Royal Caribbean Recruits James Brolin, Jenny McCarthy to Star in Original Webisodes

Jenny McCarthyTalk to anyone in social media and they’ll say online video is where you need to be. They’ll then tell you it needs to be original, and it needs to be interesting – i.e. something that people actually want to watch (not just a commercial). Some companies are going so far as to produce original miniseries focused around their product – Royal Caribbean is now among them.

The series of webisodes Royal Caribbean is having produced will be called “Ocean Views,” and will be available starting March 14 on the company’s website and YouTube channel.

Some well known actors will be staring in the series, including James Brolin, who will act and direct a video called “Royal Reunion,” which also stars Dean Cain and Amy Yasbeck.

Jenny McCarthy will direct and act in another video, “The Allure of Love,” which will have more of a comedic tone and will take place on Allure of the Seas.

What do you think of this type of production? Will you watch them? Do you think it will spur excitement around Royal Caribbean and their new ships?

Jenny McCarthy is interviewed about her experience below.

Royal Caribbean Already Updating Oasis, Allure of the Seas with 3D


Even though Royal Caribbean only debuted its Oasis Class Ships in the last couple years, it’s still keeping current with the latest technology by introducing 3D theaters on board several of its ships, including Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the seas.

There were several considerations that make adding a 3d theater on a ship more complicated – including the close quarters, proximity to other venues, and that maintenance would need to be performed by on-board staff.

“We called upon FUNA and their team to come up with creative technical design solutions in a number of areas including physical placement, additional cooling and power and integration with the existing audio system, and the result is a 3D movie experience as good as or better than any land-based theater” said Christopher Vlassopulos, Entertainment Technology and Technical Direction for Royal Caribbean International.

The first ship to get the 3D upgrade is RCL’s newest ship, Allure of the seas, followed by Oasis of the Seas, Freedom of the Seas and Liberty of the Seas.

Age Old Beverage Gets New Age Treatment on Allure

iPadWineMenuFor 8,000 years mankind has been drinking and enjoying wine. Over that time, the landscape and complexity of the wine world has grown immensely, making it nearly impossible for even the most experienced oenophile to be well-briefed on every vineyard and vintage. To make ordering a glass you’ll enjoy a little less challenging, Royal Caribbean has introduced a new iPad based application in the wine bar aboard it’s newest ship, Allure of the Seas.

Interactive iPad based menus in Vintages wine bar, located in the “Central Park” area of Allure, allow customers to research different wines, food pairings, and regions – then digitally order a glass or bottle from the menu. Bartenders, or “Winetenders” in this case, instantly receive the order on an iTouch. The digital application also allows guests from all over the world to do their research in the language of their choosing.

“This is a great innovation,” says Roger Dooley, Editor of Box Wines and a long-time cruiser, “particularly on a cruise ship with a large staff. Every bar waiter can’t be a wine expert, and this lets passengers peruse the wine selection on their own.”

I particularly like the ability to narrow a list quickly, say, to “full bodied reds” and to provide a more detailed description of the wine in case the passenger isn’t familiar with it. The language flexibility is welcome, too, as it avoids situations like a Japanese passenger trying to learn more about a wine from a Hungarian waiter in English.

Check out the video below for more info on the digital ordering process at Vintages on Allure of the Seas:

Specialty Dining on Allure of the Seas – 150 Central Park

Living in Texas – finding cuisine that uses smoke as a main ingredient isn’t difficult – but finding it on a cruise ship isn’t as common. In the boutique restaurant 150 Central Park on board Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas, chef Molly Brandt uses smoke to prepare her signature dish: Smoked Sweet Potato Soup.

SmokingGunAllureJust before the table presentation is done, Brandt uses a “Smoking Gun” to fill the bowl’s cloche (a cover typically used to keep food warm) with smoke. When the cloche is removed at the table, smoke is released creating a sensory trio as guests see and smell the unique presentation which has also infused the dish with a distinct flavor.

Check out the video to see how it’s done!

One Lucky Family to Cover Royal Caribbean’s Allure for USA Today


Would you like to be on board one of the very first ‘preview’ voyages of Royal Caribbean’s newest ship, Allure of the Seas? So would we! But it’ll be the reporting talent of one lucky family that will earn them the chance to cover the story – live from sea – for the USA Today.

The family (up to six people) will have airfare paid for to take part in, and report on two consecutive preview cruises on Allure – all leaving on November 18, 2010.

Check out Royal Caribbean’s site on how to win – and good luck from all of us at!

Will Norwegian Epic Entertainment Model Go Industry Wide?

BlueManGroupNCLEpicNorwegian Cruise Line describes their newest entertainment lineup as “revolutionary,” a surprisingly true statement. We’re surprised that it’s taken anyone in the industry this long to ask themselves “could our entertainment stack up against acts in New York City and Vegas?” NCL asked that question, and booked headlining act Blue Man Group not just for one or two theme cruises or the inaugural run, but for their headlining entertainment this season aboard their newest ship, Epic.

If anyone has come close to doing something similar, it would be Royal Caribbean. RCL’s Oasis of the Seas has a running production of Hairspray that casted in London, Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York City. While I can appreciate a good musical, if I was cruising with my entire family and the two venues were put to a vote, it would likely come to a 5-1 majority favoring Blue Man Group on Epic.

RCL’s Allure of the Seas debuting later this year, inked a deal with DreamWorks to bring characters like Shrek on board, and even though you can make the case that the movies and characters can have appeal to an older audience, there are lots of folks who may prefer to have breakfast without the possibility of being approached by an 8 foot tall green ogre.

Some cruise lines like Carnival are still running musical revue shows with OK dancers with one or two featured performers. Sure it beats sitting in your room, but acts like this would never stand on their own if they were on land and in a city with hundreds of other options.

Acts like Blue Man Group do come at a higher cost to the cruise lines, though. Carnival would probably contend that for an extra few hundred bucks per passenger, they could book expensive entertainment as well – but providing an affordable experience for families is a higher priority.

As more mega-ships roll out, expect to see more recognizable names and acts on board for more than just a few inaugural sailings. Booking based on the on-board entertainment as it relates to your party, rather than just how big/new/shiny the ship is, will help guarantee everyone a good time.