Step aside, "Love Boat." There's a new cruise ship sitcom in town, and this one is aimed at modern-day kids.
On September 26, Disney Channel launched a new show called "The Suite Life on Deck." A spinoff of "The Suite Life of Zack and Cody," the show follows the mischievous twins, their heiress friend and an exasperated hotel manager onboard the cruise ship, S.S. Tilton, where the twins are doing a high school semester at sea program. Although S.S. Tilton does not actually exist, savvy Cruise Critic members point out that the exterior shots of the ships are computer-generated images based on Royal Caribbean's Radiance-class ships -- rather than Disney Cruises' own cruise ships.
The show features a lot of slapstick cruise ship humor, such as people jumping overboard and kids dangling through porthole windows. Some Cruise Critic members expressed concern over the onboard behavior portrayed in the show. DEIx15x8 writes, "I can already tell that this show is going to set a terrible example for kids. People think kids are wild onboard now, this show makes it look 10x worse. They are also trying to make jumping/falling over board cool. Wait till the first kid decides to try that out."
However, just as "The Love Boat" did not spawn a spate of romantic escapades, other Cruise Critic members think it's unlikely "The Suite Life on Deck" will really induce kids to try to jump off a cruise ship. As member hazmatt sagely says, "I watched a lot of cartoons as a kid and can say I never ever dropped an anvil on my brother's head or stuck TNT in his underwear."
The show airs on the Disney Channel at 8 p.m. on Fridays.
--by Erica Silverstein, Associate Editor
New Disney Channel Show Takes Place on a Cruise Ship
October 3, 2008