Since the Golden Age of cruising, it’s been tradition for passengers to sit down and enjoy on-board entertainment. From elegant orchestras and razzle dazzle cabarets to glitzy stage shows and high energy pop tribute groups, tastes have certainly changed over the years.
When you compare today’s shows to what was on offer just a few years ago, the difference is incredible! Contemporary cruise lines appreciate that their passengers are well-read theatre goers who can pinpoint quality and talent when they see it. Cue the banishment of tacky, low budget productions and the unveiling of world class stage shows that hold their own against Broadway’s best. So what’s hitting on-board theatres this year? We’ve put together a collection of our favourite productions on some of the world’s most luxurious vessels.
Norwegian Cruise Line – Priscilla Queen of the Desert
Norwegian is no stranger to lifting the curtain on show stopping productions. Legally Blonde had audiences captivated while the arrival of Million Dollar Quartet on its brand new fleet member later this year has critics buzzing with anticipation. But what’s really caught our attention is the fabulous Priscilla Queen of the Desert which is set to grace the decks of newly refurbished Epic later this year.
Royal Caribbean – We Will Rock You
Queen and Ben Elton are two names that conjure up electrifying excitement wherever they go. When Anthem of the Seas sets sail from Southampton later this month, she’ll wow passengers with the Broadway spectacular. Featuring the legendary ballads of the world’s most famous super group, the smash hit show boasted a truly killer score. Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, Executive Vice President of Operations at Royal Caribbean International maintained that “On our new Quantum-class, guests can expect an entertainment experience that transcends anything they’ve ever seen before, and We Will Rock You is no exception.” Ms Lutoff-Perlo wasn’t slow to make the name connection either, saying “We’re thrilled to bring the timeless rock ballads of Queen to our most appropriately named ship.”
Princess Cruises – Magic to Do
Who needs critically acclaimed Broadway style shows when you can hire legendary writer and composer Stephen Schwartz to create a brand new act exclusively for your line? This is just what Princess Cruises has done, headhunting the triple Oscar winning Wicked and Godspell creator to compose Magic to Do. Blending awe inspiring magic with a myriad of Schwartz’s hit songs, it’s a guaranteed extravaganza. Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises president gushes, “Stephen is hands down one of the most talented and accomplished Broadway composers of all time and we couldn’t be more honoured to partner with him to create memorable entertainment experiences for our guests.” She explains that as a line “known for introducing product innovations” Princess Cruises is “thrilled to embark on this extraordinary new live-show entertainment, unlike anything any cruise line has ever before offered.”
Cunard – Shakespeare and Wilde
Taking a suitably highbrow approach, Cunard has commissioned a sextuplet of Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts graduates to bring erudite art to the high seas. This year, its transatlantic crossings will host matinees of Shakespeare and Wilde plays in the magnificent Royal Court Theatre.
P&O – High tech on the high seas
With its LED backdrops, ultra-high tech special effects and high energy productions, Britannia’s main stage represents a new era of at-sea entertainment. The pop song medleys are guaranteed to delight audience members of all ages, with the super slick productions embodying the essence of modern cruising.
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Image via Fallschirmjäger (Own work) via Wikimedia Commons