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Disney ship to make Seattle a homeport for at least one year

Don’t be surprised if you run into Donald Duck or Mickey Mouse in Seattle this summer. If you do, snap a quick picture. This year will be the first and perhaps last time that Disney Cruise Line’s massive red, white and blue floating theme park — the 2,400-passenger Disney Wonder — docks on the Seattle waterfront.

Disney is the newest of seven major lines that will call in Seattle after the Alaska cruise season kicks off May 6, but already has made the decision not to come back in 2013, The Seattle Times reports. Instead, Disney will return to Vancouver, B.C., where it began its foray into the Alaska market in 2011.

Disney cruises market family fun with G-rated floor shows aboard a ship with three pools and 10 decks. The line plans 15 sailings from Seattle this year with Alaska stops at the Tracy Arm fjord and at Skagway, Juneau and Ketchikan as well as Victoria, B.C.

Disney’s decision to return to Vancouver next year is an economic loss for Seattle, which has been nurturing the cruise industry since 1999, starting with six sailings and 6,600 passengers.

The Port of Seattle this year expects 880,900 passengers on 205 sailings. Estimates are that each time a homeport ship docks, $1.9 million flows into the local economy, spending generated by passenger hotel stays, restaurant meals and shopping, and purchases of ship supplies.

Senator back on dry ground after eventful cruise experience

Idaho Sen. Jim Hammond is back on dry ground and in the light, after a sojourn on a Carnival cruise ship that drifted powerless for days. Hammond, during a break in this morning’s JFAC hearing, said it was his first cruise in 15 years, and the experience wasn’t what he expected – cold sandwiches, salads and cereal, card- and dice-playing in relative darkness, and only cold water. He and his wife Cyndie joined three other couples on the cruise, and with their full refunds, already are planning to try again. “I don’t think we’d go on the Splendor again,” Hammond said of the ship.

With 3,200 people aboard, “People were really good – nobody panicked,” Hammond said. But there were waits of a couple of hours for a plate of cold food, and Hammond was really glad he’d spent the extra money for an outside cabin with windows and a small balcony – inside cabins were left in total darkness. After the ordeal, the Hammonds spent a night at a hotel in San Diego, and ironically, when they woke up, the power was out. “So once again, I showered and shaved in the dark,” he said with a smile. “At least I had hot water.”

He chuckles about the attention the incident got, considering no one was hurt and worldwide, many live in worse conditions day in and day out. “It was just more of an embarrassment for Carnival,” Hammond said.

APhoto Of The Day — 11.12.10

A couple onboard the Carnival Splendor cruise ship holds a T-shirt with the message “Next Stop The Daily Show” written on it as the ship approaches the dock in San Diego, Calif., Thursday. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Top Cutlines:

  • 1. Samuel Avalos, miner from Chile - waves at his return from a Cruise to Mexico gifted to him after his rescue from the mine — Pecky Cox.
  • 2. I got stranded on a luxury cruise ship full of expensive food and booze, and all I got was this t-shirt — Moscow Minidoka.
  • 3. Participants in Jon Stewart’s Cruise to Restore Sanitation and/or Showers — Nic.
  • HM: Stacy

Locals Stranded On Cruise Ship

Item: Spokane, CdA residents happily off cruise: Crew handled situation well, passenger says/Tom Sowa

More Info: On board also was his wife, Theresa Blohowiak; his sister, Cyndie Hammond; and her husband, Jim. Jim Hammond, of Coeur d’Alene, is an Idaho state senator; Cyndie is regional director for the Coeur d’Alene campus of Lewis-Clark State College. The four family members said they survived reasonably well, having berths on an upper deck with balcony windows that provided fresh air.

Question: Have you ever been stranded somewhere while traveling? How did you cope?