Before Santa gets here, Mickey Mouse is coming to town. He's sailing in to Miami Wednesday on Disney's 2,700-passenger cruise ship, The Wonder.
The ship makes its maiden voyage from Miami on December 23rd. Disney Cruise Line will offer three to seven-night voyages visiting ports of call in the Bahamas and the Caribbean, including Key West, Nassau, Cozumel, Grand Cayman and Disney's private island, Castaway Cay.
"Our ships are purposely built with families in mind," said cruise director Christiaan Abbott.
In all, seven cruise ships will make their Miami debut, including the Carnival Breeze, the Celebrity Reflection, and the Oceania Riviera.
"These cruise ships will mean jobs," said Bill Talbert, president of the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau. "More than a thousand."
"We are the cruise capital of the world," Talbert added, noting two million people board a cruise in Miami every year. This "cements" our role, he said.
Travel agent Uf Tukel says Disney's presence will be good for the entire cruise industry in Miami.
"There's alot of people out there who've never thought about a cruise until they've maybe done a Disney vacation," said Tukel. If they like the Disney resort experience, they "might want to give a cruise a shot."
Disney will be sailing from Miami this season until May 2013.