Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows will be released on land at midnight on Saturday, July 21, which coincides with two of P&O's July 20th sailings: Aurora's 16-night "Venetian Magic" and Oriana's 14-night "The Dolce Vita Cruise." Both ships will be departing from Southampton with copies of the book onboard before it sets sail. Potter fans can snag these books at the ship's libraries at midnight -- just as if they were on land -- for approximately $28.87 (14.39 pounds).
On July 20, the first day of both sailings, the ship's daily newsletter will reflect the Harry Potter theme with a new name: "Daily Prophet." Midnight, though, is when the Potter Palooza really kicks in: Both ships' "moonlit launch" events will feature Hogwarts characters like Dumbledore, Hagrid and Harry along with all-familiar book-inspired candy: cauldron cakes, liquorice wands, sugar quills, chocolate frogs, peppermint toads, jelly slugs, fudge flies and butterbeer.
And although Cruise Critic always urges to pack light, this is one exception; kids, don't forget your best Harry Potter gear (we know you have a wizard hat and cloak stashed away somewhere!), because there will be a costume contest. The prize for the best Harry, Hermoine, Ron or other favorite character? A "Petrified Potters musical statue."
But what about adults, P&O ... can we dress up too? We here at Cruise Critic are huge Harry Potter fans!
--by Erica Sapio, Assistant Editor