(1:50 p.m. EST) - The Grinch won't be stealing Christmas this year, but he will be joining Carnival cruisers at sea, along with the Cat in the Hat, the Lorax and other beloved Dr. Suess characters as part of Seuss at Sea, a new family program that will roll out to Carnival ships in 2014.
Dr. Seuss' characters are "timeless, delightful, fun and exciting," said Mark Tamis, Carnival's senior vice president of guest operations, in front of an audience of journalists and bloggers on Carnival Splendor. As he spoke, several Dr. Seuss characters frolicked in the aisles.
Seuss at Sea will incorporate several events including the Green Eggs and Ham breakfast, which will feature whimsical, Dr. Seuss-themed meal items like moose juice and goose juice, colorful pancake stacks, funky French toast, and, of course, green eggs and ham. More traditional adult breakfast fare will also be offered for the parents, and all the wait staff will be dressed in Dr. Seuss-themed uniforms. During the meal, Dr. Seuss characters will come in and interact with the kids in the room.
The Green Eggs and Ham breakfast will be offered the first sea day of each cruise and will cost $5 per person. It will be held in the main dining room and will be open to families as well as young-at-heart adults. If demand exceeds the dining room's capacity, the ship will offer a second breakfast later in the sailing so all interested passengers get a chance to experience it.
Another specifically Dr. Seuss experience onboard will be the Seussapalooza costume parade, a conga-line experience that will snake its way through the promenade and out decks with costumed Dr. Seuss characters leading the way and interacting with dancing passengers. The parade will end with a multi-faceted story time, which Carnival promises will be a "rhyming good time."
The story time will offer family games, cat face painting, and challenges like rhyming contests, hat balancing contests and more. The event will end as a narrator reads Dr. Seuss books and the characters come to life.
Seusapalooza will use a pop-up space for story time on most Carnival ships, but on two -- Carnival Freedom and Carnival Vista -- there will be a dedicated Dr. Seuss Bookville within Camp Carnival.
"Bookville is a space for parents to connect with their kids, reading books they know from their childhood," said Caroline Lombadri, director of youth experience for Carnival.
The rooms will be heavily Dr. Seuss themed with whimsical décor, a chalkboard wall for kids to draw their own Dr. Seuss characters, and arts and crafts station, plus selection of toys for families to play with their kids. The entire Dr. Seuss library also will be available for parents to read to their kids, though if they want to take them back to their cabin, they must purchase them.
Dr. Seuss movies, like The Cat in the Hat and How the Grinch Stole Christmas, also will be a part of the onboard Dr. Suess experience.
And for the most passionate Dr. Seuss fans, a Dr. Seuss cabin decoration package will be available starting mid-2014. Package details are still being worked on, but Lombardi said it will be reasonably priced.
Seuss at Sea will debut during the first quarter of 2014, with 10 ships getting it in 2014, and 14 getting it during the first two quarters of 2015.
Ships getting Seuss at Sea in 2014 are Carnival Splendor, Carnival Breeze, Carnival Sunshine, Carnival Freedom, Carnival Magic, Carnival Legend, Carnival Imagination, Carnival Dream, Carnival Ecstasy and Carnival Inspiration.
--by Dori Saltzman, News Editor