The stars come out onboard


Whether its rock climbing, surfing, getting drinks from a robot bar tender or dining at a specialty restaurant – these days there isn’t much you can’t do on a cruise ship.
But just when you thought cruise lines had thought of it all, they turned to famous faces in a bid to target celebrity-driven holidaymakers.
The trend, which has dominated Western-based vessels for over a decade, sees cruise lines bring big names onboard to meet and greet passengers.
Star Cruises kicked off the trend in Asia last year when stars from Korean comedy sensation ‘Cookin’ NANTA’ went out to sea.
Chefs from the K-Pop themed show took their cooking utensils and music instruments onboard SuperStar Gemini while she was homeported in Singapore.
The show was also introduced on SuperStar Libra in November during her inaugural season sailing out of Penang in Malaysia.
Star Cruises’ senior vice president of sales Michael Goh said the show had transformed into a lifestyle for many people across the region.
“The K-Pop Wave has gained much popularity and this preferred choice of trend-setting entertainment will definitely appeal to many holidaymakers,” he said.
Royal Caribbean adopted the celebrity trend when it hosted Asia’s largest music festival onboard Voyager of the Seas in November.
The event saw music’s biggest names such as Lil Jon, Basement Jaxx and Dash Berlin take the stage at sea in front of some 3,800 cruisers.
Last month, the cruise line expanded its celebrity status by hosting a four-night Latin dancing competition onboard Mariner of the Seas.
The ‘Dancesport All Champions’ sailing featured performances from Singapore dance veteran, Aleena Tan and Asia’s most popular dance group, the Sunny Low family.
And if that wasn’t enough to woo celebrity-obsessed travellers, the cruise line has added the DreamWorks Experience to Mariner’s roster.
New to the vessel, favourite characters from Shrek, Madagascar and Kung Fu Panda make an appearance on each sailing out of Asia.
Guests are able to interact and take photos with the animation stars.
The DreamWorks experience will also be available on Quantum of the Seas when she makes her Asia debut in May.
The new ship also features a celebrity restaurant – Jamie’s Italian by Jamie Oliver.
Speaking of famous chefs, Crystal Cruises has attracted travellers by serving popular dishes by famous Japanese chef Nobu Matsuhisa.
As well as creating the restaurant’s menu, the celebrity chef often makes regular appearances onboard the line’s vessels.
Meanwhile, Southeast Asia’s newest ship – Sapphire Princess – may not have the celebrities [yet], but it does have major Broadway-style shows onboard.
Each sailing features professional performances of major Broadway and Vegas-style shows, musicals and comedy acts.