|Ad From Alice Travel|
No doubt you’ve heard of the recent controversy surrounding Ms. Deen and the accusations made in a lawsuit filed by a former employee. Whether the employee was disgruntled over her workplace situation or not is a matter of opinion, but as a result of the reports surrounding the lawsuit Deen has not only been dropped from the Food Network, but has also lost numerous sponsors. However, not all her fans have deserted her. In fact, some are so loyal that they are signing up for not one, but two Paula Deen Cruises now on tap for next year.
Hosted by Alice Travel, a New Jersey agency that schedules special interest travel, the Paula Deen Cruise is now in its fourth year and is adding a second theme cruise with the beleaguered chef in 2014 as a result of high demand from her fans. While the cruise groups are sailing on Celebrity Cruises and Royal Caribbean ships, the lines have no partnership or any formal association with Paula Deen. This is clearly spelled out in the announcement posted by Alice Travel on the Paula Deen Cruise Facebook page that gives the dates, ships, and itineraries:
YOU MUST BOOK THRU ALICE TRAVEL IN ORDER TO PARTICIPATE IN ANY OF THE PAULA DEEN ACTIVITIES (Those booked with other agents or the cruise line directly will not be allowed access to our events.)
Jan 18-25, Celebrity ReflectionIn my experience, the requirement to book through a specific agency to have access to special programming—for participants only—is pretty typical of groups booked on cruises featuring celebrities. Fares for the cruises have not been announced yet, but they are likely to be higher than bookings on the sailings for non-group passengers, due to the special events planned.
July 19-26, Royal Caribbean, Oasis of the Seas