Norwegian Bliss Launches Month-Long Inaugural Celebrations

Norwegian Bliss in Ponta Delgada Azores. (Photo by Dave Jones)

Norwegian Bliss has begun her month-long inaugural celebration in the US.

Now on her way to Miami, the sixteenth and newest vessel in the Norwegian Cruise Line fleet arrived in New York City on Thursday, May 3. The ship will then call in Los Angeles and Seattle, where her christening will take place on May 30.

The two-day Norwegian Bliss inaugural preview in New York included brand partners, media, and industry representatives. The ship’s godfather, nationally-syndicated radio personality Elvis Duran, was on hand, as well. Guests enjoyed a performance of the line’s original musical theatre show, ¡HAVANA!.

A cocktail reception on board featured an appearance by Frankie Valli and Bob Gaudio. The two are original members of The Four Seasons, the group that inspired the Tony award-winning musical Jersey Boys. The evening ended with the Norwegian Bliss premier of Jersey Boys in Bliss Theater.

“Norwegian has been committed to providing our guests with the finest entertainment at sea and we have elevated this commitment by introducing Jersey Boys and ¡HAVANA! onboard Norwegian Bliss,” said Andy Stuart, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line. “It has been such an honour to have icons in the music and theatre world partner with and join us on this inaugural tour.”

Norwegian Bliss will sail a preview cruise out of PortMiami from May 8 to 10. Special guests include the hull artist, Wyland, the godfather, Duran, as well as television personalities.

After the Miami cruise, Norwegian Bliss will cross the Panama Canal, making history as the largest cruise ship to ever do so. Preview events will take place in Los Angeles from May 25 to 27. The ship will then travel to Seattle. After the christening on May 30, Norwegian Bliss will sail a three-day exhibition cruise.

Norwegian Bliss will begin a series of seven-day Alaska cruises June 2. Calls include Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway and Victoria, British Columbia. For the fall/winter season, Norwegian Bliss will sail to the Mexican Riviera from Los Angeles. She’ll also sail to the Eastern Caribbean from Miami.

In 2019, Norwegian Bliss will return to New York City. From there, she’ll sail seven-day voyages to the Bahamas and Florida, as well as the southern and western Caribbean.


Carnival Announces Queen Latifah as Godmother to New Carnival Horizon

Queen Latifah will be the godmother to Carnival Cruise Line's Carnival HorizonPHOTO: Queen Latifah will be the godmother to Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Horizon. (photo courtesy of Carnival Cruise Line)Carnival Cruise Line just revealed its latest in a lineup of traditional ship godmothers—Queen Latifah. She will serve the honorary role for the company’s upcoming new Carnival Horizon when she officially names and christens the vessel in New York City on May 23, 2018.

”With her fun-loving spirit and positive, can-do attitude, Queen Latifah embodies our brand and knows how to ‘Choose Fun’ in everything she does,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line, in a press release.

“Knowing that she is a long-time supporter of St. Jude and has performed and won ‘Lip Sync Battle’ made her the ideal candidate to serve as godmother to our newest ship.”

Queen Latifah is a multifaceted dynamo as a Grammy award-winning musical artist, television and film actress, label president, author, entrepreneur and now godmother. The announcement follows Carnival bringing on a similarly energetic personality in Shaquille O’Neal as its “CFO,” or Chief Fun Officer.

”Carnival is an iconic American brand and it’s an honour to be named godmother of Carnival Horizon and take part in the event on May 23, honouring the special children of St. Jude – a cause that is very near and dear to my heart,” said Latifah, in the release.

The New York City naming ceremony will bestow a check to partner St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital with funds raised during onboard and shoreside activities and events prior to the party. As previously revealed, artwork from over 30 St. Jude patients will be displayed on the ship’s triple-decker “Dreamscape” atrium LED sculpture.

The invitation-only overnight gala on May 23 will also consist of a special “Lip Sync Battle: Horizon” showcase reproducing the popular Paramount Network television series.

Latifah can currently be seen in the cast of the FOX series “STAR.” Her accolades include an Oscar nomination, a Golden Globe nomination and a SAG Award nomination for portraying Mama Morton in “Chicago.” She also got an Emmy nomination, a Golden Globe win and SAG Award win for performing in “Life Support” and “Bessie.”

Additionally, she is the first hip-hop artist to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and she has six Grammy nominations and a Grammy Award for Best Solo Rap Performance to her name. Her Flavor Unit Entertainment production company produces television shows and films.

Latifah joins a list of high-profile Carnival godmothers that include Marcia Gay Harden, Kathy Ireland, Mira Sorvino, Katie Couric and Judi Dench.

After the christening, Carnival Horizon will commence a summer season from New York until September when the ship will transfer to year-round Caribbean voyages from Miami.

The Horizon will be similar to sister-ship Carnival Vista with favourite features such as the SkyRide and IMAX Theatre along for the ride, but it will introduce a number of new ones as well. Fresh onboard will be Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse|Brewhouse with fare from Food Network star Guy Fieri as well as a Dr Seuss-themed water park in collaboration with Dr. Seuss Enterprises.

Guests will be catered to in accommodations encompassing Cloud 9 Spa cabins with pampering perks, extra spacious Family Harbor staterooms and tropical-themed Havana cabins and suites with private daytime access to a Cuban-inspired bar and pool.

Brooklyn Cruise Terminal getting upgrades

The Brooklyn Cruise Terminal, the New York City home for Princess Cruises and Cunard Line ships, will get $17.2 million in upgrades.

The funds will go toward building a new apron up to 500 feet long, a passenger viaduct and two new gangways. They will also pay for the design and implementation of a high-capacity wireless network at the terminal, according to an announcement from the New York City Economic Development Corp. and Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams.

Adams said $2.2 million in capital grants will be provided by the city and another $15 million will come from Ports America, the private operator selected to run the terminal in May.

New York picked Ports America to run both the Manhattan and Brooklyn cruise terminals through 2029. As part of the agreement, Ports America has agreed to invest $38.5 million in capital improvements at both terminals.