As I found out in my last blog, there’s no shortage of celebrities and famous acts to be found on cruise ships during festivals season at sea, which, from the looks of it, seems to be all year-round. The thing is, what about the regular cruiser, or even the once a year cruiser, who considers the music and entertainment on-board an important part of their cruise?
The truth is, there’s a huge variety of music on-board cruises these days, but generally, it’s geared towards mass appeal, so if your tastes are a little specialist, the best way to cruise and experience your preferred genre of music is by attending a festival at sea. But let’s be honest, even the most music-obsessed among us can surely put our audio fixations to one side for the duration of our cruise and just take it as it comes? For those of us who are pretty easy-going when it comes to music, there’s bound to be something on our cruise which will keep us entertained.
If classical singing is your thing, then P&O Cruises have the perfect holiday for you (Well, two of them, actually). None other than ‘the people’s tenor’ Russell Watson will be performing on the line’s Aurora and Azura in May and July 2013 respectively on three and four night, round-trip cruises departing from Southampton and calling at Zeebrugge and St Peter Port. ‘The Voice’ has a long association with the line and cruises which feature him are always popular. Keeping it classical, the line’s also booked Britain’s Got Talent opera duo Jonathan and Charlotte for an appearance on the Azura in April, when they’ll be performing hits from their gold-certified debut album on a cruise which too calls at Zeebrugge and St Peter Port.
Obviously realising the appeal of TV talent pop culture, P&O has also scheduled seven Strictly Come Dancing cruises for the summer, where for each cruise, two professional dancers from the show, including favourites such as James Jordan, Kristina Rihanoff, Natalie Lowe and Pasha Kovalev, will be joined by outspoken judge Craig Revel Horwood for a fiesta of foxtrot, samba and jive.
With an emphasis on family cruising, Disney has certainly got a lot of material to work with when it comes to songs with all-round appeal. Two popular productions on-board are Aladdin and Toy Story, spectacular musical productions which work as condensed versions of the films and feature many of their most memorable songs.
In a similar vein, Royal Caribbean offers its Dreamworks Experience, where favourite characters from Shrek, Madagascar and Kung Fu Panda parade for passenger’s pleasure. The line also has it covered when it comes to Broadway razzle-dazzle, with Chicago being performed on Allure of the Seas, Hairspray on Oasis of the Seas and Saturday Night Fever on Liberty of the Seas. Royal Caribbean’s Music Maestro programme means that you can enjoy a host of different music from current hits right through to classical in a number of pubs and bars, depending on which cruise you choose. For those who just want to take it easy, Jazz on 4, on the Allure and Oasis of the Seas, offers a wealth of cool, laid back vibes and on most ships there’s a cocktail pianist, who’ll even take requests, (keep them sensible!)
Celebrity Cruises is certainly a good choice for cruising music fans. With its commitment to live music, the line offers musical entertainment in a variety of ship venues, where you’ll be able to hear everything from string ensembles and Cappella performances to guitarists and jazz bands, as well as top DJs, too. The line’s Guest Entertainment programme also ensures that you’ll have a good choice of acts and a number of performances take place on the Lawn Club Green, to really help recreate that outdoor summer music experience.
Princess Cruises is certainly the line for all those with a love for the croon, well, how could it not be, as it boasts none other than the Crooner’s Lounge and Bar. The line also offers Signature Shows in its on-board theatres as well as Princess Live! – a shipboard TV studio which hosts broadcast-ready events, including culinary shows and live concerts.
It probably won’t come as a surprise that, when it comes to the luxury cruise lines, the pace is generally more sedate and the entertainment always classy. Expect a great choice of cabaret shows, often featuring celebrity entertainers, and laid-back, sophisticated lounges, where it’s all about the soothing sounds of the grand piano.
By Simon Brotherton