Disney Cruise Line picks San Juan as ’14 homeport
Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy and all of their friends aboard the Disney Magic will be calling Puerto Rico “home” for the first time in the fall of 2014, when the cruise line plans to sail out of the port of San Juan en route to the Southern Caribbean, company officials announced Tuesday.
On Sept. 20 and 27 and Oct. 4 and 11, 2014, the impressive ship — one of four comprising the Disney Cruise Line fleet — will head toward Antigua, St. Lucia, Grenada, Barbados, and St. Kitts for a seven-night journey, said Jonathan Frontado, public relations manager at Disney Cruise Line.
The decision to use San Juan as homeport responds to Disney’s desire to expand its customer base, especially since doubling its fleet of ships to four, he said.
“Having four ships gives us the chance to take them to more places and give more people the opportunity to experience a Disney cruise,” Frontado said, noting the Disney Magic has the capacity for 2,700 passengers.
The Disney Magic’s weekly departures will generate $5 million for Puerto Rico’s economy in 2014, said Tourism Company Executive Director Ingrid Rivera-Rocafort, who was on hand for the announcement at a San Juan-area hotel Tuesday.
“Whether they renew for the following year depends on how well their offer does,” she said. “I know it will be very successful because Puerto Ricans love Disney World.”
Rates will start at $945 per person for seven-night cruises from San Juan for a standard inside stateroom, based on double occupancy, Disney officials said.
When it docks in San Juan, the 964-foot vessel will anchor at Pier 3, Ports Authority Executive Director Víctor Suárez said.
“We’re ready for them. They have been here for several months evaluating the facilities and services, with which they’re very demanding,” said Suárez. “Pier 3 is currently in use and is ready.”