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Carnival Cruise Lines has pulled the cat out of the hat, announcing an exclusive partnership with Dr. Seuss Enterprises to bring the charm of the Lorax, the Grinch, Sam-I-am and Horton onboard with “Dr. Seuss at Sea.”
Carnival has previously resisted relationships such as Royal Caribbean’s partnership with DreamWorks and Norwegian Cruise Line’s with Nickelodeon, but declared a match with Dr. Seuss due to its multigenerational appeal and high-quality brand recognition.
“Dr. Seuss inspires imaginations across generations and encourages a playfulness and whimsy that is often lost in today’s ‘always on’ society,” said Susan Brandt, president of Dr. Seuss Enterprises. “We’re excited to be working with Carnival Cruise Lines to bring some of the timeless magic of Dr. Seuss to the families that sail each year. Seuss at Sea will enable kids and parents alike to explore their imaginations through the memorable onboard experiences that we are building together.”
According to Mark Tamis, senior vice president of guest operations for Carnival, since Funship 2.0 launched late in 2011, the company’s youth program welcomes more than half the entire number of children cruising on contemporary lines.
“Our youth and family programming continues to be highly rated and extremely popular with the millions of families who sail with Carnival, but we’re constantly challenging ourselves to uncover unique and interesting ways to further enhance our guest experience,” Tamis said. “We are thrilled to bring the fun, whimsical world of Dr. Seuss to life for guests of all ages.”
Seuss at Sea rolls out in 2014. Besides the characters onboard, the 24 Carnival ships will offer a selection of Dr. Seuss books and toys for families to play with together. Dr. Seuss movies, including “The Cat in the Hat” and “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” will be shown on the huge poolside Lido Deck screens. Family activities onboard also include face painting, family games and story time.
On the first sea day of each cruise, Carnival will serve the Green Eggs and Ham Breakfast ($5 per person), a character breakfast with classic Seuss-themed foods that include moose juice, goose juice and fun French toast, as well as traditional breakfast items. Carnival’s waitstaff will set the tone with Dr. Seuss-inspired uniforms, and characters such as the Cat in the Hat, Thing One and Thing Two and Sam-I-Am will join guests at their tables. Special events, including the conga-line Seuss-a-palooza Character Parade, photo ops and character meet-and-greets, will be offered during the cruise.
On Carnival Freedom and Carnival Vista, the main kids’ center known as Camp Carnival will feature a Seuss-dedicated space called “Bookville,” where the entire Dr. Seuss library will be available for parents to read to their kids. However, the books must be purchased if parents prefer to read them in their staterooms.
For an immersive Dr. Seuss’ experience, a cabin decor package will be available starting in mid-2014.
Ten Carnival ships will undergo the Seuss at Sea treatment in 2014, including Carnival Splendor, Carnival Breeze, Carnival Sunshine, Carnival Freedom, Carnival Magic, Carnival Legend, Carnival Imagination, Carnival Dream, Carnival Ecstasy and Carnival Inspiration. Carnival Freedom will undergo the Seuss treatment after it completes a major refurbishment in May. The rest of the fleet will follow during the first half of 2015, and Carnival Vista is a newbuild that will launch in early 2016.