Anchors aweigh! Hundreds of classic film fans set sail for a nautical adventure on the second TCM Cruise aboard the Celebrity Constellation.
The five-night voyage departed from the Port of Miami and made stops in Grand Cayman and Cozumel. TCM hosts Robert Osborne and Ben Mankiewicz were joined by classic film stars Debbie Reynolds, Mickey Rooney, Arlene Dahl, Sally Ann Howes, and Norman Lloyd. Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek made a surprise appearance to host trivia contests during the sold-out cruise.
Throughout the star-studded trip, cruisers screened classic films, attended candid conversations with stars, played trivia games, listened to panel discussions, took swing lessons, and screened silent films with arrangements performed by the Alloy Orchestra.
Everything "classic" was commemorated during the nostalgic journey, from decorations to specialty cocktails, to music and even guests' wardrobes, creating the feeling that passengers had been transported to another place in time.
"The response is so overwhelmingly positive," TCM host Mankiewicz said about the cruise. "There's just so much enthusiasm."
While fans shared a passion for celebrating a time gone by, but certainly not forgotten, it was their collective love for classic films that solidified a special bond. They truly treasured the opportunity to talk with other classic film fans and the people behind TCM who work to preserve and present classic films.
Many memories were made on the TCM Cruise, but the chance to meet legendary movie stars and hear their stories about the Golden Age of Hollywood seemed to be the fan favorite. SheKnows spoke with the classic film stars on board about their lasting careers and their experience on the TCM Cruise.
Reynolds, an Oscar- and Emmy-nominated actress, reflected on her time in show business, saying, "It's been a wonderful life, so it's fun to talk about events that have been enjoyable for me and to share it with other people, if they're funny or if they're interesting. Most things that I've gone through are pretty interesting."
Even Rooney, an Academy Award-winning actor whose career has spanned 90 years, said it was very touching to see all of the guests cheer, wave, and take photos of him and his fellow entertainers.
The star was elated to be on board saying, "These are fans and they're on a cruise to say hello to us. Robert Osborne and Ben Mankiewicz they're all wonderful people — I'm proud to be associated with Turner Classic Movies."
Legendary beauty and MGM star Dahl, has many fond memories from her early days in Hollywood. She said penning her popular syndicated beauty column launched her writing career and gave her exclusive access to fellow stars.
"I was the only actress interviewing other actors and actresses and I think that's why I got to interview Bing Crosby and Marlin Brando, who never did interviews," she said. "I interviewed Elvis and he was terrific — such a gentleman."
Dahl is writing a book about the social life in old Hollywood, a much talked about subject on the TCM Cruise. Even Lloyd, an actor, director and Emmy-nominated producer of stage, film and television, was pleasantly surprised to see so many excited fans, and said that being a part of the cruise was a wonderful experience.
"You make pictures for the public and you never have any contact with them so to come on a cruise like this is fascinating to me," he said. "People come up to you and tell you the most amazing things about moments in pictures you made 40 years ago!"
While walking around the ship, Tony-nominated actress and singer Howes thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to meet fans. She said their kindness was touching as she recalled her interactions saying, "They have a wonderful way of saying thank you and we can thank them — they're so loyal and wonderful!"
Another sought after celebrity on board was Osborne, the always charming and knowledgeable TCM host. The author and historian lit up the stage with his charismatic personality and talent for sharing his wealth of information.
He said only one thing continues to surprise him about TCM fans:
"The amount of passion that everybody has. As a movie fan going way back, I understand all that; and what a treat it is to be with people that are like-minded."
Even though the TCM Cruise is over, fans can always relive some of the magic at home each time they turn on Turner Classic Movies.
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