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    Norwegian Getaway hull to feature art by Lebo


    Passengers returning to port will have no trouble finding Norwegian Cruise Line's Getaway thanks to the playful cartoon-style paint job, designed by popular Miami artist David "Lebo" Le Batard.

    When the ship launches in January 2014, it will sport a whimsical tropical-ocean theme complete with a mermaid holding the sun, pelicans and palm trees. Norwegian says the design's befitting the ship's year-round home port of Miami.

    "This artwork will surely make Norwegian Getaway an iconic part of the Miami skyline when she arrives as Miami's largest year-round ship," Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian Cruise Line's chief executive officer, says in a statement. "We wanted to ensure that her hull was designed by an artist with strong ties to Miami and the Latin community. Having begun his career in South Florida, Dave is an artist that is entrenched here."

    Indeed, Lebo, as he's known, is among the city's best-known working artists, creating murals, painting, sculptures and site-specific installations. He was born in New York City in 1972 to Cuban émigré parents, and raised in south Florida, where he was heavily influenced by Miami's Cuban art scene. His work has been exhibited in Detroit, Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York, Toronto, South Africa, Germany and Italy.

    He has also worked with companies like Gibson Guitars, Ferrari and Harley Davidson, as well as Latin pop singer Gloria Estefan, whose newest album cover features his design.

    As for the hull, Norwegian says "It is centered on a mythical mermaid, an iconic image that represents humanity's connection to the sea, and features her seemingly skimming across the surface of the water. Surrounding the mermaid is a fusion of sea and sky dancing across the ship, where three pelicans gracefully glide along in the artist's version of a tropical paradise."

    Cruise Loggers, what do you think? Will an artistic paint job help set the mood for a cruise? Share your thoughts below.

    This item was written by Larry Bleiberg, former Travel Editor of The Dallas Morning News and Coastal Living magazine. Bleiberg is serving as Guest Editor of The Cruise Log while USA TODAY Cruise Editor Gene Sloan is away.

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