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07.29.2010


Blue Man Group on Norwegian Epic brings
cruise entertainment to a new level.

Entertainment on Cruise Ships
You can trace it back to the Big Red Boat from Premier Cruises, the first liner to sail out of Port Canaveral with a licensing agreement from Disney to have Micky Mouse and Goofy in character on ship. This idea was first conceived by a Bruce Nierenberg, first to see the potential of "drive-to" cruise ports like Port Canaveral, now the home of Disney Cruise Lines and Carnival's largest cruise ship, Carnival Dream, especially when you combine cruises with the entertainment capital of Florida; Orlando.

Disney is a very smart company; essentially entering the cruise market because of Bruce proved the formula first. Disney launched their first cruise ship in 1998 and the mainstay of their cruise experience has been the presence of Disney "character experiences" onboard ever since.

When Disney first entered the market there was little effect on the rest of the cruise lines. Disney has limited its fleet to just two ships for the last 12 years (two new Disney ships will debut in the next two years). It certainly isn't as if Disney has taken over the cruise industry. But there has been a subtle change.


Norwegian Cruise Line's 7-day Caribbean from $699. Visit ncl.com to book your cruise today.
Book now at ncl.com

There are two areas where Disney has definitely upped the ante for the rest of the cruise industry - inspiring changes to children's programs and the introduction of far better cruise ship entertainment. Disney was the first to put big shows like Toy Story, the Musical on cruise ships. Suddenly other cruise lines all started reaching higher - more effects, better scripts. The next Disney cruise ship, Disney Dream, slated to arrive in January 2011, will feature an all new musical called "Villains" with all of the great Disney villains of the past; Captain Hook, Cruella de Vil, Ursula from Little Mermaid and Jafar from Aladdin.

Now we have Norwegian Epic, the first non-Disney cruise ship where entertainment is the number one reason to book the ship.

Royal Caribbean licensed the Broadway versions of Hairspray and the original Broadway version Chicago slated for the Allure of the Seas when she arrives. Now Cunard has just announced that it plans to hire real actors for the forthcoming Queen Elizabeth cast - rather than forcing singers and dancers into acting roles. The QE shows will have a cast of 29 singers, dancers, actors and musicians.

Taking even more cues from Disney, Royal Caribbean has reached into the kid's character world in a BIG way. In a new alliance with DreamWorks Animation, Royal Caribbean's four biggest ships sailing out of the U.S. (Oasis, Allure, Freedom and Liberty) will soon feature live interaction with the most recognizable DreamWorks characters like Shrek, Fiona, Puss in Boots, Po the King Fu Panda and Marty the lion from Madagascar.


Save up to $1,500 per couple on 2011 River and Small-Ship Cruises
Avalon Waterways is introducing fleet-wide enhancements, from L'Occitane bath essentials, to the Comfort Collection by Avalon in every stateroom enticing the senses like never before. View 2011 cruise offers.
Avalon Waterways 866.397.6594

Here is a "feel good" story; Micky Mouse and other Disney characters have been alive on Disney cruise ships for decades. Just like the new Disney Cruises' musical, the latest DreamWorks movie, Shrek 3, pays homage to several animated Disney villains; Snow White's evil step-queen, Captain Hook, Gepetto and Cinderella's jealous stepsisters. But in Shrek 3 these characters are portrayed in the cartoonish two-dimensional animation style used in the original Disney movies. As they interact with the more realistic DreamWorks characters they finally come alive at the end of the movie. They live happily ever after in the land of "Far Far Away."

Now Royal Caribbean is bringing DreamWorks characters to life on its ships just like Disney characters have been alive on Disney cruise ships for years. It's a full circle where everyone lives happily ever after.

Royal Caribbean will have ice shows featuring DreamWorks characters from the film "How to Train your Dragon" and the two newest ships, Oasis and Allure, will present "AquaTheater" water-themed shows based on the animated movie "Madagascar."

And in perhaps the biggest move inspired by Disney Cruise Line, Oasis and Allure are installing 3-D movie theaters with the most advanced style of 3-D, the polarization method, to show 3-D films by DreamWorks such as "How to Train Your Dragon" and "Monsters vs. Aliens," just as Disney ships have had for years.


Squeeze more everything into your vacation
Bring the whole gang on any Carnival Cruise and get ready for some serious fun. Because almost everything is included, like comfy accommodations, jaw-dropping destinations, delicious dining options, live entertainment, and so much more.
Offer Details >Book your Carnival function

The full implementation of the DreamWorks program on Royal Caribbean is set to be in full swing on Allure this December, 2010, coinciding with its debut. Sister ship Oasis and Liberty and Freedom should have their enhancements in place by March, 2011.

NCL also announced a formal agreement with Nickelodeon last January, and Nickelodeon characters like SpongeBob Square Pants and Dora are already on the larger NCL ships as part of their children's programs. Getting slimed on NCL is now as common as eating at Le Bistro. Learn more about NCL's Nickelodeon at Sea.

NCL features a "Breakfast with Nickelodeon" where kids can interface with all of the famous characters from the Nickelodeon channel. Royal Caribbean is also planning to have character meals in its main dining rooms on Oasis, Allure, Freedom and Liberty.

Care to discuss this topic in our forums? Which Cruise Line has the Best Entertainment?

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new feature articles

What's Been The Biggest Change in the Cruise Industry This Century?
The past decade, or so, has seen massive, industrious, and innovative changes in the cruise industry. Some lament the changes, blue arrows

Cruise Line Policy Changes
Within the last few months there have been two significant cruise purchase policy changes that affect the cruise buyer. blue arrows

Dining on Norwegian Epic
The food on Norwegian Epic is surprisingly good. Reviews of each restaurant including special and included in the cruise fare dining. blue arrows

Breaking Down the Alaska Head Tax
The New Alaska Head Tax can reduce your cruise cost more than you probably thought - but who is really making out with this new tax bill? blue arrows

The Second City on Norwegian Epic
The Second City comedy players on Norwegian Epic have years of comedy experience, including other NCL ships blue arrows

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NEW CRUISEMATES CRUISES!

Chef Matt Sigel's Cruise with CruiseMates
Join Chef Matt Sigel's on Norwegian Epic, Halloween Cruise, Oct 30, 2010 Travel from Miami to Costa Maya, Roatan Honduras and Cozumel - 7-days

Let's Get Lei'd 5.0
We're doing yet again - for the fifth time (because these cruises do so well) - We are going to Hawaii on a Princess ship, this time the mega-Sapphire Princess. We sail from Los Angeles and return to the same. Eight days at sea and five beautiful ports of call - four of them in Hawaii, plus Ensenada. February 26, 2011.

Allure of the Seas
Join your CruiseMates on the newest world's biggest cruise ship on October 2nd, 2011, on the sister ship to Oasis of the Seas slated to debut in early December of 2010. We have great prices and plenty of onboard fun in store for you!