6 Best Cruise Ship Production Shows

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Million Dollar Quartet

Cruise ship production shows have greatly matured in recent years, elevating live performances once almost exclusively predominated by revues. Many medleys of popular songs remain, but the best are even making those better. Meanwhile, Broadway-caliber narratives and boundary-pushing spectacles raise the bar higher still.

“Disney Dreams – An Enchanted Classic,” Disney Magic and Disney Wonder, Disney Cruise Line

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The Disney Cruise Line is remarkable for its company of singers, dancers and technicians employing seemingly every known theatrical technique in order to pull at the audience’s heartstrings. Disney knows story, and it knows how to present it musically with an unmatched in-house songbook. “Disney Dreams – An Enchanted Classic” specifically follows the journey of a girl as she rediscovers her ability to believe as her bedroom is magically transformed with the help of some visitors with great character. Sequences featuring numbers from “The Little Mermaid” are particularly powerful.

“Flick,” Carnival Vista, Carnival Cruise Line

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The high energy performances of Carnival Cruise Line’s casts have always stood out, but the Carnival Vista is on another level with shows like “Flick.” The tribute to motion pictures is not just a dime-a-dozen rehash of pop songs from movies. It very cleverly follows a miming character as he effectively inserts himself into each film and number from the dramatic to the whimsical. It’s a fantastic concept as we can surely all relate to the notion of being enveloped by our favorite movies. This performance just does it wonderfully through song and dance.

“Frozen, A Musical Spectacular,” Disney Wonder, Disney Cruise Line

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Continuing Disney’s aforementioned tradition of excellence is “Frozen, A Musical Spectacular.” The corporate film studio had a hit on its hands with the animated film, and seeing it interpreted live is a magical experience. New projection mapping technologies allow the house to be engulfed in the scenery as much as the stage, and the transformation of Queen Elsa’s costume is expertly rendered as well. All, of course, including ace puppetry is in service of the timeless story.

“Grease,” Harmony of the Seas, Royal Caribbean International

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Royal Caribbean International is astounding in so many ways with the Harmony of the Seas, and its production of “Grease” is definitely one of the ship’s highlights. In fact, it’s as close to perfect as a traditional Broadway show can be. The cast is incredibly good, and the backing band that plays live in studio adds an amazing energy to the total effort. The acting, singing, dancing and playing are all top notch. Classic numbers are reinvigorated with the modern cast that leaves guests tapping their toes all the way to the onboard Johnny Rockets.

“Rock of Ages,” Norwegian Breakaway, Norwegian Cruise Line

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While it may celebrate a different era and attitude of rock and roll than “Grease,” Norwegian Cruise Line’s “Rock of Ages” is just as fun in a playfully irreverent fashion. I honestly didn’t care much for the recent film adaptation of this musical, but the shipboard version is a standout that will leave you laughing and singing along. The rock back that is featured front and center plays straight all the way through, and the energy is unbelievably non-stop. But don’t stop believing as Journey reminds us.

“Spectra’s Cabaret,” Anthem of the Seas, Royal Caribbean International

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The most unique show of the bunch is “Spectra’s Cabaret” for fully taking advantage of the multipurpose Two70 venue on Royal Caribbean International’s Anthem of the Seas. Live singers, dancers, instrumentalists and aerial acrobatics perform amid six kinetic Roboscreens and in front of the 12K-resolution Vistarama screen. Depending on where you sit, the action quite literally happens all around you. It’s a breathtaking overall display that visually brings to life music like you’ve never seen or heard before.

‘Frozen’ production coming to the Disney Wonder

The Disney Wonder will be the Disney Cruise Line ship debuting a stage version of the smash animated movie “Frozen” this November.

The ship is scheduled to sail from Galveston on Nov. 10 with the show and a “wave of new enhancements,” Disney said.

“Frozen, a Musical Spectacular” is based on Walt Disney Animation Studios’ “Frozen,” which is the number one animated feature of all time. The film earned two Academy Awards (2014) for Best Animated Feature and Best Original Song.

An entirely separate two-act Broadway production of “Frozen” is currently being prepared by Disney Theatrical Productions and is slated to join Disney Theatrical’s New York productions of “Aladdin” and “The Lion King” for spring 2018 at a theater to be announced.

On the Disney Wonder, the “Frozen” show will be staged in the 977-seat Walt Disney Theater.

Disney Magic arrives in Liverpool

It’s here! The spectacular Disney Magic cruise ship has arrived in Liverpool.

The visit is the luxury liner’s maiden voyage to the city – and it has brought some of Disney’s best known names with it.

The stunning vessel entered the Mersey this morning carrying 2,700 guests and an incredible 950 cast and crew members.

Packed with Disney characters – from princesses to super heroes – the cruise ship showcases the famous film-maker’s magical history.

Guests on board can enjoy Disney inspired dining, theatre, leisure and entertainment designed for children of all ages (and their big kid parents!).

Weighing 84,000 tonnes it boasts 10 different restaurants, five pools and two nightclubs.

You can even meet Disney royalty on board- from introducing yourself to Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty to playing in a giant recreation of Toy Story Andy’s bedroom.

Today’s visit to Liverpool is one of only a handful of UK stops being made by the 12 night transatlantic cruise, which started in Florida.

And while Merseyside’s biggest Disney fans may not be able to taste the experience today fear not – it returns next month.

And on when it does, on June 12, a host of events will celebrate its arrival.

There will be an outdoor cinema that will show Frozen, Finding Nemo, Toy Story and Mary Poppins in full.

A bandstand in front of the Cunard Building will play host to live music, with the Royal Marines Bands playing a Disney medley and performances from opera singer Danielle Thomas and Liverpool’s Ukulele Orchestra.

Youngsters will also be battling it out to be named Liverpool’s Young Town Crier.

A ‘magic garden’ event will run at Pier Head, themed with potting sheds, toadstools, giant flowers and fairy houses.

And, at around 10.15pm, a firework display will signal the moment the vessel leaves for Dublin.