Cruises With Character
by Georgina Cruz
“Laughter is an instant vacation,” comedian Milton Berle once
observed. And there is no greater motivator of smiles, giggles and
chuckles in children and the young at heart than seeing the antics
of favorite characters from animated films and television shows
coming to life, now in 3D, during a cruise vacation.
Maybe it is
Goofy, goofing around out on deck aboard a Disney ship, or Spongebob
Square Pants dancing during a breakfast on a Norwegian Cruise Line
vessel. Or maybe it is Fun Ship Freddy—like a living, walking
funnel—greeting you onboard a Carnival cruise ship or the Penguins
from “Madagascar” in an aquatic spectacle. Yep, there is a whole
wave of character fun ready for your enjoyment at sea.
Here are some personages you can encounter on your next cruise:
Disney Cruise Line
— What? You think you saw a mouse on your ship?
Definitely yes, if you are sailing on Disney Cruise Line ships! And
that mouse is the world’s most famous rodent, Mickey Mouse, who is
often seen in his captain’s uniform walking out on deck, greeting
guests, posing for pictures and signing autographs. He is sometimes
accompanied by that other world-famous mouse, Minnie, who
participates in deck activities, poses for photos and signs
autographs all decked out in a cute sailor’s outfit.
Several times during the cruise there are character meet-and-greet
sessions so guests can get close to their favorite Disney characters
–maybe Snow White or other Disney Princesses, or perhaps Donald
Duck, Goofy and Pluto. Captain Hook, the pirate from the Disney
“Peter Pan” movies may drop in to the children’s club and give the
kids some pointers as to how to become a good pirate and green army
men may join in during the Toy Story Boot Camp activity inspired in
the Disney-Pixar “Toy Story” movies.
On seven-night or longer voyages, Disney Cruise Line offers a
character breakfast and a character tea—maybe you can sip a cup
with Peter Pan’s Wendy Darling—and there is no extra charge for
Disney animated films with the beloved characters are screened in
the ships’ movie theaters and when the sun goes down, the characters
keep on shining during stage shows including “Disney Dreams” with
Mickey, Minnie, Peter Pan and a host of others, and “Toy Story, The
Musical” with Buzz Lightyear, Woody and other beloved characters of
the “Toy Story” films.
Even on Castaway Cay, Disney’s private island in the Bahamas,
passengers can interact with characters and pose for pictures with
the likes of Captain Hook and Mr. Smee.
Norwegian Cruise Line
— Families can enjoy activities and
entertainment themed to Nickelodeon characters and shows with
Nickelodeon At Sea aboard NCL ships. Among the options are
Nickelodeon’s signature messy game show, “Slime Time LIVE!” where
you can get all slimed up; interactive games poolside; Dora’s Music
Party, where youngsters can sing and dance with Dora the Explorer;
and a Breakfast with Nickelodeon where you can hobnob with Dora,
Diego and Spongebob Square Pants, among other characters.
The Breakfast With Nickelodeon has a fee: $15 for adults, $10 for
children. Everyone gets a chance to pose for pictures with the
characters and a sit-down meal is served including fresh fruit and
yogurt, juice, a platter with eggs, sausage, pancakes and other
breakfast favorites, and coffee.
— Due to an alliance between Royal Caribbean and
DreamWorks Animation, passengers will be able to interact with
characters from “Shrek,” “Madagascar,” “Kung Fu Panda” and “How To
Train Your Dragon.” This cast of characters will set sail for the
first time on Allure of the Seas at the launch of that ship in
December and will afterwards be frolicking on Oasis of the Seas,
Freedom of the Seas and Liberty of the Seas.
As part of this alliance, characters including Shrek, Fiona, the
Penguins of “Madagascar,” Po of “Kung Fu Panda” and others will
interact with guests during special meals in the dining room,
parades, special events and photo opportunities.
A new lineup of activities in Royal Caribbean’s children’s programs
will be themed to DreamWorks movies and the DreamWorks films
themselves will be available in the ships’ theaters that will be
outfitted with 3D screens. The DreamWorks Animation cast of
characters will take the stage at the Allure of the Seas’ Aqua
Theater during a show filled with acrobatics and high diving stunts.
And the ship’s ice skating rink will set the scene for a show
inspired in “How To Train Your Dragon.”
The DreamWorks experiences are included in the cruise fare.
Carnival Cruise Lines
— Imagine your ship’s “funnel” coming to life
and walking around on deck to pose for pictures. Well, Fun Ship
Freddy, Carnival’s mascot, sports the shape and the blue, red and
white color scheme of the line’s ships’ funnels. Fun Ship Freddy
greets passengers when they board the ship on embarkation day, poses
for photos during the voyage, and is huggable to boot.
It turns out that Freddy likes to dance: junior cruisers will see
him attending parties and activities at Camp Carnival, the line’s
program of supervised activities for children. He also attends some
adult special events as well.
If you are not sailing on these lines, you may still encounter some
extraordinary characters during your voyage: maybe a pirate or a
dance hall girl, perhaps a dolphin or other creature in the dining
room or at the gangway as these surprise characters are onboard many
ships to pose for fun, memorable photos. Smile for the camera!