Upscale Cruise Line Offers Something Sinful

cruiseCruise lines are looking for new, different and exciting entertainment options to keep passengers occupied at night. Some have added Broadway shows, others offer interactive audience participation programming, all focused on their target audience and what they want. Celebrity Cruises took a look at what their passengers are looking for in the way of late-night entertainment too. The result: Sin City Comedy.

If the thought of “Sin City” has you thinking raunchy, tasteless entertainment that we might not see from the (normally) upscale Modern Luxury line, think again.

Described as, “funny and a little bit sexy,” Sin City Comedy will tap comedians with tasteful acts for the late-night show offered on Celebrity Reflection and Celebrity Silhouette, rotating to Celebrity Solstice in May, said Celebrity Cruises in a recent statement.

Think of comics who have appeared on Comedy Central, VH1, HBO, (sort of raunchy) “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” “The Late Show with David Letterman,” “Conan,” Jimmy Kimmel Live,” “The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson,” and “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” (less raunchy).

That sort of sin.

Actually a product of Sin City Comedy at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas, the cruise line version of the show will mimic a two-time winner of the Best of Las Vegas award.

Surprised? Remember, this is the same cruise line that sports a sea-view shower in its top end Reflection Suites. Those allow passengers to bare all to the world but come with an option to turn glass from transparent to frosted to reveal less.

Celebrity’s Sin City Comedy shows are presented at varying late-night time slots in the Celebrity Central venue on Celebrity Reflection and Celebrity Silhouette. 18 and older please. Thank you.



[Image credit – Flickr user STEVENJOHNSELLER]

Stunning Cruise Line Art, Both In And On Ships

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Cruise lines traditionally devote a great amount of resources collecting art that will adorn the walls of individual staterooms and public spaces. Thoughtful collections help ship designers tie in a central theme that often runs throughout the interior of ships and sometimes on the exterior as well. It’s a high-stakes game of procurement and placement that can transform a ship into a floating display.

Not Your Mother’s Art
Travelers who have done a cruise vacation on any number of mainstream cruise lines know about art auctions on board. That’s not what we’re talking about here.

Art auctions are a profitable revenue stream for cruise lines that entice participants away from the pool deck or casino with free champagne during the event. Called into question on numerous occasions, the value of art bought at sea is difficult to nail down and commonly appraised much lower on land.

Put that thought out of your mind. The cruise line art we’re talking about today is the real deal, featuring creations by top tier artists like Romero Britto, Thomas Kincade and Peter Max.

Bringing Big Names Along For The Ride
Partnering with obscure and well-known artists, works take the form of paintings, lithographs and sculptures ranging from the traditional to over-the-top custom pieces designed specifically for a certain ship.

Royal Caribbean brought Peter Max along for the ride on inaugural sailings of giant Allure of the Seas, the largest cruise ship in the world, and an on-board Britto store where works from Romero Britto are featured.

Thank cruise line art programs for sparking the idea of branding that has brought partnerships with celebrity chefs, big-name entertainment and normally land-based service providers to sea.

Not Just Inside The Ship Either
Norwegian Cruise Line announced recently that David Le Batard (AKA “LEBO” ) was chosen to create the hull art (pictured above) for the new 4000-passenger Norwegian Getaway to be based in Miami.

“Norwegian Getaway will be Miami’s ship and, therefore, we wanted to ensure that her hull was designed by an artist with strong ties to Miami and the Latin community,” said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian Cruise Line’s chief executive officer in a press release. “Having begun his career in South Florida, Dave is an artist that is entrenched here. His work adorns the city and I’ve learned that he is also a genuinely nice guy. He is a shining star in Miami, as well as the global art community.”

Similar to the close pairing of sister-ship Norwegian Breakaway to New York City, the cruise line is going down the same road with Norwegian Getaway hosting a South Florida theme. On Norwegian Breakaway, it was Peter Max designing hull art that features images of the Statue of Liberty and the New York skyline.

On Norwegian Getway, set to debut in February 2014, Batard will add images of a mermaid, sun, swirling waves, palm trees and pelicans to support the ship’s South Florida theme.

Art, The Experience
Also on the exterior of a ship, the imagineers at Disney Cruise Line took the ship’s satellite transmitters, normally an eyesore, and made them into something unique. On the top forward deck of the Disney Fantasy, Satellite Falls is a new Disney Cruise Line feature that adds “a gentle water curtain to one of the ship’s satellite transmitters,” says Inside The Magic of this video. “The surrounding area features a relaxing open deck with views of the front of the ship”




Celebrity Cruises takes art to unique places as well. When last year’s Celebrity Silhouette, sister-ship to Celebrity Reflection debuted, Gadling reported that Celebrity had commissioned Kurt Werner, the inventor of 3-D street art, to create an innovative art installation at the New York Stock Exchange. Stock Exchange employees had fun “relaxing” on the hammock and “grilling” on what was then the industry’s first outdoor, interactive grill restaurant, called The Lawn Club Grill.

Spare No Expense On Art
Setting sail this week for the first time, new Celebrity Reflection features a $4.1 million collection of art that in one way or another supports the “reflection” theme on the ship. Over 6,000 works make up the ship’s collection, part of the Royal Caribbean International company inventory that spans over 40 ships.

What goes into creating an at-sea art collection? Purchasing art works or commissioning specific works by international emerging, mid-career and established artists is key as we see in this video:




Engaging Passengers
Art runs through ships as an element of the cruise experience we don’t hear a lot about. Its there and those who take the time to look are often surprised by the captivating quality of works at sea. Also at sea, some lines engage passengers, teaching and challenging them to try something new, creating art of their own.

Celebrity Cruises has a hands-on program on their Solstice-class ships and others that have been “solsticized” adding popular features to older ships. The Art Studio, a new venue on The Lawn Club has along for the ride two artists-in-residence who offer hands-on classes in many creative arts. Master Artists from The ArtCenter South Florida also host art classes, lectures and demonstrations on topics ranging from jewelry making to sketching and painting.

Passengers on Princess Cruises can choose from about 20 courses per voyage from four core subject areas – Culinary Arts, Visual/Creative Arts, Photography and Computer Technology. Ceramics or pottery are popular with passengers who fire their creations on board to take home later. Digital travel photography and watercolor techniques are also offered.

Just about every major cruise line has an onboard art collection they are proud of and they want passengers to know all about it. Hosting tours, both with an art expert along and self-guided, cruise lines take passengers on a voyage within a voyage. Enabling those who appreciate fine art an additional at-sea experience, the art we find at sea adds an extra dimension worthy of our consideration.

[Photo Credit- Norwegian Cruise Line]

Cruise Line Hosts Pop-Up Restaurant On Land

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Cruise lines like to dazzle passengers on their ships with some of the best cuisine available, sourced from around the world. Cruise travelers often have so many choices that deciding what to have for dinner is a difficult decision. Those who have never been on a cruise anticipate culinary offerings but don’t know exactly what to expect … until now.

Celebrity Cruises, with a reputation for extraordinary cuisine, is bringing its onboard fare to Stable Café in San Francisco’s Mission District via a popup restaurant. Its just for two days, November 14 and 15, 2012, but Celebrity’s John Suley, Director of Culinary Operations, and his team of chefs will be presenting menu items inspired by seasonal, local ingredients and flavors in and around the San Francisco area.

Those wishing to attend the nearly sold out event sign up in advance for a lunch or dinner reservation. When they do, they are also entered into a giveaway to win a seven-night Alaska cruise for two on the stunning, luxurious Celebrity Solstice in 2013. No purchase necessary.Proceeds from your ticket go to support the Celebrity Cruises Scholarship at the Culinary Institute of America.

This is not the first land-based public event Celebrity has sponsored. Not long ago, Gadling reported that Celebrity Cruises had commissioned Kurt Werner, the inventor of 3-D street art, to create an art installation at the New York Stock Exchange to celebrate the arrival of the cruise line’s newest Solstice-class ship Celebrity Silhouette.

[Photo Credit: Flickr user garybembridge]

Celebrity Silhouette debuts to rave reviews

Celebrity Silhouette debutsCelebrity Cruises new 2,886 passenger Celebrity Silhouette debuted this week in Hamburg, Germany. Initial reviews indicate the line’s fourth new ship in less than three years offers far more than a cookie-cutter version of her three older sisters.

“The most striking change was replacement of glass blowing with the Lawn Club Grill, allowing more passengers to enjoy 1/2 acre of real grass in an engaging and tantalizing culinary experience with views of the lawn and the best oceanviews available” cruise expert Stewart Chiron, CEO CruiseGuy.com, told Gadling late Thursday from Hamburg.

Fans of Celebrity Silhouette’s three sister-ships will find familiar features including the signature Lawn Club, an on-deck area with actual growing grass. New in this part of the ship is the 48-seat Lawn Club Grill, replacing the Corning Glass Works feature on earlier models. The open-air outdoor restaurant allows guests to select and grill their own meats, barbecued pizza or fresh vegetables by themselves or with the help of the ship’s chefs at night for an additional fee. Accompanying beverages include wine, frosty buckets of beer and pitchers of sangria.”I’ve been on the new ship for about 12 hours now, and already love the few changes Celebrity has made to this ship” said Linda Garrison of About.com.

Another change, a new complimentary breakfast and lunch venue called The Porch, serves lighter fare including sandwiches and soups. Not far is The Art Studio where guests are invited to explore the artist within them with a Master Artist from the ArtCenter South Florida via a variety of activities including jewelry making, learning to sketch, make a mosaic or travel journal of their vacation.

“The enhancements on Silhouette over her three predecessors are striking. The Lawn Club received six cabanas and hammocks” said Chiron.

Those cabanas can accommodate up to four guests and are WiFi-enabled in what the line calls “your own cabana-styled haven” called the Alcove. Cabana rental includes the use of an iPad, continuing a partnership/program with Apple offered on other Solstice-class ships that also enables self-guided tours of the ship’s extensive art collection.

“Celebrity Cruises’ Solstice Class ships were game changers when Solstice debuted in 2008″ concluded Chiron “With the introduction of the fourth ship in the series, Celebrity further changed the game into uncharted territory.”

Celebrity Silhouette joins her three older sisters Celebrity Solstice, Celebrity Equinox, and Celebrity Eclipse. Thursday’s naming ceremony of the 122,000-ton ship, the largest to be officially named in Germany, was streamed live on Celebrity’s Facebook page and officially named by US travel agent and Cancer survivor Michelle Morgan following a Celebrity tradition in supporting breast cancer charities.

Compared to her younger sisters, Celebrity Silhouette was also built with 17 additional cabins. Upcoming Celebrity Reflection, due in 2012, will add 89 cabins on an entire extra deck, increasing capacity to 3,030 passengers. New 251 square foot Aqua Class suites will be added with all the current amenities plus butler service.

Celebrity Silhouette debuts
with sailings to the Holy Land and eastern Mediterranean from Rome’s port of Civitavecchia before repositioning to Bayonne, New Jersey to sail Caribbean itineraries through the winter. New Yorkers can enter to win a free ride on the new ship in the line’s NYC Celebrity Silhouette Sweepstakes through August 31, 2011.

Flickr photo by madle-fotowelt.de

Grill your own dinner on new cruise ship, get free apron

Grill your own dinnerCelebrity Cruises new 2,886-guest Celebrity Silhouette will debut soon with all the bells and whistles of her previous 122,000 ton Solstice-class sister-ships. Look for iPad art tours, a “trendsetting onboard experience and larger than normal staterooms. Sailing from New York, a whole lot of New Yorkers and tri-state area residents will be on board, starting their vacation without taking a flight, maximizing their vacation time. Also on board will be something new and unique to this vessel; the industry’s first interactive, open-air grilling restaurant The Lawn Club Grill.

“People tend to associate grilling with the relaxing, carefree mood of summer – exactly what a Celebrity vacation is all about,” said Jacques Van Staden, Vice President, Culinary Operations. “What can be better than experiencing something that’s popular among so many cultures around the world, while relaxing near a lawn of growing grass, surrounded by an endless view of the sea?”

The highlight of the dining experience at the 58-seat Lawn Club Grill will be the opportunity for guests to serve as their party’s “Grill Master,” by being paired with a Celebrity Cruises chef to assist in preparing the menu for their table over custom-built, ventilated grills. This unique, one-on-one interaction will give the Grill Master a one-of-a-kind, firsthand lesson in proper grilling techniques and other tricks of the grilling trade.
“Our guests consistently tell us that fresh, exciting culinary experiences are essential to their enjoyment of their vacation, and we are always looking for new ways to deliver that to them,” said Van Staden.

All guests will have the opportunity to choose from a gourmet salad bar, a la carte “build your own” pizzas and more than 12 grilled specialties. “Grill Masters” will receive a complimentary apron as a memento.

“Just as we introduced the ‘uniquely unordinary’ experience of using iPad-based menus to design individual culinary journeys featuring dishes presented in unexpected ways in Qsine on Celebrity Eclipse, we are introducing customized, open-air grills to the cruise vacation dining experience.”

By combining a premium culinary experience with the sensation of relaxing on the top deck of a ship, surrounded by live grass and cool ocean breezes, Celebrity’s aim is to celebrate the passion people have for grilling, as they enjoy their precious vacation time.

I think they might just get that done when guests grill their own dinner at The Lawn Club Grill.