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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

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 Impact of Frozen and Friends

Frozen cruises. Now there’s an oxymoron. With the exception of adventurous expeditions to the Poles, cruises are generally for warm-weather people. Lie on the Disney ship-Frozendeck, swim in the pool, sit in the moonlight on the balcony. None of these things works on a “frozen cruise.”

Unless it’s Disney.

Everybody knows Frozen, the movie…while we did hear a movie critic claim she had never heard “Do You Want To Build A Snowman?” Perhaps she doesn’t get out much. So okay, almost everybody has heard of Frozen…the movie, the music, the characters. To the surprise of no one, Frozen characters are going on Disney ships.

Anna and ElsaNo  dates yet, but one Florida travel agency is reporting that Princess Anna and Queen Elsa will be making appearances on three of Disney’s four ships: the Magic, the Wonder and the Fantasy. It will be on cruises to the Caribbean and — here’s another shocker — Alaska.

Disney, meanwhile, is reporting that for the first time it will be cruising to Scotland, Iceland and Norway, the animated “country” that was the movie’s set…and the impact Frozen Norwayon the real Norway has been nothing short of astounding. Disney is implementing guided tours called “A Full Frozen Package” that include fjord visits, trout fishing and a visit to Bergen. Since the movie’s release, traffic to the VisitNorway website has tripled, traffic is up 52 per cent on Norwegian Air Shuttle, searches for Norwegian flights are up 153 per cent and hotel bookings are up 37 per cent.

Frozenmania is widespread. We know people who like everything Frozen.

In a manner of speaking, that is.

Today at portsandbows.com: Copenhagen’s copious attractions

Carnival Splendor
7 nights
September 13, 2014
New York (return): Boston, Portland, Saint John, Halifax
Inside: $409
Cost per day: $58
www.carnival.com

Food For Thought From A Man Of Many Cruises

Yesterday we bumped into our neighbor Tom, who has been on more cruises than we have and thereby qualifies as something of an expert on likes and dislikes of cruising…mostly likes, because he wouldn't be on cruise ships if he didn't enjoy them.

Tom has been on Oasis of the Seas three times. A friend of his questioned why he Oasis of the Seaswould go on a ship so big, saying he would never go because there were too many people. Royal Caribbean's Oasis Class flagship can handle about 6,000 passengers.

"Because it's so big," Tom reasoned, "there are lots of places to go. So it feels the same as if you're on a ship that carries two or three thousand people."

MagicInteresting is that our neighbor felt so comfortable on a ship so big.

On another cruise, Tom's ship was the Disney Magic. At dinner the first night, he mentioned to the waiter that he didn’t like his food too spicy. The next day he received a call in his stateroom from Disney staff, advising Tom that scallops was on that night's menu and assuring him care would be taken to make certain his dish wasn't too spicy.

That continued throughout the cruise.

"Of all our cruises," he says, "that was my best food experience."

Just a couple of observations from a seasoned cruiser.

Today Phil Reimer answers a question at portsandbows.com: Vienna? Amsterdam? Budapest? What's YOUR choice?

Norwegian Sky
3 nights
August 15, 2014
Miami (return): NassauGreat Stirrup Cay
Inside: $159
Cost per day: $53
www.ncl.com

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