A coworker came back today from a cruise on Royal Caribbean. One of his complaints is that they didn't have any "named" entertainers. He said they were just differnt vairety acts such as singers and dancers, a juggler, a magician, and the sort. The only one he was "impressed" with was the ice show. He stated that with 3,000 paying customers on board, the cruise line should be able to pay for big name entertainers. As an example, he mentioned his first cruise (some years back I am sure) had Charo.
I have never cruised with big name entertainers on cruise ships. Has anyone who cruised in the past actually had big name entertainers? If so, can you drop some names?
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I don't think, any popular current entertainer, is going to do a cruise. To me, people on the way up, or down, or back from retirement choose to entertain on ships. While I have always enjoyed the "names" we have seen, I wouldn't count on seeing anyone in the current entertainment field, any time soon.
I think there is a cruise ship stigma, which is a shame. They could fly in and out the next day or so, as many do. Are the lines even willing to pay the fees? The cruise fare would surely rise.
That said, we have seen the Captain & Tenille, Gary Muldeer, Oldies but goodies on a 60's theme crusie, Darlene Love, Johnny Tillotson, there was a comedian, who was great but I forget his name, but he was a blast from the past too.
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We've been on 2 cruises with Marty Allen, comedian. The first time we didn't see the show because NCL was charging and extra $10/pp. It was a very empty theater but the second time on Princess we did see him and it was great. On HAL we had Jon Bauman, "Bowzer" from Sha Na Na and he got too ranchy; groping the older ladies and was booed off the stage! We just did a 3 night cruise on the Monarch and saw Sean O'Shea, impersonator/singer/comedian. He was fabulous and received a standing ovation. You can google him or find him on youtube and see most of what we saw. We have been on cruises/vacations with Dee Wallace-Stone and Ricky Shroeder and their families. They were very nice and most people left them alone.
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The best way to see "name" acts is to book a specialty cruise such as the "Blues Cruise" or a Jazz Cruise. The focus for the entire cruise is on the entertainment and they often get relatively big named artists for the genre (Such as Delbert McClinton & Marcia Ball on a Blues Cruise).
April 1, 2006 - Serenade of the Seas - 7 days to the Southern Caribbean
October 8, 1984 - NCL Sunward II - 3 day cruise to the Bahamas
Crsytal and Silversea are tending to get more "big-name" entertainers on board.
Crystal just released this...
Crystal Features Hollywood Legends in "Theater at Sea" Itinerary
Some of the finest names in the film and theater worlds are joining Crystal Cruises' brand new Theatre at Sea itinerary. Individual artists will perform throughout the 12-day "Italian Treasures" itinerary from Venice to Monte Carlo, departing September 12, 2008, aboard award-winning Crystal Serenity.
The roster includes:
Lynn Redgrave - The Golden Globe-winning actress performs Nightingale, a captivating ancestral story from her five-generation theatrical family
Gena Rowlands - The Academy Award-nominated and Emmy-winning actress presents her latest film, Broken Promises, winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival
Patricia Neal - The Academy Award-winning actress performs her acclaimed play, As I am, chronicling her remarkable life
Lucy Arnaz and Laurence Luckinbill - Performing together, the theatrical duo presents songs from Ms. Arnaz's cabaret show and scenes from Mr. Luckinbill's plays
Florence Henderson - The Brady Bunch star presents An Evening with Florence Henderson, a musical recounting of her stage, screen and television career
Susannah York - The Academy Award-nominated actress presents her one-woman show, The Loves of Shakespeare's Women
Lee Roy Reams - Critically acclaimed for his Broadway role in The Producers, Mr. Reams presents a musical journey through the works of Jerry Herman, one of Broadway's finest composers.
Presented in partnership with the Theatre Guild, the Crystal Serenity itinerary calls in Dubrovnik, Croatia; Taormina, Sorrento, Rome, Florence and Elba, Italy, and ends with an overnight stay in Monte Carlo. Cruise fares start at $4,835 per person, double occupancy.
Nice to hear about tthat roster Paul. I would enjoy Lynn Redgrave, and Lucie and Lawrence. I bet Florence would have some interesting stories, on her Brady Bunch days. I think the allure of that cruise line was the clincher.
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I don't think 'big name' necessarily equates to great entertainment. We have certainly enjoyed probably lesser known names who have considerable musical theatre, classical concert, etc. experience. Best comedian we have ever seen was Yakov Smirnoff who is pretty well known. I don't want my rates increased to pay for someone more well known, especially if they are well known 'has-beens' and not that talented. If acts are really poor, the comment cards, reactions, numbers attending will reflect that and the cruise line is not likely to bring them back. Generally, the larger the ship, the better the entertainment in our experience. Smaller ship, therefore smaller numbers can't compete. Having said that, we almost always attend the shows and have walked out of only a few.
Last December we were fortunate enough to meet Bobby Flay twice onboard the Norwegian Gem in NY. John Legend also performed 2 live shows during this cruise. Of course, they were the main event (Bobby prepared dinner for us and John provided the music) and the cruise price reflected the "Big Name Entertainer". But boy was it worth every penny!
A friend of mine said she was on the same cruise with Howie Mandell and his wife. They were cruising to Mazaltan and Ensenada. She said he had on some type of disguise; maybe a wig and glasses.
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NCL used to hire big names on a regular basis. But, like a lot of things, that changed when the company changed hands. My favorite was Bert Convy. Great voice, even though that was not what he was known for.
We too have sailed with several "forgettable" big name acts. Marty Allen was the only one that comes to mind immediately. As a matter of fact, I was sitting at a bar aboard, and he walked up and sat down next to me. We had a very long interesting conversation. I used to love sailing with Mark Preston, of the "Lettermen". He put on an excellent show, and sailed with Princess, I think, for a long time. Sadly, he has since joined up with the rest of the Lettermen, and they do shows all over the world instead of aboard ships where I love to take in the show.
Cruise Ship entertainers are usually on their way "down" instead of on their way "up."
rarely have I seen an enertainer get popular where I can say "I used to see him on cruise ships." Although I believe there are a few stars out there who do say they did cruise ship stints when starting out.
I am guessing you will see more & more as time goes on, because there are so many more ships now and entertainment on ships is finally starting to really target a younger audience.
Have seen the Platters and one of the guys from the group Foreiner (SP?)
I do enjoy the singers and dancers, jugglers and magicians.
Named entertainers I would love to see on a ship would be U2, Rolling Stones, Madonna but that is not going to happen.
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Perhaps I am confused at what other people consider 'named' entertainers. I mean, why would I care to see Florence Henderson or some of the other names that were dropped on this post, most of whom I have never heard of, or they are well past their prime....nothing like watching geriatric rockers and crooners. Once again, no, I am not prepared to pay more for 'named' entertainers, especially when they are 'has-beens' and very likely do not have the voice they used to have. Let the young up and comers entertain us. We have enjoyed some excellent entertainment on board ships. If you want or expect better, then pay the $150 ticket to see them at a venue on land.
I would imagine the only time you'll really see this is the fan-cruises that happen from time to time. I know I was getting emails from Carnival last Fall about the Rock cruises that were coming up (from Lynard Skynard to Barenaked Ladies).
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