Entertainment

First time cruisers: Entertainment on Royal Caribbean cruise ships

In:
11Dec2017

Every Royal Caribbean cruise offers some great live shows to enjoy onboard.  Musicals, ice skating performances, and comedy shows are just a few of the performances to enjoy on Royal Caribbean.

Royal Caribbean has created a number of impressive shows for its cruise ships, as well as reached out to some very talented performers to round out the entertainment on every ship in the fleet.

Planning for shows

One thing several people have ask is whether it is worth it to see the shows. Our answer is always a qualified “absolutely.” We absolutely recommend the shows because these are a big part of what separates Royal Caribbean from the rest of the industry.  In recent years, Royal Caribbean has invested heavily in its onboard shows, and the result has been a number of must-see performances.

Our thought process goes like this: entertainment on your Royal Caribbean cruise is included with your cruise fare, so why not see a couple of shows.  Not only is it very likely to be a fun time, it is a great way for family and friends to enjoy high quality entertainment together with little risk other than your time.

The big impediment you might have in seeing all of these shows is dinner. Often trying to balance show times with your dinner times can be difficult to time properly.  The rise in popularity of specialty dining and My Time Dining has resulted in some scheduling challenges. Depending on your dinner schedule, this may or may not be an issue. Those who are on traditional dining typically have less of a problem making show times work since many shows are scheduled opposite traditional dining schedules.

We have some recommendations if you potentially run into one of these planning risks: The key is to check for additional performances that work better for your schedule, or be prepared to make alternate dining plans.  Changing dining plans is not a major hassle, but something to be aware of to ensure you see as many shows as possible. Consult a prior Cruise Compass, as show times rarely change much (if it all) between sailings on similar itineraries. Once onboard, you can often get a entertainment schedule from Guest Services and better coordinate dining changes at that time.  Making dining changes is always easier early in the cruise, than later on, because reservation spots tend to fill up quickly.

Booking shows before your cruise

A common question among those new to Royal Caribbean is about when can they begin to reserve shows tickets prior to their cruise, and the answer is it depends on which ship you are sailing on.

Currently, only Oasis Class and Quantum Class ships offers guests the ability to get a virtual ticket for select shows and they are available via Royal Caribbean's Cruise Planner site. All other ships, will have seating available on a first-come, first-served basis and/or complimentary tickets once guests are onboard.

If entertainment is available to reserve for your cruise, we have typically seen shows become available for booking around 75-60 days prior to the sail date, but your experience may vary. The truth is, there is no rule about when these kinds of activities become available for booking, and every sailing can be different.

The best reason to book certain activities, entertainment and dining in advance is to guarantee a spot for you and your family, as well as break up the total cost of the cruise. There is limited capacity for shows, dining and other activities and Royal Caribbean tends to offer guests the option of reserving them prior to their cruise. By booking these activities early, you can ensure you have the time and day that you want all lined up.

Live shows

The exact lineup of entertainment will vary from ship to ship, but there are some common genres that span certain classes of ships and some are even fleet-wide. 

The theater performances are arguably the flagship entertainment on any Royal Caribbean ship. Royal Caribbean invests heavily in Broadway-inspired performances, with some ships actually offering full Broadway shows. Classic shows such as Grease, Mamma Mia, CATS and more grace the stage of Royal Caribbean's newest ships.

Royal Caribbean has made a name for itself with the high-diving shows on its Oasis Class ships that are held in the Aquatheater.  This space is an outdoor amphitheater, which features acrobatic and high diving stunts in the largest and deepest freshwater pool at sea. 

Royal Caribbean also offers ice skating shows on ships that have an ice skating rink (Oasis, Freedom and Voyager Class ships). Each ship has its own unique ice skating show, which matches incredible ice skating performances with music and a loose story line.  These shows are not only a means to see some very talented skaters perform some of the most difficult ice skating moves, there is also a great story to enjoy.

In addition, Royal Caribbean's entertainment staff will host their own live shows onboard, including fan-favorites such as the Love and Marriage Game Show, Battle of the Sexes, The Quest, and more.  These shows involve select members of the audience, and have been a staple of the cruise industry for years. 

Most Royal Caribbean cruises also feature comedians, magicians, and/or entertainers that offer family-friendly and adult-oriented shows onboard.  These performers put on their act to augment the regular entertainment line up, and can offer something a little different than stage productions.

Another popular activity is taking in a newly released or classic film.  Royal Caribbean mixes up the offerings, but will show multiple films each day of the cruise, usually on the large screen by the pool.  On the larger Royal Caribbean ships, there are even 3D films shown in the Royal Theater for no additional cost. Regardless of venue, these films can be the perfect way to finally see that new movie you have been meaning to watch, or a fun movie to see again while you enjoy a swim.

Dancing and singing

If your idea of fun is live music, with or without you dancing along to it, then you will plenty of that on a Royal Caribbean cruise.  Each ship offers multiple venues each evening that offer live music, sing alongs, dance parties and more.

Each evening, your Cruise Compass will list a multitude of venues that offer live bands playing.  There will be shows at the ships' pubs, lounges, night clubs and even by the pool.  Walk in, and take a seat (or find a spot on the dance floor) and take it all in.  As mentioned, there are often many different live musical opportunities around the ship, appealing to different styles of music.  Guitar sing alongs at the pub, salsa dancing in Boleros lounge, DJ spinning, and more.

On select evenings of your cruise, there are themed parties held, where guests are invited to join in on the fun.  Some parties are themed to the 1970s or 1980s, Caribbean themed nights, and more.  These are essentially large dance parties, where the entertainment staff dress up for the occasion and guests are encouraged to do the same.  

Naturally, you may be wondering how to know which themed nights will be on your sailing and when, but Royal Caribbean does not publish that information in advance.  Your only option is to consult a prior Cruise Compass and see what was offered on previous sailings.  In our experience, the themed night lineups do not change much.

Teens & Kids

Younger travelers will find lots for them to do onboard as well.  Royal Caribbean has significantly invested in the dedicated space and entertainment options for the under 18 age set over the last decade or so.

Kids 3 to 11 years old have daily programming provided for them in the Adventure Ocean program.  Adventure Ocean is more than just a day camp experience. Kids will find classes, parties and activities offered each day of the cruise.

On select ships, younger kids will love the DreamWorks Experience, where they can meet their favorite characters from Madagascar and Shrek, watch 3D movies, and enjoy themed breakfasts and parades.

Teenagers also have their own rooms onboard to hang out, play games, listen to music... or whatever it is teenagers enjoy doing.  Royal Caribbean also schedules private sessions of popular onboard activities just for teens, such as time on the FlowRider surf simulator.

Video: Technology Stars in the Royal Theater: One-of-a-kind Venue Raises the Bar for Royal Caribbean Entertainment

In:
25Apr2017

With limitless capabilities across lighting, technology and scenery, the Royal Theater even makes Broadway directors and producers feel like kids in a candy shop. The state-of-the-art venue rivals those on land with impressive technology ranging from lifts and a tracking system to a fly space that allows performers to soar overhead. Royal Caribbean’s entertainment team thrives on innovation, and with the endless possibilities, they produce next-level original shows and Broadway-favorites to treat guests to an incredible experience at sea.

Video: Royal Caribbean Marine Team Delivers Smooth Sailing for Spectacular Entertainment

In:
07Mar2017

Putting on full-scale productions in the middle of the ocean requires seamless choreography between the marine operations and entertainment teams on board Royal Caribbean’s ships. Precision is key, and not just for the performers. Stage managers communicate with navigational officers and engineers who make the call to use the ship’s stabilizers or adjust course into the wind, in order to cancel out even the slightest motion. From backstage to the bridge, the entire team on board works together to ensure every performance is flawless for guests.

Video: Behind-the-Scenes of Royal Caribbean's State-of-the-Art Studio

In:
13Sep2016

The largest entertainment producer in the world, Royal Caribbean International, operates a 132,500-square-foot facility that produces world-class entertainment for its fleet of ships around the world. The Royal Caribbean Production Studio, located on Florida International University's Biscayne Bay campus in Miami, FL, includes three-story studios, a 300-seat theater, a 20,000-square-foot costume-making facility, 10 rehearsal studios, audio rooms, a gym and residences for its singers, dancers and choreographers.

Video: An Exclusive Look at Royal Caribbean's entertainment on Harmony of the Seas

In:
16Aug2016

From all-new stage productions to high-tech ice shows, amazing theme parties and breathtaking diving performances, Harmony of the Seas is taking entertainment to the next level. Guests can sing-along with Broadway favorite “Grease” in the Royal Theater or be part of the party with high-energy parades, live DJ performances and even a thrilling escape game, Puzzle Break: Escape the Rubicon!

Photos from opening night of Royal Caribbean's Columbus, The Musical! on Harmony of the Seas

In:
02Jul2016

Royal Caribbean's Harmony of the Seas had its first preview of Columbus The Musical yesterday, and we have photos from the premier performance.

Columbus, The Musical! is a new Royal Caribbean original production that tells the tale of Christopher’s luckless distant cousin, Marvin, on a madcap voyage to the Caribbean.

Marvin Columbus is the very, very, very, very, very distant relative of Christopher and spent his entire life ‘neath Chris’ shadow. Marvin’s disappointed nobleman father, sends him on a voyage to find his destiny. Storms, pirates, and even flying sharks – all lead Marvin to his greatest discovery; himself. Romance, adventure, and ‘happy ever after’ are on the map, as Marvin Columbus finally finds his destiny.

The musical was created in the spirit of “Spamalot” and “Something Rotten."

Video: Royal Caribbean’s Grease Cast Prepares for Opening Night

In:
15May2016

Get a backstage pass to Royal Caribbean’s exclusive performance of the hit musical, Grease. The cast are in final rehearsals and guests are in for some toe-tapping entertainment when the hand jive hits the stage onboard Harmony of the Seas.

Sneak Peek of Harmony of the Seas' Grease Rehearsal

In:
08May2016

Royal Caribbean's Vice President of Entertainment, Nick Weir, has some fun with the cast of Royal Caribbean's production of Grease, debuting on Harmony of the Seas.

Royal Caribbean announces entertainment line up for Ovation of the Seas

In:
22Mar2016

Royal Caribbean announced the entertainment options on Ovation of the Seas, its newest Quantum class cruise ship.

Two70

Two70, a multi-level great room that seamlessly fuses entertainment and technology, will offer entertainment throughout the day.

Vistarama

Two70 features an impressive show known as Vistarama, which utilizes expansive floor-to-ceiling windows that can be set into any scene, real or imagined, by combining 18 projectors to create an ambient surface over 100 feet wide and over 20 feet tall. In addition, a troupe of six, agile Roboscreens combined with highly trained live performers, music and special effects, gives guests front-row seats to stunningly visual shows

Spectra's Cabaret

This completely original production, created by Royal Caribbean International and Moment Factory exclusively for Two70, will take the stage on Ovation.

Having first debuted on Anthem of the Seas, the show features the Maestro and his Agents of Rhythm as they invite the audience to an electric, multi-dimensional cabaret that transports them to invisible realms.

Each night, the portal opens for a limited period of time and immerses guests’ imaginations into a multimedia show brimming with kaleidoscopic sounds, effervescent colors and dazzling movement. “Spectra’s Cabaret” blends live performance and experiential cinema with music from contemporary pop culture. It creates a world seen through the lens of music and technology, all while exploring the deepest recesses of the heart. 

Main Theater

The Dream

This thrilling production chronicles the story of a man who is visited by his departed soulmate in a very special dream. His long-lost love has come to help him rediscover his passion for life and gives him the will to pursue his wildest dreams and to find love again. In his slumber, he will confront his deepest and most secret fears and journey on a rite of passage towards his eventual awakening. The unique combination of wonderful storytelling, soulful performances and spectacular production values will surprise and delight audiences time and time again. This is the biggest adventure of this man’s life, and Royal Caribbean audiences are invited to join him on a wild and audacious journey of discovery.

Live. Love. Legs.

The same highly-acclaimed creative team behind the wildly popular “Sequins & Feathers” on Quantum of the Seas has brought its signature combination of talented artists, high-energy performances and remarkable beauty, to deliver another unforgettable theatrical experience. “Live. Love. Legs” brings a collection of incredible aerial acrobatics, next-gen choreography and superb vocal performances that come straight from the Broadway stage.

Infusing all the hallmarks of the Sequins & Feathers experience, featuring lavish costumes, jaw-dropping video effects, special musical arrangements, and a dedicated group of international artists, this all-new production onboard Ovation of the Seas will reward audiences with a full sensory overload.

More entertainment options

In the ever popular Music Hall, guests are treated to the most exciting live music venue at sea, where travelers can dance till the wee hours of the morning as well as enjoy theme parties such as Groovy Town.

Two70 hosts late-night themed parties such as Twist & Shout and Fireworks Party along with the Roboshows that perfectly incorporate live performers and technology.

The DreamWorks Experience offers events and activities featuring DreamWorks Animation's popular film characters.

  • DreamWorks character breakfasts in the main dining room
  • impromptu ‘meet-and-greet’ experiences
  • photo-ops throughout the day
  • exclusive DreamWorks merchandise

The newest addition to Quantum class will officially launch in April 2016, when she departs Southampton, England for Tianjin, China on a 52-day “Global Odyssey” voyage. She will begin her first homeport sailing season in China from Tianjin in June 2016. Ovation, together with Quantum of the Seas, Mariner of the Seas, Voyager of the Seas and Legend of the Seas, will make up the largest fleet of any cruise line sailing in China.

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