The Girl Next Door
Katie Holmes and Adam Sandler at Home on World's Largest Cruise Ship
by Fran Golden
Invited guests on a preview cruise of the newest world's largest cruise ship, the 5,400-passenger Allure of the Seas, got unexpected glimpses of Hollywood A-listers. Yes, that was Katie Holmes and adorable little daughter Suri Cruise that AOL Travel News spotted on the ship's merry-go-round, and Adam Sandler catching a close-up look at DreamWorks characters including Shrek.
Sandler and Holmes are stars of the movie "Jack and Jill," which has been filming on the soon-to-debut Royal Caribbean cruise ship for several days in Fort Lauderdale. Al Pacino co-stars too but was not onboard (he will do his work in a studio). The Columbia Pictures film is set to come out in 2011.
Passengers on the two-day cruise-to-nowhere mostly journalists and travel agents had been advised there would be film production locations around the 225,282-ton ship, and that some areas might have limited access at times.
But the celebrities, taking a day off from their work schedule, and already at home on the ship, could be spotted all over the giant vessel on Sunday.
The ship is so big it has neighborhoods including a mall-like Royal Promenade with shops and cafes and a Central Park with real trees. Activities include miniature golf, ice skating, a rock-climbing wall and simulated surfing.
Holmes and entourage including several kids hit the family-friendly Boardwalk neighborhood, which is done up to look like Coney Island, the actress wearing a casual black outfit accented by 4 ½-inch Christian Louboutin cutout ankle boots.
A couple of beefy body guards kept onlookers at a distance, and after the carousel ride they closed down the ship's nearby ice cream parlor so the entourage could have a treat.
Holmes is staying in the Allure's top suite, the Royal Suite, which sleeps four and has a Baby Grand piano, floor-to-ceiling windows that lead to a large outdoor balcony and a Jacuzzi facing the sea.
A more accessible Sandler mingled with passengers on the ship's basketball court and came to a DreamWorks character party with his kids.
Unrelated to its role as a film locale, the Allure of the Seas debuts Royal Caribbean's new partnership with DreamWorks, and Shrek, Fiona and Po (the "Kung Fu Panda") are among costumed characters onboard making appearances at shows and character breakfasts and posing for photos.
How big a deal is the partnership? DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg was onboard to get a preview of the ship too.
Passengers on the preview cruise, including kids, were being asked to serve as extras in "Jack and Jill," which films on the ship until Tuesday. Locations include the ship's giant pool deck.
The Allure of the Seas, which also debuts such features as the first Starbucks at sea, got attention from Oprah late last week too when it was named to her annual "Favorite Things" list. Guests on Friday's "The Oprah Winfrey Show" received a free seven-day cruise on Allure of the Seas, among other gifts.
A sister ship to the year-old Oasis of the Seas, Allure of the Seas officially begins Caribbean cruises from Fort Lauderdale on Dec. 1.
Like Oasis, which has been the talk of the cruise world since it arrived in November 2009, Allure is 16 decks high, stretches nearly 1,200 feet long. Other than Oasis, no other cruise ship comes close to it in size.