Royal Caribbean isn’t trading in its signiture gold and blue colors, but its ships are going to be a lot more pink starting in January.



That’s when something called the “Barbie Experience” will debut for young princesses ages 4 to 11.

Girls can sleep in Barbie-themed cabins, design Barbie outfits, go to tea and participate in a fashion show at the end of the cruise. The experience will come in a basic free version and a premium one that will cost $349.

Cruisers with long memories might recall a Carnival-branded Barbie doll that was around during the late 1990s on Carnival Cruise Lines ships.

“That was simply a doll sold in the gift shop,” said Vicki Freed, Royal Caribbean's vice president of sales. Freed is a big Barbie collector and worked for Carnival when Carnival Cruise Barbie set sail in 1997.

Mattel Inc., Royal Caribbean’s partner in the Barbie Experience, started making the iconic doll in 1959.

Barbie was a smash success in a test last fall on the Freedom of the Seas, Freed said. “When you think about all the families we carry, this is a really great fit,” she said.

Follow Tom Stieghorst on Twitter @tstravelweekly. 

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