Silver Seas Presents “Music Under the Stars”

Silverseas is know for offering unique entertainment and according to travel industry experts, Vicky Garcia, Pat Ford and Catherine Adde, Silversea Cruise Lines, “hit it out of the park” with their inaugural newly released, fall 2013 “Music under the Stars” itineraries on Silversea Spirit.

Headlined by two-time Grammy® winner Paul Brown from December 13-23, 2013, for the Caribbean round trip Ft. Lauderdale voyage, as well as Smooth Jazz Awards’ “International Artist of the Year” Marc Antoine on November 2-9, 2013 from Rome to Barcelona, these two Smooth Jazz guitarists bring that stunning wow factor to the line’s first music themed voyages.

Vicky Garcia, COO and co-owner of Cruise Planners-American Express Travel, a Florida-based, national franchise company of over 900 professional travel advisors across the country, really knows her cruises. While her business model is full service travel planning, 70% of their bookings involve cruises.

“Brown and Antoine with their chart-topping music and personal style, attract the perfect demographic for these voyages,” reflected Garcia, those who love fine jazz, fine dining and fine wines in an intimate and sophisticated, yet informal environment. Silversea provides the ‘best of the best’ in truly all-inclusive vacations, down to the tipping and every beverage across the ship. All our clients have come back happy and raring to rebook on Silversea.”

Pat Ford, a longtime certified CLIA (Cruise Line Industry Association) Luxury Cruise Specialist (LCS), represents Montrose Travel, a Travel Weekly “Power List National Top 50 Agency”. She is always confident to recommend Silversea. “The well-traveled elite client has already been on the mass market, premium and river cruises,” she pointed out. “They’re looking for something new and unusual to add to their bucket list.”

Ford’s ultra luxury clients want to be “engaged with interesting, high quality entertainment, experiences and fun when at sea. They definitely don’t want to be bored!” She continued, “This Music under the Stars” concept provides that extraordinary opportunity to not only hear fabulous music, but to mingle with the artists in a way that only a small cruise ship can provide.”

Catherine Adde, CTC, brings a strong cruise line background, with experience on both the management and travel planner sides of the table, and is affiliated with employee-owned Travelstore, California’s largest award winning travel agency. Adde spent ten years as district sales manager for three cruise lines, and holds a master’s degree in Tourism Management from London.

Adde, who also hosts a weekly radio talk show called Our Travel Affair, enthusiastically covered the release of these voyages on her show, and has booked Paul Brown for a September guest segment. “For the luxury client who wants an over the top vacation and an intimate experience, it’s an enticement in itself to have two world renowned artists headlining the voyages.” She added, “I get goose bumps imagining their sailaway concerts out on deck as the city lights sparkle on the water and the ship glides to its next port of call.”

“Seasoned travelers love it when a well known lecturer or soloist is performing just for them. Joining Brown and Antoine on Silversea’s ‘Music under the Stars’ will be like sitting with friends in the living room at home, and having them play for you. You can’t get much better than that!” Cruise industry sales veteran Karen Crisci from Crisci Cruises in Arcadia, CA welcomes music lovers to book early since these special Silversea voyages will sell out.

For more information, and to connect with Garcia’s, Ford’s, Crisci’s or Addé’s agencies about this cruise, visit www.cruising2013.com/Silversea powered by The Destination Group, a Travel Weekly Magellan GOLD winner.

Celebrity Cruises announced today that they will be offering Xbox Games

Celebrity Cruises has joined forces with Microsoft’s Xbox to integrate the leading destination of video game entertainment into guests’ modern luxury vacations. Slated to introduce one of the industry’s largest Xbox experiences at sea, Celebrity’s alliance boasts entertaining Xbox-themed spaces across its fleet, offering families interactive Xbox Games experiences for all ages.

Guests can anticipate enhancements to existing venues and onboard programming as soon as this summer, with the inclusion of Xbox-featured activities and gaming areas in the youth program’s Fun Factory and X-Club facilities. For youth who have been registered to participate by their parents, the Celebrity Xbox experience will offer exciting age-appropriate games and themed nights ranging from sports and dance to adventure and racing on Xbox 360 and Kinect for Xbox 360.

Adults also have the opportunity to connect and enjoy the Xbox experience through free play and at scheduled themed events, including Zumba® parties and sports tournaments, available on traveling Kinect for Xbox 360 consoles in different venues throughout the ships.

“As a premium vacation brand, Celebrity is dedicated to providing guests with what they want while on vacation, whether relaxation, entertainment or staying connected – it’s readily available,” said Greg Purdy, Celebrity Cruises’ SVP of Operations. “Joining existing offerings like the Celebrity iLounge, a hip approach to the standard Internet lounge and the first Authorized Apple® Specialist at sea, the Celebrity Xbox experience expands our technology offering with even more engaging ways for the whole family to enjoy a modern luxury vacation.”

To celebrate the launch, one lucky family of four will win a seven-night cruise onboard the Celebrity ship of their choice, with the exception of Celebrity Xpedition, and an Xbox 360 prize pack as the grand prize of the Celebrity & Xbox Experience Sweepstakes. For a chance to win, guests enter online through June 18, 2013 at www.celebritycruises.com/xboxsweeps. Participants also can win four Xbox 360 prize packs, each including an Xbox 360 with Kinect and a month of Xbox Live Gold membership.

“The Celebrity Xbox voyage is unlike any journey Xbox has embarked on,” said Grover Holtzclaw, US Xbox Director. “With Xbox’s first exclusive experience at sea, two great brands have come together to develop the ultimate family vacation: the best gaming entertainment combined with the modern luxury Celebrity provides its guests.”

The newly “Solsticized” Celebrity Constellation is the first of Celebrity’s ten ships to introduce the complete onboard Xbox experience when it re-entered service on May 5, 2013, after completing its scheduled drydock – just in time for families planning their summer vacations. The remaining Celebrity ships will offer Xbox 360 and Kinect for Xbox 360 this summer, and will unfold the full Xbox experience by the end of 2013.

For more information or to book a cruise go to celebritycruise.com

Celebrity Cruises announces partnership with 54 Below

Broadway loving cruisers will might be eager to visit one of the nation’s hottest new entertainment spots should pack their bags for a modern luxury cruise to Bermuda. That’s because Celebrity Cruises today announced an exclusive partnership with Manhattan’s noted “54 Below,” which will bring guests on Celebrity’s newly “Solsticized” Celebrity Summit the industry’s most comprehensive, direct-from-Broadway entertainment experience while sailing to the pink-sand paradise of Bermuda.

54 Below – ensconced in a cool, cozy cellar space beneath the legendary, disco-era “Studio 54” – has been dubbed “a throwback to the heyday of authentic New York nightlife,” and “the hot new stage attracting Broadway’s brightest stars.” Now, those stars will light up the stage of Celebrity Summit during its Bermuda vacation season from Cape Liberty (Bayonne), NJ, from this Sunday, May 5, through October 2013.

“We are incredibly excited to partner with 54 Below, offering our guests a unique theatrical experience featuring world-class Broadway talent in cabaret style performances,” said Celebrity’s Director of Entertainment Eric Bohus. “This is another outstanding addition to the Celebrity entertainment lineup and perfectly complements our other new offerings announced this year, including late-night Las Vegas style entertainment with Sin City Comedy and engaging music activities through our partnership with Billboard.”

Among the top-notch talent slated to appear on Celebrity Summit through 54 Below are Faith Prince, Tony Award winner for Best Actress in a Musical for Guys & Dolls; Tony Award winner for Best Actress in a Musical in A Chorus Line, Donna McKechnie; Anthony Rapp, best known for originating the role of “Mark Cohen” in Rent; Jarrod Spector, who starred as Frankie Valli in Jersey Boys; Alice Ripley, who won a Tony for Best Actress in a Musical for Next to Normal, and also has appeared in Les Miserables and Sunset Boulevard; star of the hit TV show Glee (“Wes”) Telly Leung, whose Broadway credits include Rent and Godspell; the original “Annie,” Andrea McArdle, who went on to also star in Les Miserables, Starlight Express and Beauty & The Beast; three-time Tony Award nominee Christine Andreas, recognized for her roles in Oklahoma and On Your Toes; Elizabeth Stanley of Company, Cry Baby, Million Dollar Quartet;Shoshana Bean, whose credits include Hairspray and Wicked; Darius DeHaas of Kiss of the Spider Woman, Rent and Carousel; Tom Wopat of TV’s The Dukes of Hazzard, City of Angels, 42nd St., Guys & Dolls, Chicago and Sondheim on Sondheim; Brent Barrett, whose credits include West Side Story and Chicago; Ann Hampton Callaway, Tony-nominated for her role in Swing; Liz Callaway, nominated for a Tony for her role in Baby, and who also performed in Cats and Miss Saigon; Gregg Edelman, a four-time Tony nominee, including nods for Best Actor in a Musical for City of Angels; three-time Tony Award nominee for her roles in Passion, Ragtime and Kiss Me, Kate, Marin Mazzie; Karen Mason, who has appeared in Mamma Mia and Hairspray and is best known for her portrayal of “Norma Desmond” in Sunset Boulevard; and Emily Skinner, whose credits include The Full Monty and Billy Elliot. Additional acts yet to be announced will also appear on Celebrity Summit this season through Celebrity’s unique partnership with 54 Below.

For more information check out www.celebritycruises.com

Royal Caribbean announces its next leap forward with Quantum of the Seas

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Royal Caribbean International boast 40 years of innovative and creative design expierience, today they unveiled first details of the next generation of cruise vacations – Quantum cruising.

The much anticipated details were unveiled by stage, television and film star, Kristin Chenoweth – Godmother of Quantum of the Seas – at an exclusive event for media and special guests in New York City this morning.

“This new generation of ships gave us an opportunity to make another leap in vessel design. Innovation has always been part of our DNA and we have taken advantage of all that creativity to design Quantum cruising,” stated Richard D. Fain, chairman & CEO, Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd. “The unique features on Quantum will boggle our guests’ minds, but the real strength of the design is how our people have integrated all these diverse components to create a comfortable and exciting experience.”

Unprecedented “Firsts At Sea”

Having led the industry by introducing incredible signature offerings such as the Rock Climbing Wall, ice-skating rink, FlowRider surf simulator, Central Park and AquaTheater, Royal Caribbean will advance the onboard experience even further by delivering a groundbreaking lineup of “firsts at sea” on Quantum-class ships. New features exclusive to Royal Caribbean include:low_1365713986_RCI-RipCordPass2-5K

• RipCord by iFly, the first skydiving experience at sea which allows everyone from first-time flyers to seasoned skydivers to enjoy the sheer thrill and exhilaration of skydiving in a safe, controlled, and simulated environment.

low_1365714000_RCI-NorthStar-Exterior-5K-No-Antenna• North Star, an engineering marvel, takes guests to new heights – literally – with a jewel-shaped, glass capsule, transporting them on a spectacular journey more than 300 feet above the ocean and over the sides of the ship to deliver awe-inspiring 360-degree views.“We are excited to be introducing major advancements in ship design and offerings on Quantum of the Seas and Anthem of the Seas,” said Adam Goldstein, president & CEO, Royal Caribbean International. “The innovative spirit of our brand is alive and well, and with Quantum class, we will deliver more unexpected activities in the most extraordinary spaces. Our guests should prepare to be wowed.”

Royal Caribbean marries new innovations with significant architectural design elements to introduce spectacular spaces. On Quantum of the Seas and Anthem of the Seas guests will find endless possibilities with three new signature venues.

• A revolutionary concept, Two70° is a multi-level great room that is sure to become one of the most iconic venues onboard Quantum class. The space is aptly named for its magnificent 270-degree panoramic sea views through vast, floor-to-ceiling glass walls spanning almost three decks at the stern of the ship. Two70° seamlessly fuses entertainment and technology to create a transformative journey from day to night. The perfect setting to connect with the sea during the day, Two70° provides a modern and comfortable living room space for guests to sit back and relax. As the sun sets and the lights go down, the dazzling space gradually reveals its evening persona, delighting guests with spectacular, mysterious and unexpected entertainment at night. Unparalleled technology means every show at Two70° is multidimensional and immerses the audience through a combination of live performers, including aerialists, as well as breathtaking video and digital scenery.

low_1365713929_RCI-SeaPlex-BumperCars-5K• The largest indoor active space at sea, SeaPlex is a distinctive and flexible sporting and entertainment venue with thrilling new features that will inspire guests of all ages to let loose and connect with their playful sides. Delivering more first at sea experiences, guests can experience a circus school with flying trapeze, or play basketball on a full-size regulation basketball court. By night, the first-ever bumper car and roller skating offerings deliver fun and excitement. Or, guests can dance to music orchestrated from a floating DJ booth which hovers above the activity below.

• A performance hall and the hottest live music venue on Quantum class, Music Hall is the place for guests to enjoy intimate and exclusive access to live performances, DJs, theme night parties, billiards and more. Rebellious and edgy, Music Hall’s two-story design is inspired by the spirit of rock and roll.

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Royal Caribbean debuts the most spacious and luxurious accommodations ever, introducing rooms that on average are nine percent larger than those of Oasis class ships.  Boasting Royal Caribbean’s new smart design concept, each stateroom features contemporary designs with easy-to-use customizable layouts and  larger storage solutions.

Now every room on Quantum of the Seas has a view, with the exciting introduction of VirtualBalcony staterooms. This design concept brings virtual balconies to interior staterooms offering expansive real-time views of the ocean and exciting destinations.

For multi-generational families, Family-Connected staterooms deliver more flexibility, using three different stateroom categories which connect to form a special layout that provides separate bedrooms and bathrooms for all. These accommodations allow families and groups of friends traveling together to enjoy the best of both worlds when it comes to together and alone time.

With Quantum of the Seas, Royal Caribbean introduces the largest variety of state room categories, including new Studio staterooms, some with balconies for single travelers, three Junior Suite categories and larger Loft Suites.

The adults-only Solarium, along with an outdoor pool, a new indoor pool with operable roof and a H2O Zone kids’ aqua park, will be featured on the top deck. Signature Royal Caribbean venues and experiences popular with families such as the Rock Climbing Wall; FlowRider surf simulator; the award-winning Adventure Ocean children’s program; the Royal Babies and Tots Nursery; and the DreamWorks entertainment and events featuring the characters from animated movies: Shrek, Kung Fu Panda and Madagascar; will all be back on Quantum class.

Quantum of the Seas and Anthem of the Seas also will make a quantum leap forward in its culinary offerings providing the most flexible dining options and more specialty restaurants than ever before. Additional details about dining, entertainment and other unexpected features and amenities on Quantum of the Seas will be unveiled in the coming months.

Quantum class will debut in fall 2014 with Quantum of the Seas, followed by her sister-ship Anthem of the Seas in spring 2015. Quantum ships span 18 decks, encompass 167,800 gross registered tons, carry 4,180 guests at double occupancy and feature 2,090 staterooms.

Quantum of the Seas will sail out of the New York Harbor from her homeport of Cape Liberty on 7- to 12-night itineraries during the winter 2014/15 season. Bookings will be available to Crown & Anchor Society loyalty program members starting May 27, 2013 before opening to the general public on June 4. More information on Quantum of the Seas is available at RoyalCaribbean.com/Quantum.

Royal Princess to feature TV studio with live shows and events

Princess Cruises has raised the curtain on Princess Live!, a new type of cruise ship entertainment venue that passengers will enjoy aboard the new Royal Princess. Taking the audience behind the scenes to share the excitement of a working television studio, the high-tech Princess Live! will showcase live television broadcasts, intimate performances from musicians, and special events such as cooking shows, plus will feature an adjacent café.

Located on Royal Princess’ deck 7 just aft of the Piazza, Princess Live! will be a flexible, 280-seat venue based on a television broadcast studio. When the ship debuts in June 2013, Princess Live! will serve as a venue for daily broadcasts of “The Wake Show” with a new twist – a daily live audience. This popular daily show staring the cruise director and special guests from around the ship is a staple across the Princess fleet, but is rarely staged live.

The colorful Princess Live! studio will also host a variety of events, including game shows, interactive cooking shows, art house films, enrichment classes, murder mysteries, trivia, and “Meet the Experts” presentations from the crew. Additionally, Princess Live! will serve as a more intimate performance venue for onboard musicians who will offer “unplugged” and “in-the-round” shows, providing an opportunity for entertainers to connect with the audience in a unique environment.

“Princess Live! will be an exciting new experience for passengers,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises executive vice president. “Not only will they enjoy the high energy of being part of a live television production, but they also will have a new opportunity to see more intimate performances from many of our onboard entertainers.”

The adjacent Princess Live! Café will surround passengers with interactive, wall-mounted screens showing the ship’s position, ports of call, points of interest and even international newspapers. The café will serve up specialty coffees, teas and freshly squeezed citrus juice, plus will offer a selection of fresh-baked croissants and pastries in the morning.

Royal Princess will also feature the line’s largest Princess Theater ever, with unobstructed sight lines from every seat, plus will see the return of an updated Vista Lounge at the aft of the ship to serve as an alternate evening performance venue.

Additional information about other ship features will be released in the coming months.

The 3,600-passenger Royal Princess is a new-generation ship currently under construction. Among the new features found on board will be a greatly expanded atrium, the social hub of the ship; the dramatic over-water SeaWalk, a top-deck glass-bottomed enclosed walkway on the ship’s starboard side extending more than 28 feet beyond the edge of the vessel; plush private poolside cabanas that appear to be floating on the water; a dazzling water and light show; more dining options including a special Chef’s Table Lumiere, wine cellar dining area and an expanded Horizon Court with pastry shop. Eighty percent of the ship’s staterooms will feature a balcony. More information about the ship is available at www.princess.com/royalprincess.

Additional information about Princess Cruises is available through a travel agent, by calling 1-800-PRINCESS (1-800-774-6237), or by visiting the company’s website.

Cruise lines celebrating the royal wedding at sea

Royal Caribbean is offering royal wedding packages so you can feel like a prince or princess. Photo courtesy of Royal Caribbean International

By Jackie Roseboom

Many businesses are celebrating the Royal Wedding by offering their guests a viewing party and special offerings, and the cruise industry is no exception. From small viewing areas to lavish parties, it will all be available at sea.

Royal Caribbean International
Royal Caribbean is celebrating the upcoming British royal wedding by offering an exclusive Royal Caribbean wedding package for couples looking to tie the knot at sea.

“Royal Caribbean’s full fleet of ships around the world will broadcast the royal wedding live so that guests may join in the ceremony’s excitement,” said Betsy O’Rourke, senior vice president of marketing. “Inspired by the pending royal nuptials, the Royal Wedding package and honeymoon registry offers guests the royal treatment on their special day and honeymoon cruise.”

The Royal wedding packages include an onboard symbolic wedding ceremony (due to the varying international legal restrictions). Royal Romance Wedding Coordinators will handle every detail so the couples’ special day is a truly regal experience including any legal requirements pre-departure.

Cunard

Cunard’s Royal Court Theatre is very fitting for watching Prince William marry Kate. Photo courtesy of Cunard
Guests onboard Cunard’s three ships — Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth need have no fear of missing one second of the historic union of the future King and Kate Middleton.

Queen Mary 2’s Royal Court Theatre seats over 1,000 guests, who will be able to watch events unfold in plush cinema comfort as the ship sails between New York and Southampton, on a seven-night Transatlantic Crossing (April 26 to May 2).
The Royal Court Theatres on the smaller Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria seat more than 800 passengers, and they too will be used to screen the Royal nuptials live. At the time Queen Elizabeth will be at sea heading for Southampton, and Queen Victoria will be at sea in the Mediterranean.

The day will also be one of celebration on all three Cunard ships, with that evening’s dinner featuring a commemorative menu and a champagne toast.

MSC
With the exception of MSC Sinfonia and Opera, which will not be sailing in European waters, the Royal Wedding will be broadcast in English across the MSC fleet. Bars on board will be serving a great selection of champagnes and prosecco together with a special commemorative Royal Cocktail (sparkling wine, cognac and grand marnier). Guests will be able to raise a glass – or two – to the happy couple.

NCL
The highly-anticipated event will be broadcast across Norwegian’s fleet of ships, with the exception of Norwegian Sky in the Bahamas. Guests will be able to watch the magic of the royal wedding on two-story big screens on Norwegian Pearl, Jewel, Jade, Gem and Epic, as well as in any of the line’s bars and lounges.
After the royal couple say their “I do’s,” guests can raise a toast to the newlyweds with champagne, gin and tonic or a pitcher of Pimm’s and attend street parties held in true British style, complete with music playing tribute to the Beatles. Special dining events will be held throughout the sailing including the Prince and Princess Brunch and an afternoon Royal High Tea.

Princess Cruise Line
Princess ships will be airing the Royal Wedding on the Movies Under the Stars giant screens. Passengers will be able to follow along with full coverage of the pomp and majesty of the historic wedding through BBC World’s broadcast of the event. The onboard viewing parties will add a celebratory flair to the event with British-style refreshments and special royal-themed cocktails. Passengers can also test their knowledge with royal wedding trivia competitions and participate in a William and Kate look-alike contest.

Princess Cruise Line’s first Royal Princess cruise ship debuted in 1984 and was christened by HRH Princess Diana. The ship left the fleet in 2005, the name was passed to one of Princess’ small ships in 2007. This vessel is being transferred to a sister company at the end of April. The new Royal Princess cruise ship will be debuting in spring of 2013. We’ll be waiting in anticipation to see if Princess Kate will also christen the Royal Princess, as the beloved Princess Diana did.

Note: Be sure to follow your Cruise News Weekly columnists as we report live from Carnival’s newest ship, Carnival Magic, from May 1 to 10 in Europe. We’ll be reporting from our Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Entertainment is a big Allure to Royal Caribbean’s newest ship

By Jackie Roseboom

Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas is nicknamed the entertainment ship for good reasons. There’s so much to see and do, you’ll have a hard time seeing it all – even on a seven day cruise. But you’ll have fun trying.

While its sister ship, Oasis of the Seas, has “Hairspray,” the musical “Chicago” was brought to the Allure. It’s essentially the same performance as seen on Broadway. The huge ship affords a large stage, which allows plenty of room for the performances, including the full Chicago orchestra performing on stage, just like in the original version. The story of fame, fortune and heartbreak is located in the Amber Theater on select nights of each cruise. If you know “Chicago,” you know it’s a little risqué and not recommended for children.

Blue Planet is an environmental experience on the Amber Theater stage. It transports you to all different parts of the Earth with music, dance and impressive set designs. Prepare to be wowed by heart-felt songs, energetic dances and things that may not be what they seem.

Oceanaria is billed as a mystical under-the-sea adventure. So it’s fitting for it to be performed in the AquaTheater, making full use of the pool, diving boards, trampoline and more. You’ll see aerialist, dancers and divers all choreographed to music. It’s a great show with a wonderful setting as you sit under a ceiling of stars. There are many performances throughout the cruise so you shouldn’t have to miss it.

Ice games is a one of two ice skating shows. This one brings the beloved game of Monopoly to life, mixing in scenes from the ship. As with the other ice show, it features world class skaters and can only be seen on the Allure of the Seas. You’ll join Hiccup and the gang in the adventure of “How to Train Your Dragon” on Ice. The mythical creatures are brought to life in a shortened version of the DreamWorks family movie.

The Dreamworks characters from “Madagascar” come to life. Let You Entertain Me has Alex and Gloria trying to return the water to their jungle.
Let You Entertain Me is a fun and energetic show located in the AquaTheater. It stars the characters from the Dreamworks family movie “Madagascar”. Alex, Gloria, and Mort need the audience’s help in bringing water back to the jungle. If you’re traveling with kids, make sure they see this production as well as the Move it! Move it! parade that happens right down the center of the Royal Promenade. This your chance to see all of the DreamWorks characters dancing, hooting and hollering down the street. Photo ops with the characters are also available most days.

In addition to the productions listed above, there are various other club shows and bands available, including the very popular Comedy Club. Be sure and check your Daily Planner for all the fun onboard activities.

It’s suggested you go online and reserve the shows you really want to see before your cruise. I would suggest you do so for shore excursions and specialty restaurants as well. The more popular ones tend to book up before the ship sails. But don’t worry, even without reservations, with a little patients, you can still get into the sold-out shows. At 10 minutes before showtime, they open up the doors for those standing by.

Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas sails out of Port Everglades in Ft. Lauderdale on seven night Caribbean cruises.

Show Time aboard Disney Dream

Entertainment options aboard the new, 14-deck, 4,000-passenger Disney Dream will feature everything from a mermaid soaring over the stage in a stunning aerial ballet to pirates rappelling from atop the ship’s funnel during a swashbuckling adventure. The ship’s maiden voyage, from Port Canaveral to the Bahamas, is scheduled for January 26, 2011. Image courtesy Disney

By Michael Coleman

Who else would you expect to raise the entertainment bar for a family at sea?

When the 4,000-passenger Disney Dream debuts in January, 2011 the iconic company will also roll out what officials dub “the most elaborate original musicals presented at sea’’ plus over-the-top deck parties and, bursting above it all, the largest fireworks spectacular aboard a cruise ship.

Every night will be show time in the Walt Disney Theatre, an elegant, 1,340-seat entertainment palace that is at once classic and ultra-modern. Spanning three decks with orchestra and balcony seating, the theater is resplendent with art deco styling recalling luxurious show places of a bygone time. At the same time, it is equipped with theatrical technology that makes it one of the most advanced venues on land or sea, allowing producers to bring original productions and Disney stories to life.

Three onboard production shows are planned.

Headlining the musical repertoire is “Disney’s Believe,” an original stage spectacular premiering aboard the ship. Combining a heartfelt story with a captivating musical score, the lavish production tells the story of a workaholic father who, through the power of Disney magic, reconnects with his daughter and learns a valuable lesson about what is important in life. More than 20 of Disney’s most beloved characters take the stage including Cinderella, Peter Pan, Mary Poppins and Belle from “Beauty and The Beast.”

“The Golden Mickeys,” an award-style show celebrating the musical heritage of Disney animated films, is a Disney Cruise Line guest favorite. On the Disney Dream, the show gets an extra sprinkle of glitz and glamour with new production numbers including an aerial ballet featuring Ariel from “The Little Mermaid” and a romantic duet performed by Rapunzel and Flynn Rider, lead characters of Disney’s newest animated feature, “Tangled.”

The malevolent world of the Disney villains takes a comical spin in “Villains Tonight!,” the first full-scale musical production dedicated to the Disney villains. The show is a fun-filled musical comedy starring Hades (“Hercules”), who embarks on a quest filled with wacky antics and amusing musical numbers to bring evil back into the Underworld. “Villains Tonight!” features a “Who’s Who” of Disney “baddies,” including Ursula (“The Little Mermaid”), the Evil Queen (“Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”), Captain Hook (“Peter Pan”) and Scar (“The Lion King”).

Meanwhile, the vessel transforms into a pirate ship with two new events brimming with buccaneer fun and a new fireworks spectacular.

Look for “Mickey’s Pirate in the Caribbean’’ a family-friendly interactive show featuring famous Disney characters. Then, a special appearance by Captain Jack Sparrow, from the “Pirates of the Caribbean” films, kicks off “Club Pirate’’, a high-tech, open-air dance party on the upper decks of the ship

The only cruise line in the world offering fireworks at sea, look also for “Buccaneer Blast’’, a pyrotechnic spectacular choreographed to a dramatic score featuring songs from the “Pirates of the Caribbean” movies, Peter Pan and the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction at the Disney theme parks.

On the web: http://disneycruise.disney.go.com

Queen Elizabeth Theatre Company to debut on Cunard’s new ship

By Matt Roseboom

The Cunard line will further enhance their reputation for high-class entertainment when their new ship, Queen Elizabeth, launches in England this October.

An original concept will debut on the ship — the Queen Elizabeth Theatre Company. A group of 29 actors, dancers and musicians will perform a brand new repertoire of shows in the majestic Royal Court Theatre. Cruisers will be able to see a variety of musical productions and abridged versions of popular plays.

New shows include the hit “Slice of Saturday Night.” The play, which features a popular medley of ‘60s music, has been staged in London and toured extensively. Adapted for the Queen Elizabeth by its original writers, the Heather Brothers, the show will feature all of the Theatre Company members. It will be the largest production show Cunard has ever staged.

Abridged versions of popular plays such as a Neil Simon triple bill and Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night” will also be performed. The Simon show will feature three scenes, one each from some of the playwright’s best-loved shows — “Last of the Red Hot Lovers,” “Plaza Suite” and “The Odd Couple”. At the conclusion of each show, the audience may take part in an informal Q&A session with the actors.

Other onboard performances:

– “The Piccadilly Line” features speech, song and prose as characters get on and off a train journey on the world’s oldest underground rail system.

 – “Hotel Royale” is a musical production featuring the story of a hotel with a quirky staff and unusual guests.

 – “Sing” is based on the popularity of “Singers in Concert” performed on Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria. The show will feature familiar contemporary musical theater, pop and classic songs.

 – “La Danza” is a cutting edge dance production showcasing the virtuoso talents of the dance ensemble. 

The Theatre Company will also present its own take on topical news and entertainment stories as guests take part in a fun panel quiz show.

Queen Elizabeth will continue their tradition of presenting Cunard’s Royal Nights with the debut of “The Cunard Ball,” “London Swings,” “The Starlight Ball” and the “Elizabethan Ball.” “London Swings” will be featured on the same evening as “Slice of Saturday Night,” with its inspirations taken from popular British ’60s icons such as Twiggy, Mary Quant and Carnaby Street.
New for Queen Elizabeth will be the introduction of Professional Insights, a series of expert workshops on diverse subjects including antiques, auctions, sculpture, movie reviews, performance poetry and even weather forecasting.

In addition, Queen Elizabeth will offer Cunard’s Insights enrichment program which allows guests to attend lectures, workshops and the like with personalities of notable distinction in areas including history, world affairs, science, arts and literature. Cunard feels onboard entertainment should offer guests a provocative and rewarding experience.

‘Dancin’ in the Street’, ‘Get Ready’ and ‘Xtreme Country’ lead Carnival Dream’s entertainment offerings

With the massive scale of Carnival’s newest and largest “Fun Ship,” the 130,000-ton Carnival Dream combined with technological advancements, the line’s entertainment team hopes to have created the most spectacular shows at sea.

In addition to three production revues that will feature elaborate sets and costumes, state-of-the-art video technology and sophisticated special effects, Carnival Dream will offer everything from solo singers, comedians, and live bands, to “Fun Force,” the line’s high-energy acrobatic team, which will perform in different areas throughout the ship. Continue reading “‘Dancin’ in the Street’, ‘Get Ready’ and ‘Xtreme Country’ lead Carnival Dream’s entertainment offerings”