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cayluv November 3rd, 2005 08:56 PM

Which Cruise Line has the Best Entertainment?
Does any one cruise line have a better reputation in terms of quality of their stage shows or onboard performers?

Paul Motter November 4th, 2005 11:58 AM

Re: Which Cruise Line has the Best Entertainment?

Originally Posted by cayluv
Does any one cruise line have a better reputation in terms of quality of their stage shows or onboard performers?

My opinion, generally Carnival has the best, with Royal Caribbean a close second. After that comes Princess, Celebrity, Holland America which are all about the same. In the luxury category Crystal gets highest marks.

momofmeg December 8th, 2005 09:57 AM

I found both my Princess cruise and HAL cruise had super great shows. the food was excellent on both too-although I found HAL preety subdued-once the show was over-there was no entertainment-the lounges were dead-now Princess was better-but things did close up around 1 a.m.-but that was fine with me as I "close up" around then myself.

Now on RCCL-I found the shows just okay on Sovereign but much better on Mariner.

I have been on 4 Carnival cruises and found the shows decent, better then on Sovereign-but not great-exept for Carnival Miracle-the shows were superb on her.

Disney had good shows too-but they were Disney themed-not Las Vegas style-if you have ever been to a Disney Ice Show-they reminded me of that-exept ofcourse they danced and sang instead of skating and siging.

But I really thing it is not the line but the ship-newer ships have the best entertainers-and when you go more upscale on the cruiseline-the shows are better too. Makes sense to me-the more you spend on a cruise-the better the shows will be.

rbradb February 8th, 2006 10:13 PM

I thought QM2 the best but have just come off Celebrity Millenium - fantastic shows incuding Cirque du Soleil

skymaster July 9th, 2006 06:16 PM

No doubt it's subjective, but I too think Carnival overall has the best entertainment. Princess is also very very good, but spotty compared to Carnival. I've sailed the same ship a number of times, and watched the same shows aboard Princess. One cruise those shows are great, and the next time they are just O.K., depending on the cast. Carnival is almost always excellent.

sugarbabe0077 May 25th, 2007 04:41 PM

carnivals ship ecstasy has a fantastic band Music Highlights, an all filipino rock band..they are great!!!

mehawk July 6th, 2007 12:45 AM


coach32 September 10th, 2007 10:23 PM

Best shows NCL, Best music Carnival and RCCL, best disco Carnival. :roll:

euphscott December 7th, 2007 02:44 PM

Of the mass market lines, Disney has the best production shows - and it's not even close.

RichieRich March 25th, 2008 04:43 AM

Speaking of Entertainment

I have been on 7 cruises in the last 5 years. By far the best entertainment I have seen was on the Disney Magic....and its not just for kids although it is clean entertainment. Their production shows were engaging and very well done and unless your mind is in the gutter, you would have to at least appreciate all the shows if not be highly well entertained all the way through them. Mostly just 1 show a night though plus a movie theater and all the bars with music. A 2nd nightly "main" show would be nice even if it were just a comedian or magician. So they had about 8 main shows in 7 days but almost all were spectacular.

My one Carnival cruise I have been on was on the Pride just last month and I was very disappointed with 3 of the shows but the song and dance team was excellent and two of the comedians (acts) were good but three of the shows were really kinda lame. One nights show was the newlywed game and it was the worse I've seen although it had its moments. So that rates them at 4 out of 7 that I rate as good entertainment. I hate it when a game show that relies on the guests is one of the nights main venues. Cruise lines should not get cheap on us and stop paying to fly in prefessional entertainment. They are in the entertainment business after-all. Game and talent shows should be a secondary venue combined with a professional act each night. Doing that is obviously a way to cut back.

Of course when I say lame I don't mean the entire show...there are always moments that are at least a little entertaining.

So my main issue with cruise entertainment is that I would like to see MORE entertainment venues per evening rather than just one main show a night. This would solve two problems, if one of the two nightly shows is not very good or not some guest thing, then all would not be lost as there is a 2nd show before or after dinner.....thus making a complete evening for the guests. It would also provide a spectacular night for some of the guests if both shows happen to be a hit. If there was a cruise line in particular who consistantly has two main shows a night, each one showing twice so both dinner seatings could catch them both....please let me know. Then these combined with the game show venues... I think would be a good thing. I am thinking Princess is most likely to do this.

The two Princess cruises I did on the Star and Grand were the only times I have seen it where there was consitantly more than one main venue per night. But I haven't been on Princess for 2 1/2 years. Is this still the case? I hope they still do this and have not cut back on the number of venues. I remember between dinner, we literally had to run from one end of the ship to the the other to catch all the shows. It was fun. We loved that. One night I think they actually had 3 main venues and a late night comedian on a sea day. I would not say that each and every show was great throughout the cruise, but there were some 15-16 main shows per 7 day cruise which means that I can remember a good 10 of them that were really fun and entertaining Much better than 3 or 4 good ones in a 7 day cruise. .... So this makes me want to sail Princess again for that aspect alone. Does anyone know if this is still true for Princess. Any recent sailers of Princess?

RCL Adventure of the Seas had awesome entertainment but just 7-8 shows per 7 day cruise I think. One show was an ice show that was really cool but only lasted I think 20 minutes thus leaving no other shows that evening....just leaving us to the bars or casino or hanging with your new found drinking buddies or of course romancing your wife. But that ice show was on two different nights and so if you saw it the first night, then there were zero shows for you to see the 2nd night. But I can't recall any bad shows of the 7. Just more of them would be even better.

I think the problem is that the cruise lines are cutting back on the venues as kind of a sneaky way to cut costs because there is no way to know what the entertainment venues will be before when you book the cruise or even when on the cruise until you get the ships daily guide each night. I also think it is a way of trying to get people drinking and gambling when there are less organized venues to see..... thus making more money for them. But the cruise lines are in the entertainment business so I hate to see that happening. If I am stuck on a ship each night, I want them to provide all the entertainment anyone can handle. In fact, I am more inclined to buy drinks and those stupid little scratch tickets if I am in a theater waiting for a venue to start.

My 2nd to last cruise was a 9 day on the NCL Pearl which had basically 1 main venue per night. A few were not great but they had half that were good to great. The assistant cruise director was very entertaining and did a few game shows that worked out well thanks to the guests who he was able to really get into it and played the spontanaety for all it was worth. That is a key to a good cruise staff I think, being able to get the guests really into things. Paul was his name and he will make the best full fledged cruise director one day I am sure. So because of Paul and the cruise staff on the Pearl and their abilities to play the audience so well, I was just as entertained with those game show venues as I was with the professional acts. So good job for them. I remember that RCL also did the game shows and deck parties well. But like I said before, more of the same each night would be awesome I think.

My first cruise was on the NCL Sky which is now the Aloha I think and it was 5 years ago. I remember tons of venues just like on the 2 Princess cruises. I expected that on the Pearl but they seemed to have cut back to 1 per night. Does anyone know if Princess has also cut back on the quantity of nightly shows?

So those are my thoughts. I am obviously an A type vacationer and run like crazy in all the ports but really am looking for ships that have the most variety of venues to catch every night. I have also noticed that the daytime activities are not a prevelant. Does anyone know of which ships have the most organized venues and daily entertainment?

azjulie May 25th, 2009 01:52 AM

I really enjoyed the band wavelength from Canada on the Sapphire Princess 4/25/09. Great talent.

Manuel July 12th, 2009 04:30 AM

Our last cruise was on Celebrity Solstice and the entertainment was top notch.


SuJoy October 24th, 2009 11:54 AM

I think the larger ships have better entertainment because they have a bigger budget and can pay for the better quality of entertainers?

Paul Motter November 27th, 2009 11:15 AM

Since this thread was started entertainment has taken on whole new dimentions in cruising.

Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas has licensed Hairspray - a full Broadway show, This is the first time a cruise ship jhas done this. In addition, they have a wonderful Water-based AquaTheater show with acrobatics and professional diving. They also has a onderful ice skating show with Olympic contender performers.

NCL's Epic (may 2010) will have Blue Man Group the theter company that sstarted off-broadway in NYC, took their act to Vegas and on the road and now will be on NCL. NCL also has Second City on most if their ships.

For performing babds, they have gotten much younger abd better on cruise hips over the years, Carnival especially has very good rock bands onboard playing hits from the 60,70, 80, 90s. They also have solo artists like guitar/singers who are not just good singers, they are entertainers and lots of good fun.

IAs a follower of cruise ship talent over the years, as being in showbiz before that, I recall when working on a cruise ship sounded like something someone did when they were giving up, but now, 15 years later, it is now considered a reputable job in show biz (as it always should have been). No, it still isn't the "big time." But it is a steady, well-paying gig where you get to do what you love.

From people applying for jobs on shipsm I hear fewer dancers and singers than ever before are quitting, and it is actually getting harder to get on. The optimum time was probably about 10 - 65 years ago when new ships were coming out all the time.

rollerdonna March 18th, 2010 09:20 PM

My personal preference is Carnival, never had a bad show on Carnival. The occasional "Off" singer, but overall great entertainment.
Celebrity had good entertainment too, but passengers tend to be much older and go to bed early, so often the theatre was almost empty.


zoin March 19th, 2010 09:37 PM

IMHO when it come with shows, Carnival is the best. They never failed to amuse me. Second is Royal Caribbean, been on it twice already.

Donna March 20th, 2010 05:39 AM

I still find that Royal Caribbean has the best, but that is just MHO....You can't beat their ice shows and now even a water show.

Bruce Chafkin1 March 25th, 2010 10:50 PM

Which cruise line has the best entertainment?

Which TV news show is the most objective?

Which restaurant chain serves the best coffee?

Which airline has the best service?

What is the best itinerary for a cruise?

Which hotel chain has the best food?

Which is the best month to take a cruise?

Which brand of automobile is the best value?

Who is funnier, Shields or Yarnell?

Does anyone else here see a fatal flaw in any of these questions?

I am asking total strangers, many of whom do not have a wide range of comprehensive expertise or experience on the subject, to make a judgement based on their own personal likes/dislikes - which may or may not be completely similar to, or completely different from, my own.

In the best case, any answers I receive will be nearly worthless to me. In the worst case, they will be completely confusing.

Paul Motter March 26th, 2010 10:27 AM

When you consider the fact that most of the people answering have seen shows on at least two or more different cruise lines, many here as many as four or five (which is almoat all the mainstrem cruise lines out there) they can make an informed opinion based on their own experience.

No - they may not be able to say with certainly which is the "best" but they certainly can compare within their field of knowledge - and that has validity.

Now, personally I have seen many cruise shows, and I would have to say Oasis of the Seas has the best right now, but I believe Norwegian Epic will best it when it comes out in July 2010.

talfonso April 28th, 2010 04:10 PM


Originally Posted by euphscott (Post 1025616)
Of the mass market lines, Disney has the best production shows - and it's not even close.

I agree, but if you really don't mind seeing a thong or two on stage on some nights, Carnival's for you! Nevertheless, it's Disney for the showbiz.

Paul Motter April 29th, 2010 09:25 AM

I'm still waiting see a Disney show - haven't sailed them yet, but I am looking forward to it.

cutiecat May 3rd, 2010 01:46 PM

I like Carnival's entertainment but for the big shows Royal blew them away when I sailed on the Brilliance two years ago. I sail Celebrity next week and am interested in seeing what they have to offer :)

Manuel May 6th, 2010 08:57 PM

It would be hard to beat the entertainment on Oasis OTS. It's certainly the best that I have seen.


Donna May 6th, 2010 09:16 PM

Hi Manuel,
What is the water show like?? Were you able to see it OK?

Manuel May 15th, 2010 08:35 AM


Originally Posted by Donna (Post 1290461)
Hi Manuel,
What is the water show like?? Were you able to see it OK?

The show consisted of various dive and water acrobatics. It was quite nice and we could see it very well. We could also see the ocean at the same time. That venue in the back of the ship is also used for concerts, as the pool can be covered and used as a stage. The way the seats are arranged you have a good view from any spot you sit in.


Donna May 15th, 2010 06:33 PM

Thanks Manuel,
That kind of entertainment is hard to beat!

johnthed0g May 15th, 2010 06:54 PM

For me Celebrity...

astor<3 September 1st, 2010 11:55 PM

RCI!!!!! without a doubt... no bias.

ruthlessboss September 2nd, 2010 01:05 PM

I thought all the shows on different ships were great. The ones that outshined them all was on MSC Opera. Such perfection!

Manuel October 19th, 2010 12:27 AM


Originally Posted by astor<3 (Post 1314349)
RCI!!!!! without a doubt... no bias.

From what I have seen. I agree with you.


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