LET THE SHOW BE­GIN

Cruise ships take en­ter­tain­ment to the next level

Sunday Herald Sun - Escape - - LINER NOTES - AN­DREA BLACK

We all know that ocean cruises are a big deal for Aus­tralians. But how to choose which cruise to take when there are so many op­tions? Oc­to­ber is Choose Cruise month (#ChooseCruise), this week with an em­pha­sis on ocean cruis­ing. Choose Cruise is where the en­tire cruise in­dus­try comes to­gether to en­cour­age cruis­ing for new­bies as well as those ex­pe­ri­enced in the joys of tak­ing hol­i­days at sea.

Travel agents and cruis­ing ex­perts will tell you that you should not just choose a cruise for the ports it vis­its, the look of the ship, the ac­tiv­i­ties avail­able and cui­sine on of­fer; it’s im­por­tant to look into what en­ter­tain­ment might be on show. Gone are the days of mildly amus­ing com­edy acts and ma­gi­cians pulling han­kies from their sleeves. Cruise lines are wise to our love of a well­pro­duced show, equiv­a­lent or bet­ter to some of the most hal­lowed stages on land, whether it be a stage pro­duc­tion, a band or unique per­for­mance.

Here, we put the spot­light on the lat­est on the high seas.

ROCK ROOMS

Like that old time rock and roll? You’re in luck. Hol­land Amer­ica Line has an­nounced it will in­tro­duce the Rolling Stone Rock Room, a clas­sic rock club de­vel­oped in part­ner­ship with Rolling Stone mag­a­zine. Ex­pect a five-piece rock band kick­ing out the jams on Hol­land Amer­ica Line’s Nieuw Sta­ten­dam when it joins the fleet in De­cem­ber 2018 and Kon­ings­dam that same month.

The Rock Room will be along­side the al­ready pop­u­lar Mu­sic Walk Live Stages. Nor­we­gian Cruise Lines re­cently in­tro­duced rock ’n’ roll bar and lounge Syd Nor­man’s Pour House on its Break­away ship. Ev­ery night you can sing along and dance while the band plays hits from the likes of the Stones and Spring­steen. HOL­LAN­DAMER­ICA.COM; NCL.COM

THE EDGE IN EN­TER­TAIN­MENT

Celebrity’s new ship, Celebrity Edge, re­cently an­nounced its en­ter­tain­ment sched­ule for when it makes its de­but in No­vem­ber. What’s per­haps most ex­cit­ing is the largest cast of world-class per­form­ers on any pre­mium cruise ship. There are five new full pro­duc­tion shows on board in­clud­ing the Shake­speare-in­spired A Hot Sum­mer Night’s Dream, where light­hearted the­atre meets amaz­ing ac­ro­bat­ics, and Kalei­do­scope, a high­en­ergy mu­sic and dance ex­trav­a­ganza har­ness­ing the stage’s state-of-the-art tech­nol­ogy.

Luck­ily the cruise line, part of Royal Caribbean Cruises, has its own ded­i­cated pro­duc­tion stu­dios in Mi­ami where it con­ceives, pro­duces and re­hearses each show. CELEBRI­TY­CRUISES.COM/EDGE

DRONES AND DEBAUCHERY

Want a next-level ex­pe­ri­ence? Con­sider book­ing a cruise on Ma­jes­tic Princess where drones are used for the first time in a show at sea. Fan­tas­tic Jour­ney is a hi-tech, the­atri­cal show pro­duced ex­clu­sively for the ship fea­tur­ing elab­o­rate cos­tumes and state-of-the-art mul­ti­me­dia stage tech­nol­ogy. The mi­cro drones dance and in­ter­act with a singer on stage.

Mean­while, P&O’s Pa­cific Ex­plorer has cel­e­brated one year of its risqué show, Love Riot, in the Black Cir­cus the­atre. The adults-only pro­duc­tion is di­rected by Scott Maid­ment, one of the mas­ter­minds be­hind Madonna’s Rebel Heart Tour. Ex­pect com­edy, ac­ro­bat­ics, dance and a touch of raunch. Be­ware, the 90-minute per­for­mance is not as tame as one might ex­pect for a cruise ship. POCRUISES.COM.AU; PRINCESS.COM

POUR HOUSE

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