You may not go on a cruise with the goal of seeing a bunch of movies, but cruisers have proven to be big fans of film and the cruise lines have responded with a variety of cinema-related activities. Royal Caribbean, with its DreamWorks partnership, and Disney Cruise Line, with everything Disney, amp-up the action with a bunch of movie character tie-ins — and even movie premieres at sea.
Both newer and classic films are shown in shipboard movie theaters, on in-cabin TVs and on giant outdoor movie screens — where you can sit back in a lounge share and watch flicks under the stars on a warm tropical night.
Check out what's on the screen on these lines.
Royal Caribbean: First-run movies including the latest from DreamWorks play in theaters equipped for 3-D on the Oasis, Allure, Liberty and Freedom of the Seas. Most of the Royal Caribbean ships show films on poolside movie screens. In-cabin there's opportunity to watch DreamWorks Animation, including movies starring Shrek, and a good selection of recent releases available on a pay-per-view basis.
Disney: Filled with fans, the Disney ships show movies, both new and nostalgic, in the Buena Vista cinema (complete with refreshment stand). New releases such as "Frozen," premiere shipboard — sometimes even earlier than on land — in the main Walt Disney Theater. The theaters are equipped for digital 3-D. The Disney Dream, Fantasy and Magic also show movies on poolside Funnel Vision screens, while cabin TVs on all the ships feature two movie channels, one showing animated classics. The Disney Magic recently played host to the third Turner Classic Movies Classic Cruise featuring screenings, lectures and movie stars.
Holland America Line: Recent movies are shown in an onboard cinema, with afternoon and evening screenings — and the bonus of free popcorn. Some of the ships, including the Rotterdam, Statendam and Veendam, also have giant LED screens on deck for open-air showings. In your cabin you can order up DVDs from the complimentary Ship Flicks collection – with more than 1,000 titles.
Carnival: A dozen of the Carnival ships, including the Carnival Breeze, Carnival Sunshine and Carnival Magic, are equipped with poolside movie screens that at night show what Carnival calls Dive-In movies (during the day the screens show music videos and sports events). The movie showings are themed, such as Date Night, Best Picture and Super Hero. A blanket is provided for snuggling in a lounge chair and there's free popcorn.
Princess Cruises: Princess pioneered the giant outdoor movie screen concept with its Movies Under the Stars program, available on many of the line's ships. With its latest ship, the Royal Princess, the line beefed up stateroom options with a proprietary on-demand system that allows passengers to choose from a library of 100 new and classic movies — on a complimentary basis.
Crystal: In addition to DVDs that can be checked out from the library to watch in your cabin, and regular movie showings on the big screen in the Hollywood Theatre, Crystal hosts special Film & Theater cruises featuring movie marathons, noted actors and industry speakers — the 2013 cruise was themed on Marilyn Monroe. The 2014 cruise (celebrities/speakers to be announced) is on the Crystal Symphony, on a 17-day Panama Canal cruise from Los Angeles to New York, embarking May 15.
Cunard: First-run movies are shown in the afternoon and evening on the three Cunard ships, with a selection that includes classic flicks also available on in-cabin TVs. The Cunard Insights program brings onboard speakers including award-winning actors (such as John Cleese), noted writers and filmmakers.
Silversea: A recently enhanced onboard movie program includes complimentary streaming movies that passengers can watch on their smartphones, tablets or e-Book readers (or iPad minis available to borrow). The extensive library includes more recent Academy Award-winning movies and classics.
Windstar: Each of the ships of this adult-oriented line have a movie library stocked with some 400 DVDs that you can borrow to watch in your cabin. The ships also keep on hand a few, ahem, adult titles — you can inquire what's available at the reception desk.
By Fran Golden, Special to USA Today
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