You have many thoughts similar to mine and if the cruise companies do not get this right very soon, then I can see things going downhill fast.
As I mentioned in a message in this forum, I have just come back from a trip on the Oceana, with P & O.
All though the cruise director Neil Oliver was one of the best I have seen, he to me, has a very limited crew ov visiting cabaret, all of which I have seen before. I am not sure what the position is like foe acts to work in the US, but in the UK , apart from Summer Seasons and the English pantomime, there is not much work for, Star or semi-known names. However, if some of the land based bookers got of their backsides and got out of the office, and not just stick to the same old faces doing the ships, they will find that there are lots of great acts, far better, working the clubs. The 99% of cruisers do not go on a ship because a "particular" act is appearing, that is fact of my talking with passengers over the past 5 years.
Instead of seeing 1 main "star" act, they would rather see 4 different acts for less than the "star" would cost the cruise lines.
Let's just see if anyone at Carnival is interested in meeting with me, as a cruise regular and an experienced hotel/entertainment booker and presenter. I know what people want and what passengers need, their thoughts, and fresh ideas in the whole cruise thing.
This is an invitation to John Buccafusco to meet and listen to a customer with experience from all sides.
As I always say, he who leads will win!
It will be interesting to see if Cruise Lines read this site, and I would be pleased to hear from others.
Best cruising wishes to all
Rod Taylor firstname.lastname@example.org