Porthole’s Five Faves
Classic Cruise Commercials
It’s easier to pardon the show interruptions when they’re this aspirational.
With its latest brand campaign called “Feel Free,” Norwegian Cruise Line is inviting cruisers to, as the official wording of its press release says, “experience Norwegian’s philosophy of what a vacation should be, free from rigid schedules with the freedom to make their vacation their own.”
Pitbull, godfather of Norwegian Escape, puts it another, more accessible way in the line’s newest commercial: “Feel free / Do whatever you want / Whenever you want with whoever you want … Feel free / Get on a ship and cruise the world.”
Campaigns like this one are million-dollar efforts to reach cruisers (and non-cruisers alike) and extol the glory of not only cruising the world, but doing it The _____INSERT CRUISE LINE HERE ______ Way. And while we at Porthole work tirelessly to help you see through the spin and enjoy the perfect cruise vacation for you, today we celebrate the Pitbull-esque efforts to make brand messages entertaining. As always, “Feel Free” to share yours in the comments below.
Carnival Cruise Line — Kathie Lee Gifford
Perhaps the most famous spokesperson of the seas, Kathie Lee joined forces with Carnival to sing about all-day fun and jealous landlocked friends in the mid-’80s. (Just last year, Kathie Lee announced that she’s going back on board with her own wine collection.) When Carnival isn’t spreading its messages with Today show hosts, they’ve used bears as well as the voice of The Office’s John Krasinski.
Princess Cruises — The Love Boat
One might argue that Princess — and the cruise industry in general — had the greatest commercial money could buy in the Aaron Spelling–produced series that started welcoming American audiences aboard in 1977. These enticements weren’t limited to prime-time Saturday night offerings, though. Princess touted its transcendent qualities — “It’s More Than a Cruise, It’s the Love Boat” — in commercials both with and without its beloved television cruise director.
Royal Caribbean International — “Lust for Life”
Who can say for sure that Iggy Pop wasn’t singing about snorkeling and glacier-hiking when he recorded this punk anthem with David Bowie back in 1977? That drum intro alone could fuel a cruise ship, let alone inspire cruisers to, as Royal Caribbean hoped with those commercials, choose adventure. Honorable mention here goes to Royal Caribbean’s adorable Shellphone.
Celebrity Cruises — Be Treated Famously
Literally using its company name and lightly using that harmless “I miss being spoiled” entitled feeling that so many of us cruisers develop upon coming home, Celebrity Cruises found humor while simultaneously championing its stellar service. Who hasn’t felt the spectrum of in-the-moment highs and afterglow glum?
Disney Cruise Line — Little Souvenir
From its very first commercial, Disney Cruise Line has used both its natural and magical settings to perfectly capture the wonder a Disney cruise has in store. In our favorite ad, however, the elevator sales pitch hyping those wondrous offerings is much more literal and direct … that is, until the pitchman gives a nod back to nature and magic again in a truly unforgettable way.
— Rico Bronte