Seuss On The Loose Aboard Carnival’s Dream

Leslie T. Snadowsky
Celia Rose, Jamerson and Arabella Mordock are joined by several Seussian friends at Carnival Dream’s Green Eggs and Ham Breakfast.

         “I've always liked reading Dr. Seuss,” 10-year-old Jamerson Mordock said. “And now, I finally get the chance to eat green eggs and ham.”

         Mordock, his twin 4-year-old sisters Arabella and Celia Rose, and about 100 other lucky New Orleans kids were escorted aboard Carnival’s mammoth 130,000-ton Dream cruise ship Sunday, August 2, 2015, while at anchor at its homeport, to hear a special reading of the latest Dr. Seuss book “What Pet Should I Get?” and be treated to a sumptuous Green Eggs and Ham Breakfast.

         “They like stuff like this, and they love Dr. Seuss,” Mordock said about his sisters who were busy twirling about in their flouncy dresses in Dream’s ENCORE! main show lounge. “They really wanted to be here, and are very excited. And it's cool because we get to hear the latest Dr. Seuss book read to us on a huge luxury ship.”

         On Sunday, Carnival Cruise Line and Dr. Seuss Enterprises also invited the Louisiana SPCA and several rescue dogs to celebrate the release of the world renowned wordsmith’s latest pet-centric fanciful fiction.

         Launched in 2014, Seuss at Sea is a fleetwide program featuring exciting family experiences inspired by the whimsical world of Dr. Seuss. The program includes a Seuss-a-palooza Parade and Story Time, as well as character interactions, Dr. Seuss toys and games and popular movies enjoyed during cruises.

         “Carnival is the number one cruise line for families, and we’re delighted to team up with Dr. Seuss Enterprises to bring the joy of reading to kids with a special book reading while supporting animal rescue efforts in the New Orleans community,” said Christine Duffy, Carnival’s president. “With two year-round ships carrying 400,000 passengers annually, Carnival is New Orleans’ largest cruise operator and we can’t think of a better way to celebrate the first Dr. Seuss book in 25 years than with a fun event aboard Carnival Dream at the Port of New Orleans. Carnival has been a part of the New Orleans community for the better part of two decades, and we are delighted to host kids from local schools and summer camps for this exciting event and recognize the valuable work done by Louisiana SPCA each and every day.”

         Carnival made a $10,000 donation to the Louisiana SPCA during the morning event.

         Angela Hill, a member of the New Orleans Broadcasting Hall of Fame, a longtime supporter of the Louisiana SPCA and an advocate for animal rescue, donned Dr. Seuss’ signature striped hat and delighted the pint-sized Seuss fans with an animated book reading of “What Pet Should I Get?” which is based on an original manuscript and accompanying sketches by Dr. Seuss, aka Theodor Geisel, that were discovered in the deceased author’s La Jolla, CA, home.

         “I love Dr. Seuss, and I love to be around animals,” celebrity narrator Hill said. “What Carnival is doing to help the Louisiana SPCA is amazing, and that's a big check they’re donating. That $10,000 will help so many animals. Because of the relationship between Carnival and Dr. Seuss, helping out the animal shelter is just a natural.”

         “We are thrilled to partner with Carnival on this exciting event to raise awareness of the importance of animal rescue and pet adoption and thank them for their generous donation to our organization,” said Ana Zorrilla, Louisiana SPCA’s CEO.

         Tabitha Ramsey won the opportunity to set sail on the Sunday Seussian adventure with her 6-year-old son Jayden by winning a WWL-TV/ Dr. Seuss essay writing contest about what she liked most about pets. She said it’s their distinct personalities.

         “’One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish’ is Jayden’s favorite Dr. Seuss book,” she said. “I was so excited when we won because I knew this would be a great event held in a nice, calm environment, and it would be something he would enjoy.”

         Jayden, who wants to live on a ship one day, said he liked walking around the decks looking at the Dream’s water slides and hot tubs and was especially looking forward to eating some ice cream.

         Before the reading got underway, Hennie Van Heerden, Carnival Dream’s Cruise Director, encouraged the kids to make as much noise as they wanted to onstage, without fear of being sent to the brig.

         The South African native, who first said “Ahoy!” to Carnival Cruise Line 10 years ago, started as a waiter serving other crew members. Now, as the ship’s charismatic Cruise Director, Van Heerden said the best part of the job on the $820 million, 3,646-passenger, 1,367-crew Carnival Dream is being able to make people happy and see a sea of smiles. He did just that when instructing the kids to wave their arms port and starboard, aft and stern, and dance all around the stage before settling down to sit around Hill for the book reading.

         “Because of Carnival’s partnership with Dr. Seuss we wanted to invite a bunch of kids to come aboard, hear the first new Dr. Seuss book in a quarter of a century and roll it out with a bang,” Van Heerden said.

         Dr. Seuss/ Theodor Geisel, who died in 1991, is arguably one of the most beloved children’s book authors of all time. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize in 1984, an Academy Award, three Emmy Awards, three Grammy Awards and three Caldecott Honors, Geisel wrote and illustrated 44 books for children. More than 600 million copies have been sold and translated into more than 20 languages.

         Dr. Seuss Enterprises, L.P. protects the integrity of the Dr. Seuss books while expanding beyond books into ancillary areas. This effort is a strategic part of the overall mission to nurture and safeguard the relationship people have with Dr. Seuss characters. Dr. Seuss’ widow Audrey S. Geisel heads Dr. Seuss Enterprises as CEO.

         Following the “What Pet Should I Get?” reading, and next on the itinerary, was an excursion to the Crimson Forward Dining Room. The children and their chaperones joined crew members dressed as The Cat in the Hat, Sam-I-am, Thing 1 and Thing 2, screaming “Seuss On The Loose,” while parading through the Dream’s Lobby and Atrium to a VIP seating for the popular Green Eggs and Ham Breakfast, part of the line’s exclusive Seuss at Sea program.

         On the menu? Pink Truffula Tree Pancakes, Belgian Waffles with dollops of multicolored whipped cream, Scrambled Super-Dee Dooper-Dee-Booper Special de luxe a-la-Peter T Hooper Omelets, Fox in Socks Steak and Eggs, and, of course, Green Eggs and Ham.

         After breakfast, all Seuss mini-VIPs were presented with knapsacks containing theme gifts and a copy of “What Pet Should I Get?” before being ushered ashore.

         As Jamerson Mordock was leaving the Dream with his family he was mulling over what he would want to be if he worked on the ship. Quartermaster, Purser, 1st Officer, Captain? “The owner!” he beamed.

         Carnival’s president Duffy said Carnival will expand capacity on short cruises from New Orleans by 34 percent when the Carnival Triumph launches year-round 4 and 5-day cruises to Mexico this spring.

         According to a study by the Cruise Lines International Association, the cruise industry adds a $400 million annual economic impact to the state of Louisiana and accounts for 8,000 jobs in the state.

         Carnival, a unit of Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE/LSE: CCL; NYSE: CUK), is "The World's Most Popular Cruise Line®" with 24 ships operating 3 to 16-day voyages to The Bahamas, Caribbean, Mexican Riviera, Alaska, Hawaii, Canada, New England, Bermuda, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands. 

         The company currently has two 133,500-ton ships on order – Carnival Vista, scheduled to enter service in 2016, and an as-yet-unnamed vessel set to debut in 2018.

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