Thursday, August 04, 2005

Things (Fun Ship Cruises) Go Better With Coke

CARNIVAL ADDS SOME TEEN FIZZ: The world’s largest cruise operator, Carnival, has teamed with the world’s largest soft drink peddler, Coca-Cola, to create Club O2, new for teens aboard the line's 21 Fun Ships. Club O2, targeting the 15 to 17 set, boasts expanded programming fleetwide, with clubs providing swell spots to hang out. Already on 12 of 21 Carnival ships, other teen centers due by year’s end, with dance floors with DJs and large-screen plasma TVs for movies and videos. "Coke-tail" lounges serve Coca-Cola products and non-alcoholic specialty drinks. Some teen clubs have a library with books, mags, video game units, 16-monitor "video walls," and "listening stations." Bob Dickinson, Carnival president and CEO, says "teens comprise a significant portion of the 500,000 kids who are expected to sail aboard the 'Fun Ships' this year.” Club O2 activities begin with a "Welcome Aboard" party where teen directors provide the scoop on voyage activities and distribute promo goodies including mesh "Club O2" bags. During voyages, teens can enjoy karaoke, nightly themed parties, late-night movies, video game contests, basketball and other events. Games based on "Fear Factor" and "Survivor" unfold daily, from afternoon into the evening. Teens-only shore excursions provide opportunities to experience exciting destinations as a group. Outings are accompanied by a teen staffer and include options such as cave tubing in Belize and swimming with stingrays in Grand Cayman. Other fleetwide amenities popular with teens include 24-hour pizza and ice cream poolside and high-tech arcades. Teens can also enjoy miniature golf course on Imagination, as well as a 270-square-foot outdoor television screen on the new Carnival Liberty. Fun Ships offer at least three swim pools as well as a water slide. For details, (800) CARNIVAL. While you’re at it, check out Metroguide.com’s cruise port guide at http://www.portofcallguide.com/