Nickelodeon and NCL Form Partnership

| Feb 1, 2010

Nickelodeon launched its first family cruise the summer of 2008. Due to its success, NCL and Nickelodeon now have a permanent partnership.

(The pictures below are from a previous NCL Nickelodeon cruise, by Luisa Gaynor)

During the summers of 2008 and 2009, Nickelodeon offered two family cruises aboard Royal Caribbean Int'l ships. Now Nick is taking family cruising one step further by announcing a three-year partnership with Norwegian Cruise Line in which select Norwegian Cruise Line ships will feature Nick-styled entertainment and programming throughout the year.

Nickelodeon at Sea

The Nick programming will commence in April aboard the Norwegian Jewel and this summer aboard the Norwegian Epic when she launches and will be offered year round on those ships. Some of the Nick-themed entertainment includes: character meet and greets; interactive game shows; SlimeTime LIVE! featuring the highly-coveted green slime; Nick Live! poolside entertainment; character breakfasts; character meet and greets; and Nick-themed dance parties. In addition, Nick-themed elements will also be incorporated into Norwegian Kids' Crew programming.

click on pictures below for larger images:

SpongeBob Squarepants   kids with autographs of the Nickelodeon stars

Naturally, SpongeBob, Patrick, Dora and Diego will be rubbing elbows with you and your children aboard a Nickelodeon at Sea cruise. There will be plenty of photo ops for your kids with their favorite Nick character.

According to Andy Stuart, NCL's Executive V.P Global Sales and Passenger Services, at this point only the character breakfasts will have an extra fee. All the other Nick activities will be included in the price of a Norwegian Epic and Norwegian Jewel cruise.

In addition, there will be an annual Nickelodeon-themed cruise per ship that will be Nick-oriented from top to ship bottom. These will feature Nick stars/actors from the Nick shows; Nick show premieres; additional live game shows; and more opportunities to meet Nick characters. The first Nick-themed specialty cruise is scheduled for Norwegian Jewel later this year; a date has not yet been announced.

click on pictures below for larger images:

Slime Time Live on Nickelodeon Cruise   meeting the fans - Nickelodeon Cruise

Strategic Move

I feel this is a wise move for both NCL and Nickelodeon. For NCL, it helps position the cruise line as one of the major players in family cruising which is presently dominated by Carnival Cruise Lines, Disney Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean International. Parents who like the freedom of Freestyle Cruising won't have to choose between their desire for more flexibility and their children's attraction to the bells and whistles of the other family-oriented lines. While NCL has a good youth program, up until now it hasn't been distinctive from the pack as Disney's has been -- with its characters interacting with kids in the youth program -- and the way that RCI is known for its hands-on learning programming, such as Adventure Science.

This is also a smart decision for Nickelodeon. For the past two years, Nick Family Cruises chartered Royal Caribbean Int'l ships for two Nick cruises each summer. Rather than going through the logistics of running and selling entire cruises, Nick can now just focus on what it does best provide family programming that all family members can enjoy together.

This win-win situation will certainly translate into fond family cruising memories for thousands of NCL cruisers. Unlike the ill managed steps taken by Premier Cruises/The Big Red Boat the pioneer in bringing characters aboard ships for family entertainment I feel that the Nick and NCL partnership will be successful in filling family's needs as well as broadening NCL's market scope. I know that when I cruise with my kids, I want fun time together in addition to the alone time that participation in youth programming provides. Nickelodeon at Sea looks like it will provide just that.

click on pictures below for larger images:

stars of the Nickelodean cruise

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