Would Disney consider occasional cruises from New Orleans, or Galveston ?
One of great things about cruise ships is that they can sail out of any port that has appropriate facilities. NCL and Carnival sail out of New Orleans. Royal Caribbean and Carnival sail out of Galveston. So, Disney could operate cruises out of New Orleans or Galveston.
My guess is that Disney would prioritize other ports higher than New Orleans or Galveston. Disney already sails the Western Caribbean out of Port Canaveral.
Having WDW as a port-of-call for a roundtrip cruise out of New Orleans or Galveston sounds good, but WDW is long bus ride from Port Canaveral and would be an expensive one-day shore excursion.
Having the cruise originate at New Orleans or Galveston and terminate at Post Canaveral would violate the Passenger Service Act of 1886, as I understand it. No cruise line operates one-way cruises between New York and Miami (with a PSA-compliance stop at Nassau) either, even though such an itinerary would be a natural if it were legal.
My guess is that one of the current ships will go to the West Coast and the other will go to Europe when the two new ship go into service. But I could be wrong. It's also possible the one of the ships will move around to various ports to publicize Disney Cruise Line and to introduce residents of various regions to cruising, Disney-style.
Re: October 10, 2008: What not to Expect from Disney at Ko Olina
Interesting articles, Werner! I agree with your dectective work--I seriously doubt Disney will get into the full-time Hawaiian cruise market for all the reasons you outlined. But, if they start basing a ship on the West coast, then the occasional mainland-to-Hawaii cruise will certainly be a possibility.
I just did a trip like that this past January with Holland America (photos at the link below). We left from San Diego, cruised five days there, five days in the islands, and five days back to San Diego (with the briefest and lamest of stops in Ensenada--hardly anyone actually went ashore there during our four-hour "visit"). This was a family trip with my brother and our 80-year-old parents. I had a great time, but it would have been even more fun if it had been on a Disney ship. Here's hoping I'll have a chance to do that some day!