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Big Doin's In Big D On Sunday

Dallas StadiumIf you’re watching the Cowboys and the Giants from Texas on Sunday, there’s a couple of performers at the “palace in Dallas” (actually, Arlington) that you probably won’t see. Both of them have to do with cruising (actually, Carnival).

One is Rascal Flatts. The award-winning country band is doing a pre-game show. The Carnival connection is that next year Rascal Flatts will be doing shows as part of Carnival Live — dates and places still unknown.

The other is Guy Fieri. He’s also doing a pre-game show — well, sort of — but it’ll be out in the parking lot, where all good hamburger chefs belong when there’s a tail-gate party and they can sell some product. This Carnival connection here, of course, is that Señor Fieri’s burgers are consumed in great numbers on all 24 ships.

Carnival has hitched its wagon (they do a lot of that in Texas) to the Cowboys in the promotional department because that’s one of the synergies, as they say, that seems to work for cruise lines and football teams alike. In one form or another, each sells its product to the other’s customers, not all of whom overlap.

This isn’t entirely new.

Carnival already co-promotes with the New Orleans Saints (at least they and the Cowboys can never meet in the Super Bowl) and has a long association with the Miami Heat. Norwegian is the “official cruise line” of the Miami Dolphins, and has a working relationship with the New York Knicks. Celebrity has been tied to the New York Rangers. And last month, Princess announced it was becoming a proud sponsor of NFL teams in Seattle, Houston and San Francisco.

The difference this time is that Carnival is marketing in a big way with a team in Dallas, which is not a cruise port.

Then again, the Cowboys are “America’s team.”

Today at portsandbows.com: Some of the Oasis changes

Carnival Dream
7 nights
December 14, 2014
New Orleans (return): Key West, Freeport, Nassau
Inside: $329
Cost per day: $47
www.carnival.com

Teams and Cruise Lines: Is There an End Game?

Okay, does the cruise industry understand what it's getting itself into here? Earlier this year, Celebrity became the official cruise line of the Boston Red Sox. Then, Norwegian adopted the New York Knicks. Now, it's Carnival and the New Orleans Saints

Do cruise lines have any idea of many of  "them" there are compared to how many of "us"?

If you just take the four major sports, there are 122 teams — football (32), baseball (30), basketball (30) and hockey (30). How far down the list of cruise lines would you have to go to find a sponsor for the 122nd team on the list — the Southern Liberian Canoe Company? There can't be 122 cruise lines, can there?

And how could any of them dodge the conflict-of-interest morality to be the "official cruise line" of more than one team?

Even if you made it the official "baseball" cruise line of the Boston Red Sox, allowing them to spread their officialdom to other sports, you'd still need at least 30 cruise lines to complete the process.

Somehow, saying that the Oklahoma City Thunder's official cruise line is the Pearl Seas Cruises just doesn't sound right, does it?

Royal Caribbean Serenade of the Seas
15 nights

November 23, 2013
BarcelonaCadizTenerifeLisbon, Salvador De Bahia, Rio De JanieroSao Paulo 
Inside: $739
Cost per day: $49
www.royalcaribbean.com

It's Official…Knicks Cruising Norwegian

Timing is, indeed, everything. On the day that the New York Knicks open the new NBA season, Norwegian trumpets the fact that it is now the "official cruise line" of the Knicks. Coincidence, or getting the biggest bang for your buck?

And the Knicks even co-operated, polishing off Milwaukee 90-83 in last night's season opener. No, Milwaukee doesn't have an official cruise line so that was clearly the difference…right?

imgres copyThis is the 40th anniversary of a once-storied NBA franchise that is coming off a division title at just the right time…for Norwegian, too. The cruise line is getting more firmly entrenched in the Big Apple with each passing year — probably starting with the arrival of the Breakaway, the "unofficial" cruise ship of New York City, early in 2013.

Yes, right about the time the Knicks were making headlines for the first time in two decades by ushering the mighty Boston Celtics from the playoffs.

Again, karma.

And just in case you think Norwegian's next new ship, the Getaway, is going to adopt an NBA team when it hunkers down in Miami…not going to happen.

The Heat is a team owned by Micky Arison…you know, the guy who also owns Carnival.

Royal Caribbean Adventure of the Seas
7 nights
January 19, 2014
San Juan (return): St. ThomasSt. KittsArubaCuracao
Inside: $579
Cost per day: $70
www.royalcaribbean.com

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