Entertainment takes to the sea

IS it a Broadway musical? Is it a gravity defying acrobatic feat? Is it light show? No, it’s your cruise line’s entertainment line-up, and it’s redefining the meaning of showbiz on the sea. travelBulletin rounds up the latest in entertainment at sea.

Carnival Cruise Line

Carnival Cruise Line offers its on-stage adaptation of the Spike TV series Lip Sync Battle: Carnival. The entertainment offering is included in the cruise fare and allows guests to live out their dreams of being a music star, without the need to hit the right notes. The series of shows throughout an itinerary pits passengers against each other as they showcase their performance skills. In the final round, the cruise line provides the props, music, lighting, choreographers and even backup dancers. The Lip Sync Battle is available across the entire Carnival fleet on all itineraries seven days or longer.

Princess Cruises

Don’t miss Fantastic Journey, the colourful, convivial and computer and drone-driven concert that’s currently wowing guests on board Princess Cruises’ Majestic Princess.

Dubbed “the most technologically advanced show at sea”, Fantastic Journey has it all — from the high-tech display screens and electric strobe lights, to the foot-tapping, singalong pop music floorshow.

Majestic Princess is the first ship to utilise drone technology in a performance, which forms part of the inclusive entertainment across all itineraries over the 2019 Australian summer cruising season.

No booking is required once on board, however seating is limited — but never fear, the unique “hanging” design of the Princess Theatre means that every seat is in perfect sight line to the stage, so all guests need to do is sit back and enjoy.

Norwegian Cruise Line

Guests on board Norwegian Jewel this season will have their senses heightened with the launch of award-winning show Velvet, which channels the original Studio 54 nightclub and is based on a concept created by Marcia Hines.

Offering an intoxicating mix of cabaret, burlesque and circus, Velvet features performances by muscle men, singers, hula-hoopers, acrobats and aerialists in an eclectic combination of glitz and glamour. The disco soundtrack includes a range of popular tunes including Boogie Wonderland, Le Freak and Stayin’ Alive.

The role of the Diva will be split for the Australian cruising season, with British singer and West End actress Brenda Edwards performing until mid-January, and American Broadway performer singer Frenchie Davis on stage until mid-March.

Royal Caribbean International

Australia’s largest megaliner, Royal Caribbean International’s Ovation of the Seas, blends live performances, experimental cinematography and fresh tunes in its original production, Pixels. The art-meets-technology showcase is included in the cruise fare and takes place in Two70, an immersive, multimedia entertainment venue complete with dancing “roboscreens”. The venue is a casual lounge with expansive ocean views by day and at night transitions into a display of video projection, robotics and human artistry. It features 18 projectors which combine to create a 30m wide screen which wraps around the space.

P&O Cruises

The risque cabaret-style production show Love Riot is P&O Cruises’ signature show on Pacific Explorer. The explosive act was turbocharged earlier this year to mark Pacific Explorer’s first birthday and includes a new world-class line up of elite artists and contortionists that dangle from silk sheets and trapezes, unicycle through the audience and perform awe-inspiring acts. Love Riot weaves in dance, comedy, circus and acrobatics and was created by Australian director Scott Maidment, the brains behind Madonna’s Rebel Heart Tour. The show is performed in the ship’s supper club, Black Circus, for audiences 18 years and over. It is $15 for general entry, including a welcome cocktail, or $39 for a VIP ticket, which includes a five-course dinner in Waterfront and priority seating.

Celebrity Cruises

Celebrity Cruises’ new ship Celebrity Edge hosts the line’s “most technologically advanced main theatre, the most production shows of any ship in the fleet and the largest cast of world-class performers on any premium cruise ship”. The Theatre has four stage areas and three moving projection screens, a main stage which extends into the audience, a rotating platform which raises almost two metres above the stage, two rotating spiral staircases, 10 synchronised panoramic projection screens, 16 video mapping laser projectors and aerial performance rigging. Celebrity Edge offers five new production shows, including the Shakespeare-inspired A Hot Summer Night’s Dream and the Jewelry Box, with its jaw-dropping technological feats. There’s also Kaleidoscope, a high-energy music and dance extravaganza, Get Up, a pop concert and The Purpose, an uplifting production.

MSC Cruises

Brand new ships require brand new shows — and thanks to MSC Cruises’ latest partnership with Cirque du Soleil, guests are in for a range of eye-popping performances.

A total of eight Cirque shows have been tailor-made for the cruise line for its Cirque du Soleil at Sea series, which is already giving guests on board the MSC Meraviglia the chance to experience the ground-breaking entertainment while enjoying dinner and cocktails.

MSC Belissima (debuting March 2019) and MSC Grandiosa (launching November 2019) will both feature two shows, Sonor and Viaggio, for guests to choose from for an additional fee.

The shows are available to book six nights a week.

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