Name brands keep popping up on cruise ships and there's a reason: Brands excite people, which means they may inspire more people to cruise.
Royal Caribbean has Starbucks for grownups and Shrek (and other DreamWorks characters) for kids, while Holland America Line attracts music fans with its floating B.B. King Blues Clubs. From the sublime (like Veuve Clicquot Champagne bars on Cunard) to the sinful (Food Network chef Guy Fieri's complimentary 1,900-calorie burgers on Carnival ships), onboard brand partnerships are here to stay. Here are the newest on the horizon.
In a new bid for "Parrotheads," Norwegian Cruise Line just announced it was expanding its partnership with Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville, coming soon to the Norwegian Getaway and Norwegian Breakaway (it's already on Norwegian Escape). Cruisers can dine on a "Cheeseburger in Paradise" for $6.99, a few bucks cheaper than on land.
Another recent branding announcement will likely induce "Please Mommy, please" from the kids: Disney Cruise Line announced the Disney Wonder will debut the first ever theatrical treatment of Frozen. "Frozen, A Musical Spectacular" will begin on November 10 on cruises out of Galveston.
Country music fans may be drawn to Carnival Cruise Line now that they've announced that Tim McGraw will be onboard the Carnival Breeze and Carnival Valor for exclusive Carnival Live! concerts in early March while the ships are docked in Nassau. Spring for a VIP ticket and you can meet McGraw personally -- ditto for Little Big Town and comedians Jay Leno and Jeff Foxworthy, who are also on the concert calendar.
Of course, not all branded programs stick. Norwegian recently ended a long-running deal with Nickelodeon TV, which afforded kids the opportunity to get slimed. But as cruise lines see interest coming in, especially from new potential customers, we can expect more name brands to appear at sea.