Shrek, DreamWorks Coming to Royal Caribbean
Who's that next to you at the ship's buffet? Well, it just might be Shrek or Fiona. Royal Caribbean and DreamWorks Animation have announced a major alliance to bring the world-class animation studio's programming and entertainment onto Royal's cruise ships.
The deal includes a variety of new family oriented shows, activities and movies screenings – even 3D movies. Characters from the studio's most popular feature films – "Shrek," "Madagascar," "Kung Fu Panda" and "How to Train Your Dragon" – will be featured shipboard.
The programming will first be introduced on the 5,400-passenger Allure of the Seas, the newest world's largest ship, which debuts in December. It will then be expanded to other Royal Caribbean ships.
This is not the first time a cruise line has featured animated characters, of course. Disney's ships, the Disney Magic and Disney Wonder, feature Mickey, Minnie and their pals everywhere in entertainment, activities and even decor. And Norwegian Cruise Line recently launched a deal with the kids' TV network Nickelodeon to have children's programming, including shows and activities with Dora the Explorer, SpongeBob SquarePants and other Nick characters on its ships – first on the Norwegian Jewel out of New York and also on the 4,200-passenger Norwegian Epic, which debuts later this month.
Clearly cruise lines are making a huge play for the growing family vacation market.
"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 than DreamWorks Animation to help take it to the next level."
For his part, Jeffrey Katzenberg, CEO of DreamWorks Animation, said the companies are both committed to providing "the next generation of premium entertainment at sea."
Katzenberg added, "Royal Caribbean has created sailing paradise cities and the integration of DreamWorks Animation characters and storytelling throughout the entire cruise experience will present an unprecedented menu of great creative opportunities to the benefit of family vacationers around the world."
After the Allure launch, the program with DreamWorks will be expanded to Oasis of the Seas, Freedom of the Seas and Liberty of the Seas, officials said. All cruise the Caribbean.
Year round, "celebrity" characters including Shrek, Fiona and Puss In Boots of "Shrek;" Alex, Mort, and the Penguins of "Madagascar;" Po of "Kung Fu Panda" and Hiccup of "How to Train Your Dragon" will mingle with cruise passengers day and night, including at exclusive special events and parades, as well as through interactive character meals in the main dining room, and photo opportunities.
Kids participating in the line's Adventure Ocean children's program will experience a new lineup of games and activities focused around the movies and their main characters. And Royal Caribbean is also installing 3D screens in the ship's theaters, for movie showings.
When the Allure debuts on its Caribbean itineraries from Fort Lauderdale, DreamWorks Animation characters will also be featured in the AquaTheater, an outdoor venue on the ship's stern where performers do an aquatic show complete with high-diving stunts (an innovation introduced on Oasis, but without the characters). The Allure's ice skating rink too will feature an ice show with professional skaters based on characters from "How to Train Your Dragon."
Perhaps the best news for parents, there will be no extra charge to guests for the entertainment programming, officials said.