- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Despite the sea of controversy surrounding Paula Deen and the abundance of sponsors who have decided the drop her, two Deen-themed cruises are still set to sail in 2014.

Both cruises are organized by New Jersey-based Alice Travel where the celebrity chef’s photo is prominently displayed on the homepage. One is in January on the Celebrity Reflection, the second, though not yet finalized, will most likely be in July 2014 on Royal Caribbean, ABC News reported.

The news comes just two days after Random House announced it was canceling the publication of Ms. Deen’s forthcoming cookbook “Paula Deen’s New Testament: 250 Favorite Recipes All Lightened Up.”

Vice president of Alice Travel, Phyllis Loverdi, has been organizing the Paula Deen cruises for four years and said the scandal has only sold more tickets.

“People are calling and saying they want to support her, even people who have never been on a cruise before. They’re saying they definitely want to go,” Ms. Loverdi told ABC.

The Celebrity Reflection cruise sets sail from Miami on Jan. 18 for a seven-night cruise through the Eastern Caribbean, ABC reported.

The Paula Deen Cruises - Alice Travel Facebook page posted on Wednesday: “These cruises are going to sell out. What a way to show Paula the love!”

Cynthia Martinez, a spokeswoman for Royal Caribbean, emphasized that no formal business partnership with the cruise-ship operator has ever been reached with Deen.

“She has sailed with our brands a couple of times, but as host of group cruises, and each time, the groups were booked through a specific travel agency, not through Royal Caribbean,” she told the Hollywood Reporter.

The operator of the January cruise, Celebrity Cruises, expressed the same sentiment, Time reported.

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