Am considering booking Costa in February. I have just found out that this is an "Oldies" cruise with entertainment from such folks as Paul Revere & The Raiders, The Buckinghams, etc.
Some travel agents (example: Sam's Club Travel Services) state that unless you book thru them you will not be able to see these Oldies shows on board.
After doing some checking I have determined that if someone booked a category 1 cabin thru Sam's Club Travel (for this particular cruise) they would pay around $950 per person, double occupancy. However, if someone booked a category 1 (for this same cruise) thru their own travel agent they would pay around $650 per person.
My question is: Can you REALLY be prevented from seeing these Oldies shows on board if you used your own travel agent rather than Sam's Club Travel? If so, how are you prevented from seeing the show?
Yes, you absolutely can be prevented from seeing them.
A travel agent friend packages the same kind of deals for Country & Western shows. He books and pays for the entertainment, not the cruise line. Then he books a block of rooms and resells them with the cost of the special entertainment added in. Those who book his rooms are given tickets for the shows. Those who book other rooms are not.
If you want this particular entertainment, you pay for it. Very simple.
PS--My friend tells me that he sometimes runs into a problem where an unscrupulous or uninformed agent tells his customers that they will indeed be admitted to these private shows and that the ship has no power to exclude anyone from any form of entertainment.
This is not true, and if you have further questions you should check directly with the cruise line.
These special shows are considered private functions, and are not listed in the regular activities bulletin. If you're clever enough to find out when and where they are happening, you'll be denied admission if you don't have a ticket. Naturally, they do not take the place of the ship's regular entertainment schedule, which is available to all.