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Paul Motter October 7th, 2013 01:37 PM

Do you care about "Celebrity" consultants at cruise lines?
The newest trend at all cruise lines is to bring in celebrities from the world of Television or Sports to consult on a variety of issues. It can be celebrity chefs recommending certain recipes, celebrity comedians finding the onboard talent for onboard comedy clubs, sports figures consulting on fitness routines or home décor television experts helping the cruise line choose its curtains.

This trend started years ago, mostly with cruise lines hiring celebrity chefs to add some zest to the onboard cuisine, but lately it seems hardly anything can go on a cruise ship without some kind of celebrity endorsement.

The latest announcement I just received today was from Royal Caribbean telling me that the cruise line has “drafted” Dhani Jones, a former sixth-round draft pick who left the NFL in 2007, but who now has his own show on the Travel Channel where he attempts to play different sports that are unknown to Americans. He will to “create a game plan for active cruising onboard Quantum of the Seas” the lines new ship set to debut in late 2014.

I had never heard of Dhani, so I googled his football career and checked the Travel Channel for details about his shows. What did I see? Let’s just say I once knew a bartender named Fritz on Royal Viking who would have “loooooved” that series.

Titles include: “Dhani is Schwingen in Switzerland,” “Dhani Gets Worked Over Down Under,” and even “Dhani Jones Uncut in Italy.”

At this point, I have to wonder how much the cruising public actually cares about these celebrity tie-ins. I am not a football fan, so I did not recognize Dhani’s name, but the cruise line seems to think he was more important than the second celebrity tie-in they announced the same day - Genevieve Gorder, “one of America’s favorite interior designers and the most popular personalities on cable television network HGTV,” as just one of what will be many Quantum Experience Advisors. Gorder has been working with Royal Caribbean’s since May 2013 to influence and inspire the décor and furnishings in the loft and suite accommodations onboard Quantum of the Seas, “where her soulful and whimsical style will be felt throughout” says the cruise line.

Do you care about these "celebrity tie-ins?" - By the time Quantum appears will you even remember that Dhani Jones helped pick the canvas for the floor of the iFly "skydiving" experience? I won't.

Dave Beers October 7th, 2013 02:38 PM

I am not impressed by the celebrity consultant tie-ins and the two you mention are particularly underwhelming to me. At least someone like Jacques Pepin really does has the gravitas to effect the cuisine on a cruise line.

A friend of mine from high school days recently retired from a lengthy career as an NFL strength and conditioning coach for several teams. Nobody outside of the NFL would know his name but I'd rather have my friend develop an activity plan than Dhani Jones. At least my pal is trained to to develop such plans.

I'll wager the Quantum Of The Seas will be getting some air time on The Travel Channel as part of the arrangement with Dhani, likely as an installment on his series. October 7th, 2013 06:39 PM

I agree with Dave! Personally, I think it's a waste of money, but unfortunately, alot of people have strange 'heroes'. Every time Oprah recommends something, people go crazy over it! So while I think the majority probably could care less, there are those who are always impressed when somebody they admire recommends it. But seriously, a 'former 6th round draft choice in the 2007 NFL draft? Does anyone really care what he has to say or what he does? If they want to waste their money, they can at least do it on someone who alot of people recognize!

It always cracks me up that people are so impressed by a celebrity or an actor that they firmly believe everything they're saying! They are being paid to say it, period! If you believe everything they say, then I have a wonderful historic bridge you might be interested in buying!!


Dave Beers October 7th, 2013 07:44 PM

I remember when NCL promoted having a 'professional athlete' on every cruise as an attraction, hoping to get sports fans to cruise with them. Of course, virtually all of those pros were retired and were not top line players during their careers, like Dhani Jones, which is what makes his selection clearly a deal more with Travel Channel than anything else.

Did anyone care that Carnival made a big production about Joe Farkus doing their ship interiors? Most people had never heard of him and seemed to either like the glitzy interiors or thought they were garish nightmares, figuring they were just Carnival's ideas.

Similarly, who cares about this woman using her "soulful and whimsical style" on the Quantum? I'm more concerned about finding an open table in a lounge than the decor of the room.

Donna October 7th, 2013 07:49 PM

Nope, doesn't really interest me, although when I went on Allure of the Seas, they were playing the movie Puss & Boots before the regular release and had the stars onboard on embarkment day....It was nice to see Selma Hayak, J. Lo, and Antonio Bandaras....that was a welcome surprise, but I did not know this when it was booked.

green_rd October 7th, 2013 10:03 PM

Let's not forget that Tom Brady was a 6th round pick!

But serious I do not care at all about celebrity endorsements.

I actually enjoyed the Dhani Jones show on TC, though that is hardly an endorsement for designing cruise ship design. I didn't know the show was still on. Don't watch much travel channel any more. It is mostly food and ghost shows.

Manuel October 7th, 2013 10:07 PM


Originally Posted by green_rd (Post 1486475)

But serious I do not care at all about celebrity endorsements.

. .

Neither do I.

Good bartenders are a lot more important.


Paul Motter October 8th, 2013 02:37 AM

I am not sure id Dhani's show is still on (never saw it). The wiki implied it ended in 2011. The Detroit newspaper (where he went to college) panned the show.

What about Guy Fieri and George Lopez? Any experiences with them?

Donna - Royal Caribbean has had a few movies filmed on their ships where it was kept a secret. It is cool that you got to see the stars, however.

green_rd October 8th, 2013 07:44 AM

I haven't noted any real change in Carnival's comedians since GL became involved. Will have my first Guy's burger in a few weeks. I know there was a fair amount of discussion on the Carny board whether they were better or not.

Ron October 8th, 2013 10:33 PM

The " Celebrity " thing on cruise ships matters not at all to me--
a good waiter, good chefs and good cabin attendants are much more important, at least to me ! :) :)

PeterC October 9th, 2013 12:47 PM

I wouldn't go out of my way to book a cruise for a celebrity (Although I do wish I was on that Moody Blues Cruise) but about 20 years ago we were on a cruise and there was a Cincinnati Reds fan cruise going on so we got to rub elbows with a bunch of pro baseball players and their announcers. It was a lot of fun too meet these guys, and I wasn't even a Reds fan.

Paul Motter October 9th, 2013 04:09 PM

Peter C...

And that is my point - that it is a LOT of fun to be on a cruise ship with celebrities - in fact it is one of the best ways to meet them and I suggest you go on the Moody Blues cruise.

But what my article points out is that cruise lines are trying to sell us "branded" celebrity experiences where the celebrity will not be there in person when people take a cruise, by telling us the celebrity consulted on a room or attraction.

This is only marginally interesting to me. And I am just asking how much you really care?

I can understand getting a thrill about a Guy Fieri hamburger, but do you care that George Lopez recorded the announcements for the comedy shows on a cruise line? Or that a sports figure helped "design a room." - I mean, how much better a room can it be just because Dhani Jones "consulted" on it?

ksmithcci October 11th, 2013 09:14 AM

We were just on the Conquest and the Guy burgers are good, however very greasy. Of course that's just our opinion.

Truck Cruiser October 21st, 2013 12:50 PM

Nope, wouldn't influence me at all. The reasons I cruise and the ships and Itineraries I choose are for personal satisfaction only!

Trip October 21st, 2013 02:21 PM

I like a well know Chef connection to: up the quality of the food, and menu options...It's worked in the past but, wasn't the famous Celebrity chef, with a huge following dumped? I also enjoy seeing some celebs onboard for shows, they come on and they leave....Having a well known person advise on ship related anything, does nothing for me, or my cruise enjoyment.

ThomasOrtiz November 5th, 2013 03:28 PM

I use the celebrity tie-ins to help me choose cruises. If a cruise is overhyped because a celebrity will be onboard, I choose a different ship.

I enjoy cruises for meeting people, enjoying the activities, disembarking to shop and see the sights. I do not care if a celebrity chef, sports star, or TV personality is onboard. Now, if you could convince Eric Clapton to take his Crossroads Blues Festival onboard, I would be first in line.

Our preference is shifting to smaller cruises, including river cruises, to stay away from the hype and just enjoy the fun atmosphere of people and activity.

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