Shrek, Madagascar and other characters sailing soon on Royal Caribbean

A young cruiser meets characters from the animated movie “Madagascar”. DreamWorks Animation characters will begin meeting with guests on the Allure of the Seas later this year. Photo courtesy Royal Caribbean

By Jackie Roseboom

DreamWorks Animation and Royal Caribbean are joining forces to bring fairy tales to life at sea.

Many of the fun characters from DreamWorks Animation movies will be newest entertainment on Royal Caribbean ships. Young (and young-at-heart) cruisers will be able to meet favorites such as the characters from “Shrek” – Fiona, Shrek and Puss in Boots; Alex, Marty and the Penguins from “Madagascar”; Po from “Kung Fu Panda”; and Hiccup from “How to train your Dragon”. The Allure of the Seas will be the first to have theses fun new characters onboard when it launches later this year.

“Royal Caribbean and DreamWorks Animation share many of the same philosophies when it comes to high-quality family entertainment, so there is quite a lot of synergy going into this strategic alliance,” said Adam Goldstein, president and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. “We are constantly striving to offer dynamic and engaging programming onboard our ships and couldn’t think of a better brand to help take it to the next level.”

Guest of all ages will be able to enjoy new unique experiences with these lovable characters during their cruise vacation. Special events and parades will entertain guests throughout the cruise. During the interactive character dining in the main dining room, guests can have a great meal with visits from the DreamWorks friends. Photo opportunities will be available all around the ship.

The Adventure Ocean children’s program is preparing a whole new line up. Children will love the new games and fun actives that will include their favorite animated characters. Dance parties, story times and more will all be included in the price of the cruise.

New and old DreamWorks Animation movies will also be available at sea. The installation of new 3D screens in the ship’s theaters will bring the movie watching experience up a notch. Guests will also have the option of enjoying the movies in their stateroom.

“Royal Caribbean is a world-class leader in the cruise ship industry who excels at continually finding innovative ways to raise the bar in providing family entertainment at sea,” said Jeffrey Katzenberg, CEO, DreamWorks Animation. “We look forward to working with them to incorporate Animation characters and storytelling throughout the entire cruise experience.”

The alliance of these two companies makes for another exciting first at sea as a cast of characters to take the stage in the AquaTheater. This amazing venue has a one of a kind aquatic based show full of acrobatics and high-diving stunts. The Madagascar Aqua Show, “Let you entertain me,” will be a treat for the whole family. Also, in addition to the already famous ice skating shows of Royal Caribbean, they’ll be adding a “How to Train Your Dragon” spectacular ice show. While these special shows won’t cost extra, cruisers might want to reserve their tickets early, for they’re sure to very popular.

Allure of the Seas will be sailing out of Fort Lauderdale to the Eastern and Western Caribbean throughout 2011. Sailing dates on the world’s largest ship start in December. After launching on Allure, the Animation-themed activities will be incorporated on Oasis of the Seas, Freedom of the Seas and Liberty of the Seas.

On the Web: royalcaribbean.com

Silver Whisper receives makeover

Silver Whisper, one of six ultra-luxury ships in the Silversea Cruises’ fleet, has just received a bow-to-stern makeover. Image courtesy Silversea Cruises

By Michael Coleman

Ultra-luxury Silversea Cruises’ Silver Whisper sailed from Rome this week on her first voyage following a successful 14-day dry-dock. 



“The enhancements aboard Silver Whisper represent our ongoing commitment to delivering a luxury travel experience that is unsurpassed,” said Amerigo Perasso, Silversea’s president and CEO.

“We made a significant investment in this renovation to ensure our guests continue to enjoy the very finest comforts and amenities in a totally refreshed and updated shipboard environment.” 

Echoing the sophisticated contemporary design themes and warm color palettes of Silversea’s newest ship, Silver Spirit, makeover highlights include:

The Suite Life
All carpets, headboards and curtains were completely replaced. The sofas and chairs feature new upholstery. Each suite has a new mattress custom-made exclusively for Silversea. Look also for a new memory foam pillow top that covers the mattress when configured as a queen-sized bed.



And in the larger suites (Owner’s, Grand, Royal and Silver), the veranda furniture was replaced and a new state-of-the-art home audio system added. The Owner’s, Grand and Royal Suites are outfitted with Bang & Olufsens BeoSound 3200 radio and CD player, and the Silver Suites have BeoSound 1, which features a CD and radio integrated into a speaker. 



By mid-June, all suites will feature new alarm clocks with iPod docks – as will all ships in the Silversea fleet. 



Public Areas
La Terrazza, the Panorama Lounge, Reception area, Spa, Card Room and Conference Room received new upholstery, carpeting, curtains and wall treatments. New carpet was laid in the Observation Lounge and new wood flooring in the Spa. The Restaurant’s hardwood floor was completely reconditioned and polished and the chairs dressed in new upholstery. An upgraded sound system was added to the Show Lounge, Panorama Lounge and La Terrazza.  New carpet was installed in all corridors, landings and staircases. 



Outdoor Spaces
The jogging track features all-new artificial turf, and the pool area has been outfitted with new deck furniture, plus a new sound and light system for evening entertainment and outdoor shows. The pool itself has been upgraded inside and out with new tiles. A large awning was installed over the outdoor dining section of La Terrazza. And the Pool Grill, sporting a new awning as well, will become The Grill for evening dining.


In addition to enjoying a fresh reconditioning and polishing of teak decks and woodwork, the ship underwent thorough maintenance on mechanical and propulsion systems. 
  


Tempting Itineraries
The line offers guests large-ship amenities aboard intimate, all-suite vessels:  Silver Cloud, Silver Wind, Silver Shadow, Silver Whisper and Silver Spirit – all designed to offer an atmosphere of conviviality and casual elegance. With the inclusion of the line’s expedition ship Prince Albert II, the company’s itineraries encompass all seven continents.   



On the web — silversea.com

Remy to offer an adults-only fine dining experience on the Disney Dream

Disney Dream’s classic French design restaurant will feature graceful curved lines on chair backs, in wall treatments and etched in glass; Nouveau-style floral and leaf design in the carpet; and warm lighting. Remy from “Ratatouille” will be subtly integrated into the design. Artist rendering by Disney Cruise Line

By Matt Roseboom

When Disney’s newest ship, Disney Dream, launches early next year, it will offer a number of firsts, a new “Villains Tonight!” stage show, a water coaster and virtual portholes for inside cabins, among other things. Now they’ve announced their first-ever premier dining option. A new restaurant called Remy will offer French-inspired, gourmet cuisine by two award-winning chefs.

Remy will meld classic and contemporary styles with a new dining concept exclusively for adults. With a subtle nod to the hit Disney Pixar film “Ratatouille” and its diminutive French rodent star Remy, the softly lit main dining room with seating for 80 is designed in Art Nouveau style with a palate of soft greens, deep reds and rich golds. The Remy character is subtly and artfully integrated into the design.

Dinner will start with a signature chilled Champagne cocktail made tableside, followed by eight to nine small courses complemented by a wine list. Polished touches at Remy include a tableside trolley for serving international cheeses, decanting stations for wines, and post-prandial coffee service including French press and grand crème.

Tables are elegantly set with Frette linens, Riedel glassware, Christofle silverware and china made exclusively for Remy, with accents such as purse stools for women’s handbags. The serving staff will be part of the story, dressed in long white aprons, black jackets or burgundy vests and bow ties.

“From the moment our guests walk through the door, they are seamlessly transported to a fine French dining experience,” said Ozer Balli, vice president, Disney Cruise Line Hotel Operations.

A private Chef’s Table dining room seats 16 and offers a glimpse into the kitchen. The room is furnished with rich “Ratatouille”-inspired décor — bold red carpet, chairs and drapes with touches of gold, opulent chandeliers, and scenes of Paris on the walls. Chef’s Table has its own entrance to the kitchen to allow the chefs’ easy access, and offers a special multi-course menu.

A glass-walled wine room with marble flooring has seating for up to 16 guests amid more than 900 bottles of wine including a rare selection of Old World wines balanced with a solid selection of New World wines. Cruisers are invited to meet with a sommelier in Remy’s wine room to taste and pre-select their wines for the evening.

Chef Arnaud Lallement from l’Assiette Champenoise, a Michelin two-star restaurant just outside Reims, France, and Chef Scott Hunnel from award-winning Victoria & Albert’s at Walt Disney World, are collaborating to create a French-inspired menu featuring products and seasonal ingredients sourced from around the world. Master Pastry Chef Erich Herbitschek of Victoria & Albert’s and Chef Mattieu Gerard Siegrist of l’Assiette Champenoise will lend their talents to create Remy’s breads and desserts. French-trained Chef Patrick Albert will be the executive chef.

On the Web: disneycruise.com