Sosie de Madonna sur le Norwegian Epic, le nouveau bateau de croisière norvégien.
Country music's Reba McEntire christens biggest-ever Norwegian Cruise Line ship
By Gene Sloan, USA TODAY
Posted Jul 2 2010 4:07PM
The Cruise Log with Gene Sloan
NEW YORK -- Country music icon and self-described Norwegian Cruise Line fan Reba McEntire served as godmother today at the christening of one of the largest cruise ships ever built, the 4,100-passenger Norwegian Epic.
McEntire, who has sailed with her family on the line's ships several times, received a roar from the crowd of invited guests in the ship's Epic Theater as she emerged to dedicate the vessel during the on-board ceremony. The ship was docked at the Manhattan Cruise Terminal, with New York's skyline as a backdrop.
"Cruising vacations are the best," McEntire enthused just moments before a video played showing the smashing of a bottle against the vessel's hull.
McEntire was joined on stage by comedian and Curb Your Enthusiasm star Jeff Garlin, who served as host for an hour-long christening show that included live feeds of performances from around the ship's many entertainment venues.
Among the performers was the Blue Man Group, one of the headline shows on the ship; and Elvis, Tina Turner and Madonna look-a-likes from the ship's Legends in Concert show. Also performing were circus performers from the ship's much-heralded Cirque Dreams and Dinner show, which takes place in what's billed as the first "big top" at sea, and comedy group Second City.
Norwegian Cruise Line has made entertainment a hallmark of the new ship, bringing in the sort of big-name acts that until now have been found at the biggest Las Vegas casino resorts but not on most cruise ships.
Among several speakers at the christening event was Norwegian Cruise Line CEO Kevin Sheehan, widely credited with turning the long-struggling company around since taking the helm just a few years ago.
"I am very proud of the company today," Sheehan said from the Epic Theater stage. "Wow, what a change."
Bigger than all but a handful of Royal Caribbean vessels, the 153,000-ton Epic is more than 60% larger than the largest Norwegian Cruise Line ships currently at sea. It arrived in the city Thursday following a maiden trans-Atlantic voyage from Southampton, England. At 200 feet tall, the ship cleared the Verrazano Bridge at the entrance to the New York harbor by just 24 inches.
Epic is scheduled to set sail later today on a two-night preview voyage for travel agents and other invited guests before returning to New York on the morning of July 4th to host the Macy's 4th of July Fireworks show (to be broadcast live on NBC at 9 pm ET Sunday). The ship then heads for Miami, where it will begin its first season of seven-night Caribbean cruises.
Source: USA TODAY/The Cruise Log.