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‘Greased Lightning’ Coming To Harmony

Olivia Newton-JohnWhen you go to see Olivia Newton-John perform, as we did last week, there’s some baggage that comes with it. Friends and relatives who are less enlightened will say — or at least infer — that you’re living in the past. One was astounded that you passed up watching the World Series to see a 67-year-old “has-been” sing songs from another century. Some may even keep their distance, for fear of being tarred with the nostalgia brush.

We didn’t care. We loved Olivia’s show and, unless our hearing is going, she sounded as good as the last time we saw her 33 years ago.

Furthermore, we love Grease. One of us has seen it so many times she’s lost count. Her husband has to admit it’s a classic, too. What’s not to love?

In the movie, Olivia Newton-John plays Sandy Olsson. John Travolta plays Danny Zuko. If you don’t already know that, you’re probably not interested in knowing that Sandy and HarmonyDanny are going to be performing Grease on Royal Caribbean’s third (and next) Oasis Class ship, when Harmony of the Seas is launched next year.

That means they’ll be singing Greased Lightning, Summer Nights and Beauty School Dropout together, just like Olivia and one of her back-up singers (no Travolta, but very good) did last week in Las Vegas.

On Harmony of the Seas, Grease will be the main theater entertainment.

As it should be.

In the news…

• Norwegian Escape christened by 'Godfather' Pitbull in Miami
• MSC, Cirque du Soleil in long-term partnership for Meraviglia Class ship shows
• Star Princess ends successful cruise season for Canada's Victoria Harbour

Today at portsandbows.com: Anthem of the Seas — Part Two

Carnival Dream
7 nights
January 31, 2016
New Orleans (return): Roatan, Belize, Cozumel  
Inside: $419
Cost per day: $59

Batter Up for the Celebrity Sox

I love cruising. I love baseball. When Celebrity announced yesterday that it's now the "official cruise line of the Boston Red Sox", for me there was only one thing I didn't like about it.

Wrong Sox.

When I was a still a second-grader, my parents took me to Chicago (Palatine, Ill. actually) and introduced me to big-league baseball. It happened that the White Sox and not the Cubs were home that week, planting the seed for a lifelong attachment to a team that has won the World Series fewer times than Boston in the last century — which is to say one time.

But the Red Sox are the darlings of Fenway. There's something romantic about all things Boston but especially the Red Sox. Before they broke their 85-year curse for trading Babe Ruth to the Yankees, sympathy poured over the Red Sox and there were widespread celebrations when the jinx mercifully ended in 2004.

The next year, the "other Sox" ended their 88-year drought by winning the Series. Outside of Chicago, did anybody but me really care? Were there any distant celebrations beyond the champagne cork that popped on our patio?

So it figures that when Celebrity went looking for a "celebrity" big-league team, it would be the Red Sox, who by the way have won two World Series since 1918 yet still are more popular than teams far more successful. The new marketing arrangement 

between the two means a 2014 Red Sox Fan Cruise with former (unnamed) Boston players and announcer Joe Castiglione. The Silhouette leaves Fort Lauderdale on January 12 for a week in the Western Caribbean.

Not everybody will pay to be there. At four home games every month before then, Celebrity will give Fenway fans a chance to win a trip for two on the special cruise. Every time the Red Sox turn a double play at home this season — Boston's averaging one DP a game so far — one fan will get $200 off a Celebrity cruise. There will be special events with giveaways and appearances by Red Sox legends throughout the season, and it won't be hard to find a Celebrity sign at Fenway.

The timing of the announcement couldn't be better for the cruise line: The Red Sox have the best record in baseball and they have rabid fans from "Red Sox Nation" ready to line up for World Series.

But they still have the wrong Sox.

Carnival Glory
7 nights
September 28, 2013
 New York (return): Boston, Portland, Saint John, Halifax, Sydney
Inside: $369
Cost per day: $52

Magic Meeting with Maroon 5

If you watched the singing of the National Anthem this week at the World Series, and if you’ve read or heard any of the National Anthem Pundits (who knew there were such things?), then you know the time has come to mess with Texas.

While Ronnie Dunn — he’s from a different branch of this family tree — was a popular choice for Game 3, young ladies named Zooey Deschanel (Game 4) and Demi Lovato (Game 5) left at least some of the critics thinking Texans are a little off-key.

Carnival to the rescue!

Next month, just before the Carnival Magic makes its inaugural departure from its new home, Galveston (that’s in Texas), festivities will begin with a concert by Maroon 5. If you don’t know Maroon 5, you probably should, because this five-man band has been nominated for eight Grammy Awards and won three.

And if you don’t know Maroon 5, maybe your kids or grandkids do, because they’ve been classed as rockers in pop, funk and alternative genres. However, these five guys are not exactly newbies. They’ve been Maroon 5 since 2002 and for eight years before that, they were Kara’s Flowers, which was a good reason for nobody to know who they were.

They play with people like Christina Aguilera and Rihanna, which means they’re talented. From the little we’ve heard of the boys in Maroon 5, they do sing on key.

The Galveston show, which is free to people who win tickets in a variety of ways, is on November 13. Carnival’s newest ship, the Magic, leaves port for the first time the next day. Maroon 5 heads west for the American Music Awards.

Maybe before the group goes, Texas can book them for its next World Series national anthem.

Azamara Journey
14 nights
December 4, 2011
Barbados to Rio de Janeiro
Inside $2,849

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