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Royal Caribbean advertises food on Paula Deen Cruise for the 'most discriminating of guests'

By CAROLINE LEE, UPI.com   |   June 25, 2013 at 10:08 AM   |   Comments

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June 25 (UPI) -- Royal Caribbean, who hosts the Paula Deen Cruise, should probably add a "no pun intended" disclaimer to its website.

Her next cruise is still planned to set sail in January 2014 amid allegations that Deen used racial slurs and told racial jokes among staff at her restaurant.

And Royal Caribbean's choice of words for the foodie cruise sunk into some unintended irony.

"Dining aboard any Royal Caribbean ship is truly a fine culinary experience that you will not want to miss!," the website says.

"Royal Caribbean is proud to offer an array of dining options aboard every ship to satisfy the appetites of even the most discriminating of guests."

In a recent lawsuit deposition, Deen admitted to using racial slurs in the past. The suit alleges discrimination and racism at two of Deen's restaurants.

Deen's children, who joined her on last year's cruise, defended their mother Tuesday.

"Neither one of our parents ever taught us to be bigoted toward any other person for any reason," said Bobby Deen.

"Our mother is one of the most compassionate, good-hearted, empathetic people that you'd ever meet," he said. "These accusations are very hurtful to her, and it's very sad."

Smithfield Foods has dropped her as spokeswoman, and the Food Network decided not to renew Deen's contract. Many other affiliated companies are waiting to see what becomes of the lawsuit before moving forward.

Follow @cmlee and @UPI on Twitter.
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