Norwegian Barking Up Different Tree

Okay, hands up, how many of you — when you heard Pitbull was named Godfather of the Norwegian Escape — first thought of a dog? And if you’re even more out of touch, did you think that cruise lines finally ran out of people and started picking canines to the star attraction when the Escape is christened, even if only to shock readers of headlines?

PitbullPitbull?

If you are more enlightened, or have kids to educate you, then you know Pitbull is a rapper. You may even know that he’s from Miami, the heart of cruising and the home of Norwegian. You may have heard that people also call him Mr. 305 (even we know that’s a Florida area code) or Mr. Worldwide because that’s how far his notoriety stretches. And you may have heard something else, too — like his music, notably Give Me Everything, at 368 million the most streamed of his songs.

As much as Pitbull wants everything, from cruising he’ll have to settle for a title.

The Godfather.

He kind of looks the part, although “godfathers” as the world has known them seem to be becoming a little obsolete. He does seem to have a certain amount of control of music streaming. On Pandora (that’s an Internet radio service, not a box), Pitbull has “3.34 billion streams, 14.5 million stations created and 11.2 million active listeners per month.” That’s even more cruisers than Norwegian has every year.

The connection between the two apparently started at the christening of the Getaway, Norwegian’s last new ship, in February 2014. He performed at the ceremony, where he also launched his personal brand of vodka (Voli), now available across the entire Norwegian Escape.jpgNorwegian fleet. When the Escape follows in the Getaway’s wake and meets the christening public next month in Miami, Pitbull will be playing a different role, with a different alcohol.

Armando Christian Perez (that’s the name he was christened with) will be asked to swing a bottle of bubbly with enough force to break it against the Escape’s bow, the final act of welcoming a new ship that has crossed the Atlantic into the world of cruising. It sounds like he’ll be asked to perform again, too, which will make him not just the first godfather of cruising but the first singing godfather of cruising.

Or rapping.

In the news…

• S. S. United States off to the scrapyard unless saviors found this month
• Carnival chosen 'most trusted cruise line' by Reader's Digest Magazine
• Oceania Cruises launching 60 new itineraries on six continents for 2016-17

Today at portsandbows.com: Cruise Critic editors pick winners


Carnival Paradise
5 nights
December 7, 2015
Tampa (return): Cozumel, Grand Cayman
Inside: $249
Cost per day: $49
www.carnival.com

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