Tag-Archive for » Godmothers «

Cruising: It’s All About The Food

Chef Curtis StoneFor some of us, there’s an old (and probably outdated) saying that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach…i.e., good cooks get good husbands. The subjects may have changed but the principle has not.

Good cooking gets many cruisers.

As the year winds down, there are two more examples to validate that thinking.

1) Princess Cruises has been hyping the fact that Chef Curtis Stone has opened his own restaurant (SHARE) on select ships, such as the Ruby Princess and Emerald Princess, with more likely to follow. The “headlines” are “Chef Curtis Stone invites you…” and “Chef Curtis Stone shares his love with this special ingredient…”  and “A favorite family recipe from Chef Curtis Stone…”

2) The new Godmother of the Oceania Sirena — next year — will be Claudine Pepin, who has the right surname to be in the kitchen creating cuisines-des-spectacles. She is, of course, the daughter of the famous Jacques Pepin, who is Oceania’s master chef and The Pepinswhose restaurant is named after him and on two ships, the Riviera and the Marina.

See, it’s all about the food.

While we wouldn’t know Curtis Stone from Oliver Stone (we would know him from Sharon), it’s clear this Aussie “Celebrity Apprentice” grad has many followers and many exquisite recipes. He also has a restaurant in Beverly Hills called Maude, which means that a lot of the beautiful people enjoy his menus. And now a lot of cruisers will, too.

Claudine Pepin, also apparently, has some healthy credentials to go with her healthy food. Her Dad, who turns 80 before Christmas, made it big with Julia Child at his side on PBS and now Claudine’s stepping up in class with him at her side. She also had a PBS show — Cooking With Claudine — and this year has her first cookbook on the shelves for Christmas, Kids Cook French.

As generations of cooking go, both she and Curtis Stone represent a passing of the torch.

Or at least the spatula.

In the news…

• MSC Cruises offers 2-for-1 Caribbean fares for balcony guests starting April 23
• Flash from the past: Verandah Restaurant to open in June on Queen Mary 2
• Two sets of tourism students spend a day on Norwegian Epic in Cannes

Today at portsandbows.comSuite time with Celebrity


Carnival Fantasy
5 nights
January 27, 2016
Charleston (return): Nassau, Freeport
Inside: $409
Cost per day: $81
www.carnival.com

Cruise World Getting New Anthem

The newest cruise ship coming to America is, in reality, more than six months old. Among other things, that means Anthem of the Seas will have any little glitches eliminated by the time it heads off on its first Caribbean cruise a week from today.

Royal Caribbean’s newest Quantum Class ship arrives in New York (actually, across the river in New Jersey) this week to be introduced to media, travel agents and assorted VIPs on this side of the Atlantic. Our colleague Phil Reimer is among the invited guests and will be delivering his impression of the ship at Ports and Bows.

Screen Shot 2015-11-02 at 8.23.11 PMHow is Anthem of the Seas different from her sister, Quantum of the Seas, which turned a year old yesterday?

For starters, Anthem’s accessible. She will sail permanently from Bayonne’s Cape Liberty port, and Quantum is stationed — also permanently — in Singapore. And while Quantum’s Godmother is the gifted and effervescent Kristin Chenoweth, Anthem was christened by Emma Wilby, who is widely known on the other side of the Atlantic as an author and historian (and singer) but who could likely walk through Central Park without anybody knowing her.

Other than that, according to all reports, there’s not a lot to choose between the two ships except that Anthem of the Seas has the benefit of being tweaked, technologically and otherwise, following Quantum’s year of service.

Both have the North Star to take passengers out over the water in a pod. Both have RipCord and SeaPlex for passengers who want the sensation of sky diving and the grit of bumper cars, respectively. Both have virtual balconies, robots who pour drinks in a bar, a 270-degree view from the trendy multi-level entertainment room called Two70, and four dining rooms from which to choose. The dining difference is that Quantum’s rooms were all — to steal a word from Norwegian — freestyle with no set dining times, seating arrangements or formalities, while Anthem of the Seas’ dining rooms will also have the traditional options.

The new ship will carry almost 5,000 passengers, making it No. 3 in that department between big sisters Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas. That and all its similarities to Quantum of the Seas will be more or less immaterial when it makes cruise headlines this week.

In the news…

• Crystal Cruises orders five yachts for 2016 launch into river cruise market
• Norwegian's Freestyle Choice offers back for November, December bookings
• Fathom to visit six U.S., two Canadian cities to market Dominican, Cuba cruises

Today at portsandbows.com: Holland America's new partners


Carnival Fascination
5 nights
November 16, 2015
Jacksonville (return): Nassau, Freeport
Inside: $249
Cost per day: $49
www.carnival.com

The Business of Ship Godmothers

Anthem

Is the whole Godmother thing wearing a little thin in the cruise world, are people getting tired of celebrities, or is there a shortage of “acceptable” celebrities?

The Godmother of Anthem of the Seas, the new Royal Caribbean ship that’s being christened in Southampton in two weeks, is Emma Wilby.

Emma Wilby?

She’s from the Wilbys of Kinloss, Scotland, where she sings in the Military Wives Choir. She’s undoubtedly a lovely lass, as the Scots would say, and when she christens the Emma WilbyAnthem she’ll sing an anthem, a special song written specifically for the occasion.

When all is said and done, she will be a celebrity of sorts…for singing, for christening and for being a ship’s godmother. She’ll join a Royal Caribbean list of godmothers that include Gloria Estefan, Whoopi Goldberg, Steffi Graf and Jane Seymour. Sophia Loren is also a Godmother, and so are Queen Elizabeth (not the ship) and her daughter-in-law, the Duchess of Cambridge.

Celebrity company that is, and if Emma feels a little out of place it’s easy to understand why. In addition to being a military wife — her husband is a royal engineer in the British Army — Emma is a travel agent.

And that is one of the pools of people into which cruise lines are dipping to find their godmothers now. She is not the first travel agent to be so selected, and one cruise line went in-house and picked employees to do the honors.

The conclusion to be drawn is that either celebrities bring too much “baggage” with them, making it more difficult to use them to market such a wholesome product as cruising…or maybe it’s just that travel agents just sell more tickets.

Today at portsandbows.com: Princess ship a bilingual experience in Japan

Holland America Eurodam
12 nights
May 8, 2015
Copenhagen (return): Kiel, Tallinn, St. Petersburg, Helsinki, Stockholm, Berlin
Inside: $829
Cost per day: $69
www.hollandamerica.com

The Changing World Of Godmothers

Remember when being the godmother of a cruise ship was an honor reserved for celebrities, royalty or others who were already enjoying some measure of fame?

Times have changed.

Today is a “reality world.”

Acknowledging that, and in partnership with Travel Weekly, Royal Caribbean is going to have what might be called the cruise world’s first “reality godmother” when Anthem of the Seas is launched in April. This ship’s godmother will be a singing travel agent.

Really?

Really. Also, reality.

Here’s how it will work:

Travel agents (women only) can apply by submitting a short video clip of their singing ability. They’ll choose from a list of 19 songs. The list of potential godmothers will be trimmed to five by a panel of three judges who will watch the videos. The five finalists will sing for the judges and the winner will — after a little voice coaching — appear at the ships’ christening where she will sing the anthem.

Anthem, get it?

The winner will also sing at Travel Weekly’s Agent Achievement Awards and win a cruise-for-two on Anthem of the Seas. The winner will also enjoy at least 15 minutes of fame, or royalty, or celebrity, or all of the above.

So far, nobody’s saying that this will turn into an award-winning, long-running TV show that they’ll call Cruising Idol.

Today at portsandbows.com: Foodie new for Oceania fans

Holland American Maasdam
25 nights
March 13, 2015
Fort Lauderdale (return): St. Thomas, St. Barts, St. Lucia, Barbados, Grenada, Bonaire, Curacao, Half Moon Cay, Fort Lauderdale, St. Maarten, St. Kitts, St. Vincent, Barbados, Fort-de-France, St. Croix, Half Moon Cay
Inside: $1,349
Cost per day: $53
www.hollandamerica.com

Godmother Kristin WOWs PBS

A few days ago, one of us was fumbling the TV remote like a running back without stickum (now you know who was doing the fumbling) when lo and behold there was Kristin Kristin ChenowethChenoweth, who has made a career of not fumbling much of anything.

A year and a half ago, we didn’t know much about Kristin Chenoweth. Then we were fortunate enough to interview her in New York, after she was introduced as the Godmother for Quantum of the Seas, the new Royal Caribbean ship that these days is sailing out of Bayonne, New Jersey, just across the Hudson from where she lives.

Fortunate…because she not only made time for us, but was personable and polite and sweet, and all the other things she is on stage, which is not what a couple of country bumpkins expect from a celebrity. But maybe that’s because she’s something of a country bumpkin herself.

Her birthplace is in Oklahoma, in the Tulsa suburb of Broken Arrow, which brings us back to seeing her on TV the other night. She was doing a 90-minute special on PBS called, appropriately enough, Coming Home. It was from Broken Arrow, it was pretty much all her, and it gave the rest of the world — or at least the PBS viewers — a chance to see what Broken Arrow has known for a long time.

Kristin Chenoweth is very talented.

With her parents and her mentor in the front row, she sang and she joked and played comfortable to an audience she said made her nervous. The most poignant moment, and there were a few of them, was when she sang a song she’d recorded about her father called Fathers and Daughters. She said it would make her cry but it didn’t and her Dad had probably heard it often enough that he didn’t have to fight back tears, either.

Maybe the people at Royal Caribbean knew exactly what they were getting when they allowed her to make Quantum of the Seas “my godchild” and maybe they didn’t. 

But as Godmothers go, what they got came straight out of the Royal Caribbean promo book:

WOW!

Today at portsandbows.com: All the latest cruise news

Norwegian Jewel
7 nights
February 7, 2015
Houston (return): CozumelBelizeTrujillo
Inside: $419
Cost per day: $59
www.ncl.com

  • Categories

  • Archives