So, what do passengers really think about the music on-board their cruise ship? Is it a factor for them when booking? What do they like best? Do they care? I decided to find out more by chatting to an experienced cruiser.
Ok, I know who you are, but could you tell everyone a little about yourself and why you started cruising?
My name is Caroline Sephton and I am a 41 year-old teacher. I started going on cruises 14 years ago when a family friend came round to chat about her recent cruise experience with my mother. Her enthusiasm was infectious and by the end of the evening my mother and I were considering joining them on their next cruise experience. About a week later the friend had totally convinced us.
So that was it? After your cruise you were hooked?
Fourteen years and 27 cruises later it would be fair to say I have never looked back. I have sailed out of many, many ports with many, many cocktails.
What type of cruise entertainment do you enjoy the most?
I have experienced many different types of entertainment on board a ship and I think my age and interests dictate what I most prefer to do and see. I prefer the more upbeat groups.
OK, so does the music tend to differ much from ship to ship?
If you travel Cunard or P&O, the chances are that many rooms are focused around singers, musicians, pianists, what I would refer to as ‘crooners’ and maybe quartets, top-class instrumentalists and soloists. They are often extremely talented and are surrounded by, dare I say, the older clientele, who prefer more sedate, classical music to jazz groups and bands that you might find on deck. These are necessary for every cruise liner and most have them, even on the most family oriented boat. If you go to the Caribbean, you will more than likely have some kind of reggae band or steel pan band entertaining you out on deck, especially on sailaway moments. There are sometimes groups specialising in Latino music, or soul music … it really depends on where the boat is and its itinerary.
I hear you’re partial to a bit of loud euro dance music. Do you find you can get your rave on no matter which ship you cruise on, or on some more than others?
Yes I am very partial to loud euro dance music !! There is, in my experience, only one cruise line which does this extremely well and that is the Italian line MSC. The best discos I have been to would include Princess and Royal Caribbean, but, and this is purely subjective, my taste is Italian dance music and MSC have the monopoly. Cunard and P&O need some work in this area!
You’ve been on a lot of cruises. Do you have any amusing or interesting anecdotes to share?
It would be fair to say I do my very best NOT to be involved in cruise entertainment.
So no Karaoke moments then! Anything else which sticks in your mind?
On only one occasion can I remember cruise entertainment being cancelled due to the ‘motion of the ocean.’ On this evening, we were sailing across the Black Sea from Romania to Sevastapol in the Ukraine and as we were bobbing up and down, watching the dancers on our tiny ship sway as best they could in the right direction, we could actually hear an entertainer backstage throwing up (still with microphone on!)
Oh no! That would be hard to forget! Well, apart from extra sick buckets, do you think there is anything missing from the music aspect of cruising?
I would say most ships offer a reasonable assortment of music for the different ages and tastes on board. If this is a very important area for a traveller, then select your ship wisely. You would not travel Cunard if you were a teenage hip-hop enthusiast. Similarly if you are an octogenarian with a penchant for harp music, you would not go to an MSC disco. I have to say, the ship’s entertainment is never a reason I select a cruise. I always select for the itinerary and value for money. I am, first and foremost, a traveller who wants to experience different places and different cultures and the entertainment, though often brilliant, is just a bonus.
Thanks a lot Caroline, and all the best for cruise number 28!
By Simon Brotherton