K A T I E   H O L M E S :
The Girl Next Door

HMS celebrity: What happens when you end up with a film crew on board

Globe and Mail - Canada
by Wallace Immen

FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA.— Adam Sandler didn't fool many passengers aboard the new cruise ship Allure of the Seas as he ordered a coffee at the Starbucks counter wearing a flamboyant floral print dress.

As if the yellow, green and pink sundress, the gold belt and matching earrings weren't over the top enough, he wore a floppy hat atop his short-clipped hair.

The actor was in costume for his new movie, "Jack and Jill," which was being filmed on board. Sandler plays a down-to-earth guy and his eccentric twin sister who are both taking a holiday cruise.

His co-star, Katie Holmes, and her four-year old daughter, Suri, also made a dramatic appearance on deck. Holmes wore a skinny black top and slacks and high-heeled gold gladiator sandals by Christian Louboutin. Suri was in a black dress with colourful patches and pink flip-flops.

They were flanked by hulky security guards who kept a three-metre-wide perimeter around the Hollywood royalty wherever they went, including to Allure's Boardwalk amusement area, where Suri rode by herself on a carousel of hand-carved horses.

On any other cruise ship, an A-list celebrity sighting would have brought everything to a halt. But on the Allure – a ship so vast that a Hollywood movie crew barely made a ripple – it was all in a day's excitement.

This is no ordinary ship, more like a floating city, with seven distinct neighbourhoods and a capacity of 6,000 passengers. Its 18 decks are wider than any at sea, so if the film crew closed one or two areas, there was no disruption. In fact, it was easy to watch the cast at work by standing on another deck above the action. Many passengers ended up as background extras walking along the ship's main mall.

Stargazing wasn't left to the passengers. A crew member shared a moment she observed outside Katie and Suri's suite (which had a team of security guards at the door). One day, the door opened, Suri emerged and asked, “Would you like some coffee?”

When the guards declined, Suri giggled and said, “No, no I mean pretend coffee.” The guards graciously accepted, and a good tea party was had by all.