What do glamorous Italian actress Sophia Loren and sitcom-star-turned-fitness-guru Suzanne Somers have in common? After November of this year, they both will have served as ambassadors for Italy-based MSC Cruises.
While Loren still has the privilege of being MSC's only godmother, Suzanne Somers will officially welcome MSC Poesia to North America in a ceremony on November 10, 2009. The event will commemorate MSC Poesia's first visit to the Americas and the start of its maiden Caribbean season. Somers will present MSC Cruises' CEO Rick Sasso with a plaque and toast the ship with a glass of Champagne.
Since her sitcom days, Somers has become quite the entrepreneur, selling her diet and self-help books, jewelry, beauty products and fashion items on the Home Shopping Network. So what's her relationship with MSC? Well, it turns out Somers is scheduled to sail onboard MSC Poesia's inaugural five-night cruise in the Caribbean for travel company Brickell Productions' "Suzanne Cruise" -- a partial-ship theme-cruise charter featuring seminars on health, fitness, beauty and hormone therapy. The private events include everything from "Suzannearoke" to a disco pajama party, a musical performance by Somers herself and a preview of Somers' new book.
When the cruise line learned the actress was going to be onboard, the executives decided to take advantage of the situation and schedule a welcome ceremony, a cruise line spokeswoman tells us. The line held a similar welcome ceremony once before -- when Sophia Loren flew to the U.S. to welcome MSC Opera to the Americas in 2004. This time, Loren was not available, and Somers was a convenient substitute. Somers will have no official role with the cruise line after this one-time stint (though, according to Brickell Productions' Mike London, CEO Sasso is apparently a Suzanne Somers fan).
We can't help but wonder if there will be Thighmasters in Poesia's fitness center or if the in-cabin TV's will show re-runs of "Three's Company" all day long. You can still join the fun in person -- fares start at $699 per person and children ages 17 and under (who probably have no clue who Somers is) sail free.
--by Erica Silverstein, Senior Editor
Pictured above: Loren, Somers, MSC mascot DO RE MI and Thighmaster
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Suzanne Somers to Welcome MSC Cruises Ship to the U.S.
May 28, 2009