9 Best Cruise Ads of All-Time

cruise commercial ad best all time
Did your favorite make the list? - Photo by Cruiseline.com

There's no time of the year when people are more interested in advertising than the Super Bowl. With all the buzz over commercials, we started thinking about some of the most memorable cruise commercials of all time. Here's a list of our personal favorites:

1 & 2. Carnival: "If They Could See You Now" and "We Got the Fun" With Kathie Lee Gifford


Why We Love It: It's hard to think of a more iconic cruise commercial than Kathie Lee Gifford's catchy musical numbers that introduced an entire generation to cruising. While it's hard to say the words "most popular cruise line in the world" without hearing them in Gifford's voice, it's easy to forget she was virtually unknown at the time. The ad was so succesful, Carnival quickly cranked out an entire series of ads, some more risque than others.


Fun Fact: The 1985 "We've got the fun" ad promotes 3 night cruises on Carnival from $325. We did the math and it turns out the price of a cruise has actually gone DOWN in the last 31 years! $325 in 1985 comes out to about $730 today, and Carnival is currently offering 3 night cruises from as low as $199. Mind. Blown.


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3. Celebrity: Royal Treatment


Why We Love it: Most vacation commericials emphasize all the fun you'll have during your travels, but this one takes a dramatically different approach.  Rather than show you the highpoints of going on a cruise, this spot from Celebrity shows the ensuing pit of depression you'll fall into once you return to the drudgery of your 9-5 lifestyle. Add in some solid deadpan acting, and it's a combination that just works.


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4. Royal Caribbean: The Sea is Calling


Why We Love it: Because now we can say that the sea used to call me on my shellphone. But in all seroiusness, the sea certainly has some excellent argumentative skills for a body of water. With a voice that was playful, fun, guilt-inducing, and not-so-subtly flirtatious, the anthropomorphic sea of this Royal Caribbean commericial turned a tired cliche into a suprisingly solid commercial. 


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5. Norwegian: Freestyle Cruising


Why We Love it: While cruising on other lines isn't nearly this regimented as this ad would have you believe, freestyle cruising was a pretty significant innovation and this spot efficiently communicated the concept to potential cruisers. It also doesn't hurt that the choreography is pretty hypnotizing to watch.


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6. Princess: More Than a Cruise with Gavin MacLeod


Why We Love it: It's pretty safe to assume that cruises today would not be as popular as they are if it hadn't been for The Love Boat and Captain Stubing, who went on to become the Ambassador for Princess. It's simple and straightforward, but still holds a special place in our hearts.


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7. Disney: Cruise Director with Steffani Brass


Why We Love it: What parent doesn't dream of a vacation from their kids, while still being on vacation with their kids? Echoing Norwegian's Freestyle Cruising concept, this Disney ad drives home the message that your kid will keep themselves busy, to the point where the child is even ordering the parents to have dinner by themselves.

Fun Fact: Steffani Brass went on to have a fairly successful acting career as a child and an adult, recently staring in the indie short See Me, and also scored guest roles on popular shows like Six Feet Under and Two and a Half Men.


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8. Celebrity: Acceptance Speech


Why We Love it: There's nothing like a well-timed twist to get someone's attention. The concept sounds cheesy, but the lead actress manages to pull it off with flying colors.


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9. Norwegian: Unidentified Ship


Why We Love it: Another commercial that doesn't seem like it's about cruises until it's halfway over, the intense introduction to this piece feels like something straight out of a Tom Clancy thriller. 


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