Queen Latifah Names Carnival Horizon

The Carnival Horizon was named by godmother Queen Latifah in a ceremony in New York on Wednesday evening that also showcased the talented young artists from St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital whose artwork adorns the Dreamscape, a stunning three-deck-high LED sculpture in the ship’s atrium.

“Carnival Horizon’s naming ceremony was one of our best yet, with Queen Latifah carrying out her duties as godmother then battling it out with Super Bowl champion Jake Elliott of my hometown Philadelphia Eagles in an entertaining Lip Sync Battle,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. “We were also delighted to showcase the wonderfully talented children from St. Jude whose artwork on the Dreamscape will be forever associated with this spectacular ship.”

Added Latifah, “My time aboard Carnival Horizon was nothing short of incredible. In addition to having the honour of serving as the ship’s godmother, meeting the amazing kids from St. Jude and their families and squaring off against Jake in an all-out Lip Sync Battle is certainly something I will always cherish.”

Following the ceremony, Latifah squared off against Philadelphia Eagles Super Bowl champion Jake Elliott in Lip Sync Battle: Horizon modelled after the hit Paramount Network TV series and rolling out across the Carnival fleet.

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital received a $100,000 donation from Carnival representing monies raised from various fundraisers, both onboard and ashore. The funds continue the line’s ongoing support of St. Jude with more than $16 million raised in the fight against childhood cancer since the partnership began in 2010.

“This is an absolute thrill for our patients and their families to have their artwork featured as a permanent display on this magnificent ship,” said Richard Shadyac Jr., president and CEO of ALSAC, the fundraising and awareness organization for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. “The ongoing support of Carnival team members and their customers around the globe for our lifesaving mission plays a critical role in advancing research and treatment for pediatric cancer and other life-threatening diseases.”

Norwegian Getaway christened in ‘muy caliente’ Miami style


The godmothers - Miami Dolphins CheerleadersThe godmothers – Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders

In the kind of party that only Miami can throw—women in red polka-dot swimsuits swinging from hoops, sizzling Latin dancers in black boots, Tito Puente Jr. firing up the crowd and eye-candy godmothers the Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders—Norwegian Getaway was christened Friday in the late afternoon sunshine.

Latin Grammy artist and Miami native son Pitbull got naming ceremony guests on the upper deck dancing, their arms pumping in the air, in a finale of smoke, fireworks and confetti that stole the show.

‘She’s Miami’s ultimate ship,’ Norwegian Cruise Line ceo Kevin Sheehan told the crowd, even tossing in a few Spanish words— ‘Muy caliente!’ (Hot!)—to describe a special Burn the Floor show that’s part of the entertainment customized for Norwegian Getaway’s Miami deployment.

Norwegian Cruise Line, which started modern weekly Caribbean cruising from Miami with the Sunward in 1966, is glad to be back with a year-round seven-day ship after a decade of seasonal seven-day sailings, Sheehan said.

Norwegian Getaway’s hull is splashed out with a bright mermaid by Miami artist David ‘LEBO’ Le Batard, mojitos are the signature drink and a number of the 28 dining spots and bars have outdoor seating on the open-air Waterfront, perfect for Caribbean cruising.

Le Batard was present, along with celebrity chef Geoffrey Zakarian who has three seafood restaurants on board, and ‘Cake Boss’ Buddy Valastro, whose ‘Carlo’s Bakery’ is featured in the atrium cafe.

Norwegian Getaway arrived in Miami after inaugural festivities in Europe and a Super Bowl showcase as the Bud Light Hotel in New York.

‘The ship is finally home,’ said Capt. Rune Myre, who praised its construction by ‘the German geniuses’ at Meyer Werft.

‘We feel the soul of the ship,’ the captain said, adding that he and the 1,600 crew ‘hope passengers coming on board will feel what we feel and be part of the Norwegian family … This is the ship everyone talks about and everyone wants to work on.’

Waiters circulated with bottles to spritz the crowd in the balmy Miami afternoon. Brooke Burke-Charvet, co-host of ‘Dancing with the Stars’ (and the godmother of Norwegian Sun in 2001) served as the master of ceremonies.

The audience included Bernard Meyer and Thomas Wiegand of Meyer Werft; Norwegian Cruise Holdings board members Adam Aron, Walter Revell and new director Robert Salerno (Avis Budget Group); PortMiami director designee Juan Kuryla and Miami-Dade commissioner Rebecca Sosa, who delivered an official proclamation of Feb. 7, 2014, as ‘Norwegian Getaway Day in Miami-Dade County.’

Also on hand were the leaders of many top retail groups, among them, Cruise Planners’ Michelle Fee, Avoya Travel’s Van Anderson and WMPH Vacations’ Uf Tukel.

Foo Fighters to headline Super Bowl cruise

Some of the biggest contemporary music acts including the Foo Fighters will be performing live aboard the Norwegian Getaway ahead of the NFL Super Bowl this February.

As we reported earlier this year, Norwegian Cruise Line’s newest vessel has been chartered as a floating hotel for the showpiece of the American Football season, which takes place on February 2nd at the MetLife Stadium in New Jersey.

This caused significant disruption to the launch schedule for the 4,028 passenger ship, with numerous passengers already booking passage on the trans-Atlantic voyage originally scheduled for the start of the month.

As they say, however, the show must go on. Passengers had their reservations transferred to a later fare and received on board credit, while organisers of the end-of-season sporting spectacle got to work planning the entertainment.

Under it’s temporary guise as the bud Light Hotel New York, the Getaway will be docked at Pier 88 in Manhattan on the Hudson River and will host a string of entertainments. Foo Fighters will headline the main event a day before the game, on February 1st.

Two days earlier, on January 30th the stage will belong to the Roots, who will perform with hip-hop luminaries Run DMC and Busta Rhymes. Imagine Dragons, the Grammy-nominated act, are also set to play the following day.

This year, the Super Bowl half-time show, one of the biggest live musical shows of the year, will be performed by Bruno Mars.