Written by 12:43 pm Celebrity

Cruise Guide: Cruise ship celebrity sightings becoming common

By Michael Coleman

Your chance of rubbing elbows with the stars may be greater onboard a major cruise ship than it is if you made the trek to Hollywood.

According to Elena Vakhrenova, author and publisher of Cruising Cuisine for Home Entertaining, Hors d’Oeuvres and Appetizers, celebrity sightings on the high seas have now become a sign of the times. 

“Cruising reflects a style of life and entertaining that borders on celebrity for most people,” she said. “There is a sense of rich and famous onboard today’s cruise ships and when art imitates life, with celebrity sightings on cruise ships, it’s a sure sign that something has gone mainstream.” 

So, just how popular is cruise ship travel among celebrities? 

Big, she says. So big in fact that Vakhrenova recently compiled her own top 10 list from a host of stars who sailed in 2005. From television personalities Regis Philbin and Kelly Ripa to pop icon Carly Simon, celebrities turned heads last year and expect more of the same  if you’re one of the lucky passengers to share a trip with them in 2006. 

Philbin and Ripa ranked No. 1 and No. 2 on Vakhrenova’s list. In June, 2005, they gave away 1,000 free cruises to fans on a week-long vacation at sea aboard the Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) Pride of America during “Live’s Cruisin’ Reunion.” During the cruise they did five shows from the ship. Philbin was also a guest lecturer with Celebrity Cruise Line. 

At No. 3, Mary Tyler Moore. Crystal Harmony Godmother and seven-time Emmy Award-winner, Moore joined the ship on Oct. 22, 2005 for one of its last voyages. The star of television, stage and film christened Crystal Harmony in 1990. 

At No. 4, is Isabella Rossellini. In March 2005 Silversea Cruises published a new, full-color Voyage Atlas with a lifestyle section featuring images of Rossellini, Silversea’s Ambassador. Rossellini Suites, with the star’s very own personal touches, have been added to the fleet. 

At No. 5, Rita Moreno: The only female performer to have won all four of the most prestigious show business awards  Oscar, Emmy, Tony and Grammy  Moreno was the onboard guest lecturer during a Celebrity Constellation voyage from July 30 to Aug 16, 2005. 

At No. 6, Carly Simon. Her PBS concert was recorded onboard Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 and aired last month on more than 100 television stations across the country. It marked the first time that a television special was taped during a transatlantic crossing. 

At No. 7, Melania Trump: She christened the world’s largest gem, NCL’s Norwegian Jewel, during ceremonies at the Port of Miami this past November. 

At No. 8, Elaine Chao. In July, 2005 the U.S. Secretary of Labor christened the NCL Pride of America in New York. The ship is the largest U.S.-flagged cruise ship ever built and the first newly-built cruise ship to join the U.S. register in half a century. 

At No. 9, Mira Sorvino. The actress became a godmother to the Carnival Liberty in July, 2005. 

At No. 10, Princess Anne. Her Royal Highness christened the 1,874-passenger Aurora, a P&O cruise ship, on April 27, 2005 with the words “May God bless this ship and all who sail in her.” 

Vakhrenova publishes cookbooks and provides lessons and catering services. Her Web site, www.cruising-cuisine.com, features links and a free online newsletter complete with recipes, images and upcoming events. 

Whether a star comes to visit you at home or you see one onboard in 2006, Vakhrenova will at least make you feel comfortable about your own entertaining and hosting prowess.

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