNG. By the year Two Thousand they were out of the business.

 

Len: Really?

 

Jim: Oh yeah. Disney came... once Disney came online with it's own cruise line, Premier just never recovered. They limped along for the next couple of years. But it just never went where it was supposed to go.

 

Len: Wow. So when Disney signed this deal with Premier, somewhere like the early to mid-Eighties to like Ninety-Two,

 

Jim: Yep.

 

Len: Where there any Disney executives doing anything in the cruise business or was it all run by Premiere?

 

Jim: It was all Premier. Though not to say that Disney didn't look at doing stuff with boats but. Oh God, there's this amazing story about Jim Cora, the guy in charge of International at Disney. And he's at dinner one night and he's sitting next to a rear admiral from the American Navy and the guy leans over and it's like, "You know, we got some extra aircraft carriers."

 

Len: "You guys should do something."

 

Jim: Yeah! "I got a few, if you want to actually... Wouldn't it be cool if you build a theme park that you could float around the world." And the guy's joking.

 

Len: Yeah.

 

Jim: And is just "Hahaha." And Cora's like "Hmm..." And Monday he goes into work,

 

Len: "Hand me a napkin, son!"

 

Jim: Yeah!

 

Len: "I must make some sketches."

 

Jim: But Monday, goes into work and begins asking around at Imagineering, "Is there anybody who knows anything about boat building?" And sure enough, there's an imagineer whose been with the company for eleven years and has all sorts of navy history and he and Cora put together this plan of... they're gonna find a super tanker,

 

Len: A super tanker.

 

Jim: A super tanker.

 

Len: Okay.

 

Jim: And then basically this is the SS Disney. And on four separate floors of this thing- you know, the top floor, for example, where the, if you know the standard super tanker set up, where the bridge is to the back of the ship,

 

Len: Yep.

 

Jim: That was gonna be Small World.

 

Len: Really?

 

Jim: But the thing is, where the captain looked out was gonna be like up in the Eiffel Tower, all right. And below on the deck,

 

Len: So it's a boat ride on a boat.

 

Jim: Well that was the, actually, that's interesting that you bring it up because I was talking with the guy about this and it's like, "Well no, we couldn't do water and water." So it was gonna be, they were gonna change Small World to an Omnimover. But they were gonna have this... And what's interesting is it's sort of colors where... Based on the rides around this thing, you know exactly when the history of the company is. They've got the Indiana Jones cheap ride inside of this thing, they've got an Aladdin ride through... they've got... but it's Tea Cups, it's the whole shmere and the whole notion was that this thing would travel around the globe and go to all the places that Disney couldn't go to.

 

Len: Coastal cities.

 

Jim: Yeah. And it's the whole notion of- go there for a three month run. They'd have a drew of about five hundred permanent people that were on this thing. They'd then hire fifteen hundred to two thousand locals that would go through about two weeks of training. But it was designed that it would basically do two.. I wanna say, eight hour days. Maybe six hour days depending on the port. But ten thousand people allowed on the boat at one time.

 

Len: Wow. That's a lot of people.

 

Jim: It is a lot of people. But,

 

Len: That's super thick (???).

 

Jim: Yeah, but that's it exactly. And you've got fifteen attractions on board. And,

 

Len: That's more than DCA opened with.

 

Jim: That's, this is the thing. And this got very very very far along in the development phase. In fact, seriously folks, if you Google SS Disney there's an article about this that will come up on the Disney and More website that actually includes the white foam model with the exploded view so you can go down all four decks and see all this stuff.

 

Len: Wow.

 

Jim: The guy who worked on this was very proud and he was ultimately very frustrated because what happened was that it finally got to... There's a very powerful wing of the Walt Disney Company that Iger basically shut down when he came on board but it was the business development unit. Inside the house it was called the business prevention unit because they said no to many things. And both Wells and Eisner loved this idea and it's like "Oh my God, we can go all these places where it doesn't make sense to build a Disney theme park, but to have it there just for three months." They'd make money hand over fist.

 

Len: Yeah. You can go to Seattle, you can go to all the port cities, yeah.

 

Jim: That's it exactly. And in the end it was like, "No, it makes more sense for us to go into the traditional cruise market."

 

Len: Which is not typically a bad idea.

 

Jim: No, no.

 

Len: In hindsight, but I get how, when the decision comes down and whatever, it's like oh damn.

 

Jim: But at the same time, they're... you know, it seems like a no brainer. Now as successful as it was. But at the same time, when it was... oh boy. When they were trying to decide, it's like, "Okay, if we're going into the cruise line business, what does the Disney Cruise Line look like?" And you know, Joe Lanzisero shared a couple of early iterations where for example there was one version where they had giant mouse ears on the funnels and there was one where the notion of "Well why go to a far off Caribbean island when we can make it a floating Caribbean island?" So it's covered with palm trees and all these iterations,

 

Len: You mean like make one of the ship?

 

Jim: Yes! The notion is that you came onto the ship and it's a floating island.

 

Len: A floating island. Got it, got it.

 

Jim: And,

 

Len: Gosh.

 

Jim: But in the end, Eisner's like, "No. It's cruising. It's gotta be romantic. It's gonna be the sort of thing... you know, elegant." And so everyone would walk up, just walk up to the edge of the (???). "You mean like the Titanic?"

 

Len: It's like, the great steamships of yore. Without mentioning (???).

 

Jim: Like the Andrea Doria.

 

Len: You know like the, I mean, like the, like the, (???)

 

Jim: And the other thing frankly, is,

 

Len: No sea story ever ends well. Have you noticed that? There's nothing like, you know, we go in the boat in South Hampton and we arrived in New York two weeks later. Everything was lovely.

 

Jim: There you go.

 

Len:  That's just not a good seafaring story.

 

Jim: No, it's not. It's not. And that coupled with the fact that of course Disney doing (???) diligence went out and looked at all the other cruise lines that were out there and it's like, you know, the phrase they came back with is like "God, they're all floating milk cartons." These just big boxy things.

 

Len: Yeah.

 

Jim: You know, white, out wandering out in the ocean. It's just, we don't want that. And so we want the lines (??) of the Thirties. We want that sense of travel so it's like, "Okay. Are we going to do this? Okay. We're gonna do this." And they began looking around,

 

Len: What year is this?

 

Jim: This is Ninety-Four.

 

Len: Okay.

 

Jim: They make the big announcement and they sign with an Italian shipyard which, I think we should probably leave the name of the Italian shipyard out because frankly, you can find this out by yourself folks but this is where the story gets kind of interesting. Because they were the ones who built all of the big boats for all of the cruise lines and as Disney was entering the field, a lot of other people were ramping up. And Royal Caribbean and the Nieuw Amsterdam folks and lots and lots of people were getting into the cruise business in a big way and suddenly this shipyard had orders for nine giant ships including the two Disney ships.

 

Len: What's typical for a shipyard? Like two?

 

Jim: Oh God. You're lucky if, cause again, these things take eighteen months to build.

 

Len: Yeah. And they take a lot of steel. I mean, there are actually people... People wait for dips in the steel market to commission the ship.

 

Jim: Absolutely, absolutely. You know, when you're working the financials of something... I mean, when Disney started out, the, in fact, we were talking about this the other day cause it's fascinating. There's one number they talk about when they started working on this. The first, when they commissioned the Magic and the Wonder, they were two hundred and fifty million dollars a piece.

 

Len: Okay, yeah.

 

Jim: All right. So for half a billion dollars they got two ships. By the time these boats made it out into the water, the number Disney was comfortable with talking about was seven.

 

Len: Wow. So seven total. So,

 

Jim: Yeah.

 

Len: So from two fifty to three fifty each.

 

Jim: Yeah. And a lot of that simply was because the level of the Italian gentlemen who were building the ship were using the methods that they always use to build ships. In fact, so Disney would go over and it's like "So can I see your spreadsheet as to where the project is completion wise?" And it's like, "Spreadsheet. What spreadsheet? What is this spreadsheet that you use?"

 

Len: "What is the Italian equivalent of graph paper on a computer?"

 

Jim: And that coupled with, it's like, "We're kind of under the gun here. We'll announce when we're launching..." And it's like, "You know, we don't work holidays."

 

Len: We've been building ships for two thousand years.

 

Jim: Yeah so,

 

Len: It'll get done.

 

Jim: It'll get done. And what ended up happening is Disney wound up having to cancel the first fifteen sailings of the Magic.

 

Len: Really?

 

Jim: Yeah. I mean, And after- you gotta understand,

 

Len: So fifteen... the average is four or five days, so. Wow, so they were two and a half, three months late.

 

Jim: Yeah. And that coupled with what ended up biting them really in the butt was that they had made a big deal the summer before. I mean, this is the first time is in Ninety-Eight. Ninety-Seven they actually announce that you can enter a lottery to be on the first cruise.

 

Len: Oh wow.

 

Jim: And people had to put down a two hundred dollar deposit to enter the lottery. And great fanfare, it's like "Oh we have, you won! And these are your dates!" And then have to call back like six weeks later, "Uh,"

 

Len: "Funny story."

 

Jim: Yeah.

 

Len: "You know how the Italians are, right? In Italy."

 

Jim: And they were doing things like, "If you can change your sailing, we'll give you a twenty percent discount."

 

Len: Yeah.

 

Jim: But yeah, again, it wasn't an easy process to get into this market. But at the same time, and again, it's kind of ironic because when you think about the way people talked about how Disney Island was going to fail or the first feature length cartoon was going to fail and so on and so forth. The people who were watching Disney get into this business and build kid friendly boats it's like, "Oh my God, you're insane." You know, the notion of you gotta make the rooms literally twenty-five percent wider." Well, there goes your margin. I mean, you just, you know. They're supposed to be small little tight rooms. Or, one of the ideas that really differentiates Disney from the rest of the cruises is the rotational dining. The, how many-

 

Len: Those are invention (??), yeah.

 

Jim: How many dining rooms are you going to make? And it's like, "No, that's cabin space." And you sort stood outside and it's like, "This makes no sense." And to carve out so much space in the middle of the boat for a live theater show,

 

Len: Yeah, with the movie theater and a live theater.

 

Jim: Yeah.

 

Len: On every ship.

 

Jim: Yeah. And I won't say that it was immediately a hit out of the box. There were a couple of hurricanes.

 

Len: Yep.

 

Jim: Not to mention a Norwalk (???) virus thing, where,

 

Len: Oh yeah. Yeah. The Norwalk Virus? Yeah.

 

Jim: Yeah, they went out in Ninety-Eight and they had one cruise where a hundred and fifty people got sick. Mostly crew. So they brought it in and did a quick cleaning and sent it out and then two hundred and fifty people got sick. And they had to pull it. Around the holidays they had to shut the ship down and here's poor Jay Rasulo out there like, "We're gonna clean the boat, it's gonna be fine." But again, another thing of calling thousands of people and saying "Your plan for a holiday vacation isn't going to happen this year."  But yeah, they eventually, in fact, what's funny about that is immediately after that, ten days after they cleaned the boat, who gets on the boat but former President Bush. And we're not talking W, we're talking his dad.

 

Len: Okay.

 

Jim: Along with the Governor of Florida and their families.

 

Len: Oh Lord.

 

Jim: And it's one of these things where it's like, "Okay, who called in what favor to the effect of "Our boat is safe, nobody is getting sick." Even W's two daughters went down and did the trip with them.

 

Len: Really?

 

Jim: Yep. And the Secret Service was just sort of like "Don't interact with the general cruise members." Over our dead bodies. But yeah it was an interesting couple of years. And suddenly Disney has this boat that has ninety percent occupancy.

 

Len: So what itineraries are they choosing at this point? Is it just strictly Caribbean?

 

Jim: Well, we were talking about this earlier cause obviously with the two new boats and putting the Dream and the Fantasy on the runs of various lengths around the Caribbean, they took what they now refer to as the Classic Boats and one of them was originally stationed in Los Angeles doing cruises to nowhere that didn't quite work out. And, in fact, you did the one out of Galveston didn't you?

 

Len: I did Galveston, seven day Western Caribbean on the Magic. And Galveston hadn't worked out as a port. So originally they were just going to Port Canaveral right?

 

Jim: Yep, yep.

 

Len: so what made them decide to the other Ports? Was it just to test demand?

 

Jim: Well, again. Iger likes to think of these boats as ambassadors. And the notion is you move them to places where we aren't yet. In fact, what's interesting when you talk with Iger about the cruise line is it's like, "Look, we're not a company that has a cruise line. We're an entertainment company that cruises." That's the thing of- we're constantly working to make sure you're entertained within an inch of your life. In fact, we were just talking about this the other night that I think what fascinates me about the cruise line is when you get right down to it, when you get down to the level of detail, the level of attentiveness, the quality of the experience, this is the Walt Disney Company we used to find at the theme parks. Before they got so big.

 

Len: Everything is taken care of all the time. The staff to passenger ratio on the cruise line is,

 

Jim: It's insane!

 

Len: It's like one staff for every three guests?

 

Jim: Yeah. Again, for example, on the, what is it, on the Dream, the full boat, (???) that's thirty six hundred people on it. They're... at full load it's four thousand. But there are fifteen hundred crew members. And so when you work the math there, just it's one for every three point something, right?

 

Len: Two (???), yeah.

 

Jim: And it's one of these things where it sometimes can get a little overwhelming. We were at dinner last night at the Royal Palace and it was like every three seconds someone was coming by the table and introducing themselves and,

 

Len: Ivan and Craig and,

 

Jim: Yeah! And it was just like, "Okay. Thank you."

 

Len: "And you do what, again?" Have you met your stateroom attendant yet?

 

Jim: Oh yes, yes. He's... "Mr. Jim!"

 

Len: I think I've seen the state attendant more than I've seen my mother. But they're great. I mean, they're all... They work like dogs. All of them.

 

Jim: They do. They do.

 

Len: I think they average like sixteen hour days. It's crazy.

 

Jim: Now, but again, if you want to feel pampered, if you want to feel cared for, Cruise Line is the way to go.

 

Len: So Disney comes out, right, and immediately... what were the rates? Like, I'm sure, like now they're rates are anywhere from twenty-five to a hundred percent more than like Royal Caribbean for the same cruise. So they're definitely charging a premium on a lot of things.

 

Jim: They are.

 

Len: The Mediterranean cruises, not so much. But the Caribbean, the Alaska cruises, all those basic cruises Disney's charging a premium for those. Did they originally start that way or was,

 

Jim: Well, no, they were... The numbers I've seen suggest they were anywhere from a fifth more expensive to- and it was interesting to watch them creep up. That,

 

Len: People still on the boat. Five percent. Yay people still on the boat! Five percent.

 

Jim: Yeah. But it's, but at the same time it's frustrating for Disney cause it's like, they will do things like the LA cruise,

 

Len: Yep.

 

Jim: And what they discovered is that when you go to a place like LA and uh... I mean, face it, there's a lot of people cruising on this boat that are piling on a Walt Disney World vacation.

 

Len: Oh yeah. Virtually everyone we've talked to, yeah.

 

Jim: Yep. And so it's an easy add on or it's an easy "Hey you've done Disney World before, why don't you do this instead?" Where in LA, the notion of "Well, why don't you bundle a cruise with a visit to the Disneyland Resort." That's just not happening the way they'd hoped.

 

Len: No.

 

Jim: It's kind of a... you know, face it, Disneyland and... I know this is going to upset a lot of people, but let's be honest here. Disneyland is the world's most famous regional theme park. You know, when you're getting seventy percent of your guests from less than a hundred miles away and it's thirty percent  that are flying in,

 

Len: Yeah.

 

Jim: It's hard to then turn to that thirty percent and go "Hey! You wanna go on a cruise!" There's... but they believe, give them five to ten years, and give them the opportunity to do the Third Gate and then, and that,

 

Len: It becomes the destination.

 

Jim: It becomes the destination. But its Third Gate Water Park, another hotel, I mean, there's... you're... two billion in the ground before you can then turn around and say "Hey! And you want to go on a cruise!"

 

Len: Yep.

 

Jim: And,

 

Len: And the ships aren't getting any cheaper now.

 

Jim: No, and in fact we, again we were just talking about that. Now remember, we talked two fifty to three fifty.

 

Len: Three Fifty.

 

Jim: For the Magic and the Wonder. By the time it came to build the Dream and the Fantasy- well, first of all, it's like, "Thank you nice Italian ship builders, but we won't be coming back." They found a German firm Meyer... I'm blanking.

 

Len: Meyer Werft.

 

Jim: Meyer Werft.

 

Len: Yeah.

 

Jim: Who... they, and what was interesting in just the ten years or so since they've been doing the new ships... The construction technique had changed. For example with the... What they did with the two new ships was almost like Legos. I mean, they broke the ship down into eighteen different blocks and then would build each of the blocks and then put them together.

 

Len: Really?

 

Jim: Yeah.

 

Len: Whereas the Italians were like rolling the keel, we're building up the,

 

Jim: Yeah. It was very very traditional and that, to be honest, that also ran over... one of the reasons they ran over. I mean, that coupled with the fact that in the Italians' case it was just like "Look, there's a ship ahead to you. And we're behind schedule. So we're going to pull our people off of the Disney boat and put them on that one." It's like, "WHAT?" So not happy with that. But the German... Actually, what's fascinating about that is that these two cruise liners were built indoors.

 

Len: Really?

 

Jim: Yeah. I mean, giant, giant, tremendously huge ship building facility. In fact, they assembled all the steel and when the keel and when it was water tight they flooded the building and floated the thing out of the thing.

 

Len: Wow that's cool.

 

Jim: Oh it's huge. Huge. And the nice thing is cause it took eighteen months to build this thing, they kept it indoors and avoided two German winters but the funny thing is that for the sea trial they got into, they were out sort of testing everything and they got a freak winter snowstorm and Joe has these great pictures of the deck of the ship covered with ice and snow.

 

Len: Really? Like something out of uh, what's the crab show one, uh,

 

Jim: Oh yeah! The,

 

Len: Deadliest Catch.

 

Jim: Deadliest Catch. And it was just, that was the thing. Trying to make your way across this thing that doesn't have all of its safety rails yet and doesn't have... Cause again, it's a sea trial. We're gonna go back and do the finish work. And it's like, "Ah, the USS Death Trap. So nice to be out on the sea. AAAGH!" Slide into the back. But,

 

Len: So when... Disney builds their first two ships, right, and the ships are registered in Panama?

 

Jim: I wanna say, Bahamas.

 

Len: Why weren't they registered in the United States?

 

Jim: Well, there's a lot of,

 

Len: I mean, there are no cruise ships that are registered in the United States (???)?

 

Jim: No, no. It's just that between the financial advantages and the merit time customs- speaking of which though, that's another thing that made these, kind of makes these ships unique is the color scheme. I mean, everybody knows about the Mickey, you know, how they used Mickey's colors to do the boat. And what they ended up doing however was that they have to go head to head... You can't just paint your boat any color. You actually have to go to US coastal,

 

Len: Guards, yeah.

 

Jim: Guard and there are merit time regulations. For example, there's a reason they no longer paint boats black. Because when you're driving your boat at night and another boat can't see you and drives into the side of you it's like, again, Andrea Doria.

 

Len: Andrea Doria.

 

Jim: Yep. So, but,

 

Len: So that's why, so Disney I understand had to get special permission to color their life boats. They're yellow, right?

 

Jim: Six months of dealing with the coast guard before.

 

Len: Normally they're orange so you can, for visibility.

 

Jim: Yep. So six months, Disney paid for the tests, and the coast guard would throw a life boat out in,

 

Len: The Atlantic.

 

Jim: "Go find it." And it's like, "Okay. Well, yellow works." So, but again, the weird thing of it is is that in... for Disney, this is... it's not Mickey yellow. It's... I believe it's called Yellow 99. And in fact the... What I love is the story about how they arrived at the Black... Cause John Hench, who was the king of color for Disney at that point and really wanted the Mickey color but they couldn't get a black that worked. And so, but they were just starting to experiment with black blues to see whether or not that would work and one day a secretary at Imagineering walks in. Her name is Pam. And they just, into the meeting, delivering some memos and walks out and Joe's like, "Stop!" And it's like, "Okay... what?" "Turn around." Pam is wearing a blue, dark blue, verging on black pantsuit and John's like "I need your pants."

 

Len: HR comes bursting into the room. And says "It's for research!"

 

Jim: And seriously, John gets the pants, gets a color wheel, and it's like, "That's it. That's it." And so that's actually... So, when you go... When they're ordering up to prepay the boat, it's in honor of her. It's Pam Blue.

 

Len: Is it really?

 

Jim: Yes. So,

 

Len: Pam's Pants Blue.

 

Jim: Pam's Pants Blue.

 

Len: Pam Blue. That's nice.

 

Jim: So, but yeah. They... But again, this is Disney. There's a level of detail on these boats that just gets insane. I mean, whether it's something for example, you and I the other night had a wonderful drink up  in Meridian.

 

Len: Yeah, the martini bar.

 

Jim: But the weird thing is that when you get in that room and start talking with those guys, it's like, "Well first of all, this isn't a martini bar. This is where we store the luggage." And in fact, if you look around at all the chairs and such in that room, they have a strap down the middle of them. So this is where old time suitcases had straps.

 

Len: Yep.

 

Jim: And again, because this is an old time room, they bought these wonderful leather chairs that they went out and then distressed because it had to be "old time."

 

Len: It's been on the ship for ages! Yeah. They do a really good job with the details on those things.

 

Jim: Oh no no, absolutely. But at the same time, when you look at things like what they did... because, again, it's a boat. And there are safety regulations like you can't cook on this boat with gas. It's all electric.

 

Len: Is it really?

 

Jim: Yep. And again, because you have all these concerns about fire at sea, so often what you think is wood- I mean, for example, when you go into Remy, and those,

 

Len: The French restaurant, right?

 

Jim: Wonderful, beautiful, curving, stylized beams there. It's like, "Not wood." Painted to look like wood,

 

Len: But not wood.

 

Jim: But not wood. I don't know. It's... I guess just to sort of look ahead here, again, you have four ships that are going out with ninety percent occupancy. And you ask Disney about the future, they hem, they haw, but the reality is they have an open contract with the Germans for two more boats.

 

Len: With the Germans. Not with the Italians.

 

Jim: No. No no no. The interesting thing is that when it comes to design, you know, for example everything in Palo's that is supposed to be Italian was actually built by Italians. The rugs, the actual poles to open the, where the wine is kept in Palo's. Built in Italy.

 

Len: okay.

 

Jim: But it's like,

 

Len: We'll let the Germans built the ships.

 

Jim: Yeah. It's like,

 

Len: You guys are really good at art.

 

Jim: That's right. You can do the decorations. Let them build the ships. But even the Germans... there was this unfortunate episode where the Germans went home for the weekend and somebody left a valve open and they came back on a Monday and the bottom deck of the ship had been flooded.

 

Len: Oopsie doodle.

 

Jim: So it's like "Aaagh,"

 

Len: They make accidents too.

 

Jim: You know, that's... overall, they were very very happy with them and they'll continue on when they decide to continue on. But that's, well, that... and then that opens a whole 'nother kettle of fish because it's like right now... I mean, the number of boats that actually come here to Cast Away Cay...

 

Len: Four.

 

Jim: Yep.

 

Len: Three. Sometimes.

 

Jim: And if you in fact decide that you're going to add two more ships,

 

Len: We haven't talked about this yet, just from a rotation perspective there could be conflicts.

 

Jim: Yep. So,

 

Len: Yeah, that would be terrible. All right, well, let's wrap up this episode. In the next episode we'll talk about the ships in detail. Let's do that. For Jim, this is Len. You've been listening to the Unofficial Guide Disney Dish podcast with Jim Hill. We're broadcasting from Cast Away Cay. We'll do one more episode (???). You can hear the water in the background. For Jim, this is Len. Thanks for listening. Please rate us on Itunes and let us know what else you'd like to hear next. And we'll see you on the next show.

 

test

 

Blog - Post Feedback Form
Your comment has been posted.   Close
Thank you, your comment requires moderation so it may take a while to appear.   Close
Leave a Comment
  • * Please enter your name
  • * Please enter a comment
  • Post