When Carnival Cruise Line announced its partnership with Dr. Seuss Enterprises in 2013, it started small.
But five years later, Seuss is starting to become a bigger part of the mix. In addition to parades, themed breakfasts and play areas featuring Seuss characters and stories, Carnival has now applied Seuss theming to a marquee attraction on its latest ship, the Carnival Horizon.
Guests large and small on the Horizon can't help noticing the new Dr. Seuss WaterWorks complex occupying several decks' worth of space on the ship's upper superstructure.
The WaterWorks proper is located on Deck 12, but two large waterslides extend upward by several decks.
The more thrilling of the two, a twisting, speckled-blue tube dubbed Fun Things, is named for the mischievous Thing 1 and Thing 2 who caused so much trouble for Sally and her unnamed brother in Seuss' classic "The Cat in the Hat."
The 213-foot-long Fun Things slide could easily have been called Wild Things, because it gets rather sloppy/scary at the end.
The tamer of the two slides, called the Cat's Hat, is a larger-diameter tube that riders descend on a small, inflatable ring with handles. The entrance atop the stair tower is designed to look like the brim of the Cat's hat, and as riders sail through the tube, its alternating translucent red and white stripes mimic the colors of the Cat's hat and provide a kaleidoscopic sensation as the 450-foot-long ride progresses.
Back on Deck 12, which is the Sports Deck on the Horizon, there are gentler attractions aimed at younger Seuss-lovers.
A 150-gallon tipping bucket inspired by the Cat’s hat soaks anyone lucky enough to be standing underneath it at the waterpark on Deck 12.
There's a very shallow, broad pool with water no more than a few inches deep for splashing in. There's a cool series of rainbow hoops that spray mist through their centers, a climbing structure and a small slide for tots.
There's an enormous, 150-gallon, elevated bucket patterned after the Cat's hat that fills slowly with water until it reaches a tipping point and spills its contents with a crashing torrent on anyone below.
Overseeing it all is a cool cut-out of the Cat in the Hat, leaning oh-so-casually against a lifesaving ring that identifies the area as Dr. Seuss WaterWorks.
A character from another Seuss classic, the mean-hearted Grinch, stands nearby and is toting a surfboard tucked under his arm.
The whole complex is done up in primary red and a light shade of blue, colors that come from the Cat story but also coincide with the red and darker blue that Carnival uses as trademark colors on its funnel and elsewhere.
"The Dr. Seuss WaterWorks is going to be a major highlight for families," said Caroline Lombardi, Carnival's director of youth experience.