Carnival Live makes debut with sellout Styx concerts

By Tom Stieghorst

Carnival Cruise Lines said the first in a series of big-name concerts attracted a sellout audience.

Show lounges on Carnival Fantasy and Carnival Fascination were filled for the 1980s rock band Styx, which performed while the ships were docked in Nassau.

Carnival live video

Carnival Cruise Lines CEO Gerry Cahill told a group of travel agents Monday that the audience was a lot of “40s and 50s” who brought their children to the shows.

“We wanted to put energy in the product, and we’re trying to give you something to sell,” Cahill told the group, which was part of the company’s ongoing Carnival Conversations initiative.

Carnival has 49 Carnival Live performance dates scheduled, with 15 artists ranging from Jennifer Hudson to Olivia Newton-John. Tickets are priced between $20 and $40, with a limited number of VIP seats going for $100 to $150.

The shows occur in port at Nassau, Cozumel and Catalina Island, Calif.

Carnival unveils big-name musical acts for concert series

By Arnie Weissmann

Carnival Live, Jennifer Hudson“American Idol” and “Dreamgirls” star Jennifer Hudson joined Carnival Cruise Lines CEO Gerry Cahill on stage to make the point that Carnival is serious about bringing big-name artists to the stages of its ships.

In April, Carnival will launch an experience branded “Carnival LIVE” featuring live performances by artists including Hudson, Chicago, Styx, .38 Special, Foreigner, Gavin DeGraw, Jewel, Kansas, LeAnn Rimes, Olivia Newton-John, REO Speedwagon, Lady Antebellum, Daughtry, Martina McBride and Trace Adkins.

The artists will join ships at homeports in Cozumel, Nassau and Catalina Island, playing the last night of one cruise and the first night of the next. The performers will be in the main show lounge, and will not be sailing.

The shows will not be included in the fare; tickets will cost $20 to $40, and can be purchased in advance through the line’s web-based shore excursion system, or onboard at the shore excursion desk, if available.

VIP tickets, selling for $100 to $150 each, will include a meet-and-greet with photo opportunities, a laminated concert pass and seating in the first three rows.