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Disney Launching ‘Frozen’ At Sea

The first time we watched the Disney movie Frozen — when you have a three-year-old granddaughter you tend to watch things like this more than once — it was obvious to us that it was destined to be a stage show.

Now it is…in a way.

The stage show isn’t on Broadway, nor in London, nor even in Orlando. It’s on the Disney Magic and the Disney Wonder, half the fleet of the company’s cruise ships, or it’s going to be this summer.  

It’s also not a full production number, because 90 minutes to two hours is too long for cruise-ship entertainment, which means either cruisers have shorter attention spans or Frozen showcruise lines don’t want to keep them away from the bars and casinos that long, although that doesn’t completely apply to Disney, which has no casinos on ships.

The stage show Frozen — this is surely only it’s first iteration because Disney’s calling it the “debut” — is a three-song show that was “inspired by the animated hit” with interactivity that extends beyond the ships. For example, the experience includes a deck party, meeting and greeting the cast and “storybook adventures” in ports.

The ships will also be decorated with appropriate Frozen artifacts and daily themes that Disney does better than anybody, such as “freezing” the ship’s atrium with sparkling icicles so that it feels like Queen Elsa’s ice palace (brr-r-r-).

And if you’ve never been asked by Anna or Elsa “Do You Want To Build A Snowman?” there’s even a chance you’ll be able to build one…

You just have to pretend you’re a kid.

Today at portsandbows.com: All the latest cruise news

Royal Caribbean Majesty of the Seas
4 nights
February 9, 2015
Miami (return): Nassau, Coco Cay, Key West
Inside: $187
Cost per day: $46
www.royalcaribbean.com

Baby’s Cries Save Man Overboard

Any parent will likely agree nothing good can happen when a baby cries and cries and cries in the middle of the night.

Until now.

Heather and Daniel Felton of Louisville took their 13-month-old daughter on a Disney cruise. In the middle of a January night, little Katherine delivered one of those early wake-up calls that exhaust parents, and in this case a trip out onto the deck seemed wise, if only to keep from waking the neighbors.

And that’s when the unimaginable happened…

It was early enough that only the three of them were on the deck of the Disney Magic. The ship was off the coast of Mexico, near Cozumel. The Feltons heard a noise from the water. Disney MagicThen they heard it again. They ran to the rail and looked down, where a man in the water was going by and calling for help.

She alerted the crew. Within 30 minutes, the ship had turned around and launched a (hopefully) rescue operation.

"The odds of him being rescued, being seen…it was a little too much…I know Heather got emotional," Daniel told Lexington TV station Lex18.com.

Crew members jumped into a small rescue craft, found the victim, identified as Frank Jade, and brought him on board. He’d fallen off Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas. He’d been in the water for five hours. When he left the Magic at Punta Lagosta, one of Cozumel’s piers, Jade was reported to be stable with no serious injuries.

While in the water, Jade said he was shocked nobody noticed that he’d gone overboard. Cruise law attorney Jim Walker said Royal Caribbean should be embarrassed that “it lost a passenger at sea” and that the cruise line “has made no efforts to comply” with [safety rules] which require “the installation of overboard systems” on Oasis of the Seas.

Meanwhile, Baby Katherine is being celebrated as the world’s first 13-month-old lifesaver.

Today at portsandbows.com: Silversea stepping up

Norwegian Getaway
7 nights
February 7, 2015
Miami (return): St. Maarten, St. Thomas, Nassau
Inside: $449
Cost per day: $64
www.ncl.com

Cruise Line Captures Cool Idea

In case you missed the memo, Frozen is hot. That’s Frozen the movie, plus all the Frozen-moviemerchandise that comes with it …can you say “What’s under the Christmas tree this year?” In fact, Frozen is so hot that it’s on the high seas, in a way.

The one-year-old movie that appeals to all-year-olds is not going to be on any of the big screens that ships now have, with the possible exception of Disney. Olaf will not be your maitre d’— although he could be a Scandinavian ship captain if that happens to be his name. Elsa is not likely to be the girl by the pool taking drink orders. There will not be a reindeer ride on Sven, at least not yet.

Frozen-OceaniaFrozen is on Oceania.

Clearly hoping to catch your eye by capitalizing on the movie’s fame, the promotional line reads like this: “With Oceania Cruises, Frozen describes only the refreshing tropical drink in your hand…as you leisurely sail from one sun-drenched Caribbean island to another.”

The come-on is called “Frozen…a la Oceania Cruises.”

So, there is Frozen…and there is Frozen. 

And that’s how you mix your drink with a movie.

Today at portsandbows.com: All the latest cruise news

Royal Caribbean Adventure of the Seas
7 nights
January 25, 2015
San Juan (return): BarbadosSt. LuciaAntiguaSt. MaartenSt. Croix
Inside: $382
Cost per day: $54
www.royalcaribbean.com

Frequency of lightning at sea

Friends and cruise writing colleagues of ours, Harry and Joan Shattuck of Houston, just returned from two weeks on the Nieuw Amsterdam, Holland America’s flagship. During their cruise, the ship was hit by lightning, which you would think happens about as often as planes are hit by lightning.

Almost never, right?

Yesterday, Cruise Fever reported that the Disney Magic lost power in the Gulf of Mexico and was “dead in the water” after a passenger reported a huge puff of smoke near the bow preceded the power failure.

Again, it doesn’t  happen often.

However, we were surprised when our friends the Shattucks discovered while talking to the Holland America captain that this was “only the second time” this had happened when he was on a ship.

Only?

Perhaps these things happen more often than we think!

Today at portsandbows.com: All the latest cruise news

Carnival Victory
5 nights
February 5, 2015
Miami (return): Freeport, Little Stirrup Cay, Nassau 
Inside: $179
Cost per day: $35
www.carnival.com

The Vancouver Cruise Experience

If there’s a more beautiful arrival port than Vancouver — this side of Venice — we haven’t seen it. The one time we arrived at the Port of Vancouver, on the Coral Princess, it was breathtaking. Considering that we once lived there, that says something.

Breathtaking, until we disembarked. Then, we were out of breath for a different reason. Trying to negotiate our way through the terminal, past the buses, carrying and wheeling four or five pieces of luggage was, in a word, exhausting.

Good news is on the horizon.

Next year, when the Alaska season brings cruise ships to the West Coast, the Port of Vancouver terminal will be only the one at Canada Place (an older one, called Ballantyne VancouverPier, is being retired). What’s more, changes to Canada Place will mean, in the words of Port authorities: “cruise terminal passenger flows to improve efficiency and optimize the passenger experience.”

About time!

The improvements come in the form of two new escalators, plus additional check-in and marshaling space, which hopefully also includes additional check-out space.And there’s more good news…

Royal Caribbean ships were able to use shore power for the first time, joining ships from Disney, Holland America and Princess. That has reduced greenhouse gas emissions by more than 11,000 tonnes. While we are unable to put that into global context, we know this: It’s good.

Vancouver is closing in on a million visitors a year from cruise ships, resulting in near half a million hotel stays in British Columbia and an estimated $2 million in economic activity each time a cruise ships arrives. But the best part for us is still that getting off the ship — hopefully — will be easier.

We’re happy to have our breath taken away once, not twice.

Today at portsandbows.com: On board the new Quantum of the Seas

Carnival Freedom
6 nights
December 21, 2014
Fort Lauderdale (return): Key West, Grand Cayman, Cozumel
Inside: $379
Cost per day: $63
www.carnival.com

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