Pop Star Pitbull Christens Norwegian Escape In Miami
Last month saw the launch of Norwegian Escape, the world's newest cruise ship, at Port Miami. Wearing a nautical ensemble of white linen trousers and a navy sports coat, 'Mr 305', who may be the closest thing Miami has to royalty, swaggered onstage to do the honours as godfather.
Dockside, on Biscayne Bay, Escape's hull adorned with a 102-square-metre mural by artist and marine conservationist Guy Harvey, gleamed white under the bluest of skies. Flocks of pelicans and a lone seagull swooped intermittently across the sky.
A ship inspired by Miami, it was only fitting that the Miami native and international pop star Pitbull – who also fancies himself as 'Mr Worldwide' – did the honours. The preamble to his performance included rousing numbers from the ship’s entertainment offerings, such as the musicals After Midnight and Million Dollar Quartet.
The mayor of Miami-Dade County, Carlos Gimenez, gave remarks, as did the ship’s captain, Evans Hoyt. The 20-deck ship was blessed by both a rabbi and a priest.
Pitbull joined Norwegian Cruise Line CEO Frank Del Rio atop individual hydraulic platforms that rose above the stage as the screen behind captured the smashing of a Champagne bottle against the hull with a pyrotechnic flourish. Then, having swapped the sports coat for a navy polo shirt, Pitbull burst back onstage with a five-piece band and six scantily clad backup dancers, for an energetic rendition of his hit song Don’t Stop the Party.
“We know it’s hot. We know it’s sweaty,” Mr 305 said in between songs. “Whoever’s not from Miami, welcome to what it means to be sexy!”
He then launched into Fireball. With the song’s music video playing on the big screen behind him, and dancers all over the place, it was hard to know where to look – screen or stage.
Channelling his new role, he performed five songs for a nearly 30-minute set, including the Spanish Echa Pa’alla. To introduce his final number, Give Me Everything, he thanked the crowd for believing in him and quoted his own song about turning his "life from a negative to a positive".
After applause and cheers, feeling sexy or not, we made a beeline for the airconditioning of Escape to embark on the inaugural two-night cruise from its homeport.
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This article was written by Shayne Benowitz from The Daily Telegraph and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.