Disney Dream, Disney Cruises latest Caribbean cruise ship of 128,000 GT and 4,000 passenger capacity was delivered by German builders Meyer Werft on 15, December 2010 and is scheduled to make the transatlantic crossing for a maiden cruise departure on 26, January 2011 from home base Port Canaveral, Florida.
A Disney publicity department staffer described the cruise liner as offering guests, "A perfect blend of elegant Art Deco style and fun-filled Disney whimsy to create one of the most spectacular ships afloat." Yet apart from the hype, which is forgivable considering competition in the growing cruise marketplace, there has been little mention of the state-of-the-art construction of this huge liner, the biggest ever built in Germany, and of its hi-tech propulsion.
Laser and 'Lego' Shipbuilding
Disney Dream first began taking shape early 2009 using 'Lego' building principles in a totally enclosed weather-proof building hall enclosing the dry dock at Meyer Werft's shipyard at Papenburg on the River Ems. There, steel plates, eight at a time, were welded together in the digital factory using the builder's trademark 'Hybrid Laser Welding' process which is claimed to be both faster and stronger than conventional welding, and less likely to cause distortion.
These 'Lego' sections were then joined together to make up about seventy larger units of up to eight-hundred tonnes each, fabricated complete with fixtures for cable tracks, plumbing, and air-con ducts ready for assembly in the dry dock where Disney Dream took shape.
Deutschland Online Magazine correspondent Marin Orth, described building cruise ships as a masterly achievement of engineering and logistics, on the basis that Meyer Werft, one of only a few specialist cruise ship constructers in the world, required some two thousand sub-contractors to deliver the more than fifteen million necessary parts to its building hall at exactly the right time for fitting in the new cruise ship.
Disney Dream Launch: Photo Courtesy of Disney Cruises
Under the Hood
The propulsion method of choice for Disney Dream, as for most present-day cruise ships, was diesel-electric, which amongst its many well-known advantages gives passengers a low noise and vibration free environment in which to enjoy the cruise experience.
Specifically, Disney Dream has altogether five medium speed MAN diesel engines (three 12-cylinder 48/60CR engines, plus two 14-cylinder versions) linked to two Converteam 19 MW propulsion motors, driving twin propellors to give a service speed of 22 knots. MAN's Common Rail (CR) fuel injection system not only makes the ship IMO exhaust gas emission compliant, it also promises a soot-free ride for junior, even at start up and under low engine loads, as he scoots happily down from topsides along the 765-foot long 'AquadDuck' water-coaster.
Disney Dream Engine Installation: Courtesy of Disney News Blog