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The 'Allure' Of DreamWorks' Shrek

When reflecting on 2014, come December, it just may be our “Year of Shrek.”

For people who used to think the word was simply a misspelled synonym for “scream” — as in “shriek” —having two Shrek experiences in the same year was at least unusual, and at most unthinkable.

But we did.

The first was on Allure of the Seas. Royal Caribbean has a promotional deal with Shrek-TUTSDreamWorks, which has among its stable of characters Shrek and Fiona. On the Allure, both were part of the ship’s parade (as opposed to the parade of ships), and we were among the spectators, camera in hand.

The movie of the same name was available for passengers to watch. We’d already seen it.

A few weeks after disembarking, there we were again. Or there Shrek was again. This time, it was in Vancouver’s Stanley Park, at Theatre Under The Stars, where a cast of thousands (okay, dozens) did a stage adaptation of the movie. Yes, Shrek, The Musical.

For this occasion, we had company. It was family time and family included three grandchildren. That was the reason for going, wasn’t it? Shrek is for kids. Yet a funny thing happened that night in the park.

The kids loved it, but the adults loved it more!

Today at portsandbows.com: The latest in cruise news

Royal Caribbean Brilliance of the Seas
4 nights
November 13, 2014
Tampa (return): Cozumel
Inside: $290
Cost per day: $72

Dream Partnership of Royalty

What’s in a name? If the name is DreamWorks, just split it. The “Dream”…”Works.” As far as Royal Caribbean cruise ships are, it sure does.

Last week, Shrek and Madagascar and Kung Fu Panda expanded their families. Or maybe Royal Caribbean expanded its family.

The first time the famous DreamWorks characters appeared on a cruise ship, it was Oasis of the Seas. That was in 2009. Last year, along came the identical twin to the Oasis, Allure of the Seas. Since the sea-faring siblings were identical, that meant DreamWorks was on board.

Then Royal Caribbean extended the agreement with DreamWorks to include Liberty of the Seas and Freedom of the Seas, it’s next-biggest ships. And as of last week, Voyager of the Seas was added to the list, as the fifth Royal ship on which you can rub shoulders with Shrek.

Five ships down, 17 to go.

Does DreamWorks work? You think?

Carnival Sensation
4 nights
January 15, 2012
Port Canaveral (return) to Bahamas
Inside $189

Interested in a “free” cruise? Check out our colleague Phil Reimer’s blog at portsandbows.com.

Some highlights from Cruise Year 2010

It was the year that…

Oasis of the Seas was replaced as the “biggest ship in the world” by Allure of the Seas, which won the competition by one-fifth of an inch, or five millimeters — the fact is the two Royal Caribbean siblings are identical in size when it comes to the number of passengers each can carry…about 6,000.

Norwegian’s star-crossed Epic arrived, surviving two fires in the shipyard in France in May and a few controversies once it hit the water with passengers in the summer (an aside here…while this ship is different from any other, our first-hand experience is that it’s a great ride).

• Cruising booms were felt in Australia, China, Europe and Cuba.

• New cruise ship godmothers (or godmothers-to-be) ranged from Queen Elizabeth to Reba McEntire to Mary Hart to Princess Maxima to Shrek’s wife Fiona…joining a list that already included Tinker Bell, Whoopi Goldberg and Sophia Loren, among others. Note: It was the second ship offspring for Queen Elizabeth.

Celebrity’s Eclipse, Holland America’s Nieuw Amsterdam and the Seabourn Sojourn joined new ships on the seas.

• Hurricane predictions threatened to be a record high, and there were 19, but none of them came close to rivaling the damage done by the earthquake in Haiti  and the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, tragedies which both involved but didn’t threaten cruise ships.

• A fire on the Splendour left the Carnival ship drifting off the coast of Mexico, powerless for three days and helpless to a barrage of criticism that came mostly from the shore.

• The Splendour escaped with no injuries, 100 passengers were injured when Brilliance of the Seas rolled sharply after being caught in unexpectedly rough weather.

• The 100-passenger Clelia II was damaged after hitting massive waves on its way back from Antarctica, and a video shot from a rescue coast guard ship was all over YouTube.

Starbucks opened a cruise-ship store (Allure of the Seas).

• The controversial Alaska head tax was reduced from $46 to $34.50, which made everybody happy, especially people who believed it was going to severely impact cruises to the 49th state.

• Small-ship line Cruise West folded after more than a decade in business, leaving its flagship Oceanius in Newfoundland, and so much for that world cruise.

• Ship entertainment welcomed a cast of new characters from Dreamworks (Shrek) on Royal Caribbean and Nickelodeon (SpongeBob SquarePants) on Norwegian, leaving competitor Pixar (Toy Story) adrift.

• The most bizarre happenings were ash, of all things, from a volcanic eruption in Iceland delaying thousands of passengers trying to catch cruise ships…and a woman having a baby on the Carnival Paradise (doesn’t anybody check on these things in advance?).

President Obama signed the Cruise Vessel Safety and Security Act, a list of safety requirements that must be upheld by all ships sailing into and out of U.S. ports.

Cunard broke with a 170-year-old tradition and put a woman at the helm of one of its ships, the Queen Victoria.

• The most controversial “float-out” of the year was when Carnival floated the idea of charging for steak in the main dining room, and the jury is still out on where that will go from here.

Did we miss anything?

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