Disney Wonder arrives, kicking off cruising season - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Disney Wonder arrives, kicking off cruising season

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - The Disney Wonder arrived in San Diego Friday to kick off the local 2014-15 cruising season, which port officials hope will signal a turnaround for the industry on the West Coast.

"The Port of San Diego is proud to welcome the Disney Wonder and its guests to our world-class waterfront," said Bob Nelson, chairman of the Board of Port Commissioners. "Disney's stellar reputation for quality and service combined with its onboard entertainment and attractions make it a popular choice for cruise vacationers. We invite Disney Cruise Line's guests to experience our San Diego-style hospitality."

So far, 76 port calls by cruise ships are scheduled in San Diego through May, though the final tally could change, port officials said. Of those, 43 ships will begin or end a cruise. The port says those stops generate $2 million for the San Diego's economy.

The recession and fear of violence in Mexico prompted some cruise lines to pull out of San Diego several years ago, but port officials say they're coming back now.

Holland America plans 32 cruises to the Mexican Riviera out of San Diego, while Norwegian Cruise Line ships will be calling on San Diego for the first time in five years, with six stops in San Diego this season.

The Disney Wonder set sail from Vancouver, British Columbia, on Monday, according to the cruise line. The ship stopped in San Diego to pick up more than 2,100 passengers headed to a 15-day cruise through the Panama Canal, with stops in Cabo San Lucas and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

After transiting the canal, the ships will call on ports in Cartagena, Colombia, and Cozumel, Mexico, before ending the cruise at Port Canaveral, Florida.

The port says Disney Wonder is scheduled to depart from San Diego on three more cruises next spring and make seven local port calls in the fall of 2015.

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