So far, a few trips on the Staten Island Ferry is the closest I’ve come to taking a cruise.
I am prone to seasickness, I have no desire to spend time in a spa, I can overeat and nap in a deck chair at home, and I am a tightwad.
In short, cruises don’t interest me. But after watching Celebrity Cruises’ “Wonder Awaits” television commercials, I could change my mind, if not blow it.
The commercial features a young red-headed woman in a green dress wandering slightly dazed and pleasantly confused through one of Celebrity’s 13-story, 3,000 passenger Edge cruise ships to the sounds of Grace Slick and Jefferson Airplane performing their psychedelic anthem “White Rabbit.”
I assume the commercial was designed to appeal to folks from an age group that matches cruising’s key customer demographic — geezers like me, who are old enough to have bought Airplane’s “Surrealistic Pillow” album when it first came out.
In the long version of the ad, green dress woman jumps into a swimming pool and descends through several feet of large, multicolored, shape-shifting bubbles until she emerges, completely dry, in a shipboard restaurant where diners wielding chopsticks stare curiously at her. Grace Slick sings White Rabbit’s “one pill makes you larger, and one pill makes you small” verse, and green dress woman shrinks to the height of an appetizer plate and scurries across a table and into a jungle where she regains her original size. She then picks and admires a green herb, which is snatched from her hand by a smiling bartender who uses it as a cocktail garnish.
After swirling her way through a series of eerie floor shows and down a hallway filled with bright, shiny objects, green dress woman collapses onto a stateroom bed and awakens in a deck chair, where a female steward welcomes her to her Celebrity cruise.
According to an article about the ad in Travel Weekly, the managing partner of the agency responsible for the spot said his creative team “wanted to show how unexpected moments, impeccable service and stunning design create a trip that is truly wonderful.”
There’s no question the commercial suggested a trip of some kind. When Grace Slick was singing “feed your head” in the background, I’m pretty sure she wasn’t referring to multiple visits to the buffet table.
Those seeking a more traditional experience on an upcoming Celebrity cruise might want to avoid any Kool-Aid fountains and think twice before accepting a Dramamine tablet from a steward.
Meanwhile, I’ll work on cutting down my TV time.
The “Wonder Awaits” campaign, combined with a constant diet of cable news and the oft-played ad in which Matthew McConaughey ice fishes with an unbaited treble hook from the rear hatch of his Lincoln Aviator has my blood pressure ticking upward.