Nerdel puppets to educate and entertain kids on Celebrity Cruises

The new Celebrity Silhouette is the first of Celebrity's ships to team with The Nerdel Company to offer education and entertainment to the kids in their Shipmates program.

By Jackie Roseboom

The Nerdel Company is devoted to making children and adults all over the world more aware of healthy choices, such as eating better and physical fitness. Developed by a team including doctors, nutritionists, chefs, fitness professionals, educators and entertainment experts, the company aims to address the issues of childrens obesity, hunger, fitness and health in an educational and entertaining way.

Celebrity has introduced its Nerdel program on the brand-new Celebrity Silhouette, which debuted in Europe this summer, and plans to launch the program on most of its other ships by Oct. 15. The educational and playful Nerdal company offers an interactive program featuring activities themed around healthy choices and starring a puppet named Nerdel, known for his endearing, lovable personality.

“We are truly honored to be working with Celebrity Cruises,” Dr. Marc Kesselman, chairman and CEO of The Nerdel Company, said. “It’s a wonderful match to join forces with a vacation company that leads the industry in engaging onboard experiences, to bring the highest quality of children’s programming and edutainment to Celebrity’s upscale brand.”

Live puppet performances, puppet workshops, children’s puppet performances and lessons on the art of puppeteering will be at the core of Celebrity’s onboard Nerdel activities for “Shipmates” (ages three to five) and “Cadets” (ages six to eight) spending time in Celebrity’s Fun Factory. Children also will have the opportunity to explore The World of Nerdel, which includes a custom-designed Celebrity Cruises activity book with crossword puzzles, word searches, matching games, coloring and more. The World of Nerdel also offers Celebrity’s young guests the opportunity to explore their musical side through custom-designed and standard sing-along songs. Activities onboard will also include a video by the “Chef Mangel” (pronounced Mahn-gell) puppet, followed by a fun and healthy pizza-making class.

“We know our guests’ vacation time is precious, which is why we focus on delivering a luxurious, relaxing and fun experience onboard,” said Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, senior vice president of hotel operations. “By teaming with Nerdel and The Nerdel Company to offer unique and engaging games and activities, we are hoping to play a part in instilling wellness-focused values in children by empowering them with the knowledge that they need to make better nutritional choices and take charge of their physical fitness, from an early age.”

The World of Nerdel also has a land-based component that children can continue to enjoy after their vacation. With an iPad application, an interactive website (nerdel.com) and animated presentations, Nerdel can continue to play a positive part in Celebrity’s youngest guests’ continued learning about how to make healthy choices. Parents will no doubt be happy about this new addition.

For more information about cruises on Celebrity featuring Nerdel, or to book a your next Celebrtiy Cruise visit celebritycruises.com or contact your travel agent.

MSC Divina is afloat and ready to be primped for her 2012 debut

MSC Divina, floating out of dry dock B of the STX Europe shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France on September 3, 2011. Image courtesy of MSC

By Jackie Roseboom

MSC Divina, the third and latest addition to the MSC Cruises’ flagship Fantasia class, was ceremoniously floated out of dry dock on Sept. 3. She was transferred to a different dock at the STX Europe shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France for final fitting and furnishing ahead of her christening in May 2012. The occasion was witnessed by a select group of guests who gathered to applaud the ship which will become the 12th and most magnificent of the MSC Cruses fleet. It was a major milestone in the build of the new 140,000 ton, 4,363 passenger MSC cruise ship.

As the most advanced of the trio of Fantasia Class cruise ships, cutting edge technical changes on MSC Divina include more powerful propulsion motors (rated at 21.8 MW each. That’s 1.8 more than the motor on the MSC Splendida), brand new alternators and a state-of-the-art air-conditioning system. The ship will also feature a new reverse osmosis system for fresh water production that requires 40 percent less power, therefore assuring less environmental impact.
Construction of MSC Divina started over a year ago. A complement of 74 mega-blocks, each consisting of a set of large pre-fabricated hull components were used in assembling the ship. Work on the keel is nearly completed. Fifty percent of the fitting out has been done which includes completion of the electrical networking, plumbing and public areas. Work has also already started on 400 of the 1,751 cabins. That’s one hundred more than her sister ships.

She is named in honor of Sophia Loren, modern day Italian film legend and patron of the MSC Cruises fleet. MSC Divina will be appropriately themed as a divine goddess.

The ship’s 18 decks (13 of them for passengers) will be named after the gods of Ancient Greece; among them are Urano, Afrodite, Aurora, Giunone, Artemide, Zeus, Mercurio, Cupido, Iride, Minerva, Apollo, Saturno and Elios.
The aft Garden Pool will enhance the “sent from the gods” feel of the ship. It’s being designed and decorated as a heavenly upscale area for a quiet retreat. It will provide a great place to watch the sunset or to star gaze at night.

Regular mediterranean cruises start in June 2012. For more information contact MSC at msccruisesusa.com or call a travel professional.

Breeze beckons Carnival enthusiasts

Artist rendering courtesy Carnival - The 3,690-passenger Carnival Breeze, a sister-ship to the recently-launched Carnival Dream and Carnival Magic, will debut in Europe in June 2012. She will feature an expansive pool deck, contemporary furnishings and tropical décor in staterooms.

By Michael Coleman

Carnival has launched “Carnival Breeze Life’’, a campaign to inspire potential passengers to celebrate a Caribbean island mindset year-round in anticipation of the debut of their new tropical-infused ship.

Carnival Breeze, a 3,690-passenger vessel, sets sails in Europe in June, 2012. After a summer in Europe she will then sail year-round from Miami beginning November 24, 2012, offering port-intensive six- and eight-day cruises that showcase the best the Caribbean has to offer.

By visiting the new Carnival Breeze tab on the company’s Facebook page ( HYPERLINK “http://www.facebook.com/carnival” www.facebook.com/carnival), potential passengers can enjoy an engaging social experience with exclusive opportunities, videos and giveaways — all while learning more about the new 130,000-ton ship. The tab includes a “Meet the Carnival Breeze” area with detailed renderings offering a sneak peek at the ship’s public spaces.

Just as Carnival Breeze is designed to provide guests with the breezy feeling of the tropics, the campaign encourages potential passengers to infuse the Caribbean spirit into their everyday lives.  By visiting the Carnival Breeze tab on the company’s Facebook page, fans can declare “I Will Live the Carnival Breeze Life” to join the movement. For each person who joins, Carnival will donate $1, up to $20,000 total, to its charitable partner, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, one of the world’s premiere centers for the research and treatment of pediatric cancer and other childhood diseases.

“As we gear up for the introduction of our tropical-inspired Carnival Breeze, we encourage Carnival fans to celebrate the spirit of the Caribbean in their everyday lives,” said Jim Berra, chief marketing officer for Carnival Cruise Lines. “Whether it’s donning flip-flops to a business meeting or adding a drink umbrella to your morning orange juice, we invite visitors to regularly explore all the fun, interactive experiences and videos about Carnival Breeze and island life on our Facebook page.’’

The ship will feature a number of open areas to highlight the sun, sea and sky complemented by colorful interiors and public spaces that take their cues from the region’s cool island breezes and warm tropical sunsets.

Through dramatic artist renderings, fans can also get a first look at Carnival Breeze’s design on Facebook and at HYPERLINK “http://www.carnivalbreeze.com/” www.carnivalbreeze.com. From the sun-splashed ambiance of the Lido Marketplace restaurant and a palm tree-lined indoor/outdoor café and live entertainment venue called Ocean Plaza to the Lanai outdoor wraparound promenade with sweeping ocean views and the Caribbean-inspired RedFrog Pub, ship designers seek to bring the Caribbean ambience inside. The breezy tropical surroundings will even extend to the ship’s staterooms which incorporate a palette of pastel hues.

Potential passengers are also encouraged to turn to the Carnival Breeze Facebook tab where each Thursday from 3-4 pm EDT the company will feature an hour-long Carnival Breeze Break. During these weekly sessions Carnival fans can chat with each other and the Carnival team to share their tips and stories of Caribbean fun plus receive giveaways — from island-inspired food and drink recipes to Carnival Breeze desktop wallpaper and more.

The new Facebook tab also features an exclusive photo gallery where Carnival fans can showcase how they are inspired to live in the spirit of the Carnival Breeze. Here, visitors will also find tips to Live the Carnival Breeze Life plus enjoy a comedic Web series featuring “Mr. Breezie,” a character who is transformed by the Carnival Breeze lifestyle.

Visitors to the ship’s website will also find a “How It’s Made” section featuring a construction timeline with images and videos of the shipbuilding progress.  The site also offers a countdown clock for the ship’s U.S. arrival, consumer testimonials, port-of-call and itinerary offerings, and information on the many dining, activity and entertainment choices available.

On the web: http://www.carnival.com” .