Our senior contributing editor for cruise, Susan J. Young, is on site in Vancouver at CLIA’s cruise3sixty. She’ll be doing updates throughout the day today and this weekend. Stay tuned for snippets of news, trends, executive comments and other highlights. Each update is in sequential order. Susan will also be “tweeting” from the show under @travlsusan.
Vancouver or Bust
Since its inception, CLIA’s cruise3sixty conference has called South Florida home. But this year for the first time, the conference shifted to the West Coast – to the city that hosted the 2010 Olympic Games, Vancouver.
CLIA is expecting a great agent turn-out. Starting early Friday, media began attending a series of press conferences and the first General Session gets under way today as well.
Shrek and Fiona
In the first big news of the day announced at cruise3sixty, Shrek and other beloved DreamWorks Animation characters are coming to Royal Caribbean!
In a multi-city announcement via video conference, Jeffrey Katzenberg, CEO of DreamWorks Animation, and Adam Goldstein, president and CEO, Royal Caribbean International, told reporters that DreamWorks’ characters and programming from “Shrek,” “Madagascar,” “Kung Fu Panda” and “How to Train Your Dragon” will soon be onboard four ships, starting with Allure of the Seas, when it launches later this year.
In addition, the programming will be launched on three other ships early next year -- Liberty of the Seas starting in January 2010, on Oasis of the Seas in February 2010, and on Freedom of the Seas in March 2010.
What does the new strategic alliance mean for guests? Clients who are fans of the DreamWorks movies will see 22 of their favorite movie characters and programming in character breakfasts, parades, one AquaTheater show, one ice skating show, character breakfasts, and onboard kids’ club programming in Adventure Ocean.
A dedicated stateroom television channel will show the movies as well as future DreamWorks movies. The line is evaluating evening “tuck ins” by characters as well as other tie-ins. Officials said collateral for agents to utilize with clients is in development.
Character breakfasts will likely accommodate 1,000 people in the dining room. The line is hoping to have up to three different breakfasts during a cruise, although that’s still being studied.
“We couldn’t be more excited to be joining with what we think is the number one quality brand of cruising,” said Katzenberg. “Dreamworks has gone to many places, to Broadway, to movie theaters around the world and now we’re very happy to be going out to sea.”
Adam Goldstein, Royal Caribbean’s president and CEO, stressed that the decision to create a stellar entertainment partnership is all about the guest, and in creating special experiences that guests love. Goldstein said he just doesn’t see other cruise companies out there bringing the same vision to the guest experience.
Goldstein also stressed that everything involving the Dreamworks characters and programming onboard Royal Caribbean will be complimentary to guests.