Spectacular song-and-dance numbers backed by soaring musical scores. Elaborate, encore-worthy set designs. Floors that shift, open and drop. Hundreds of costumes flouncing, floating, shimmering, shaking. Larger than life. Bigger than Broadway. If you're looking for showy, splashy theatre that rivals that of the Great White Way, cast your eyes to the horizon and be prepared to be mesmerized by theatre at sea.
PUT YOUR PAWS TOGETHER AND GIVE IT UP FOR THE MOUSE
Hands _ er paws _ down,
"Disney has the highest production values and entertainment values at sea," said Gary E. Smith, owner of CruiseOne in Eugene, Ore. Smith grew up in
"With Disney, I have been truly impressed and have thoroughly enjoyed each and every production I attended."
In fact, in the recently released CruiseCritic Cruisers' Choice Awards, naming the best ships at sea in a variety of categories _ and based on the thousands of consumer reviews received by CruiseCritic.com over the past year _ Disney's Fantasy and Dream claimed the first and third spots on the list.
"Twice Charmed: An Original Twist on the Cinderella Story" is Disney's largest theatrical production ever aboard _ and that's saying something for a cruise line famous for lavish shows _ and includes a cast of no less than 21 high stepping performers. "Villains Tonight!" stars those ne'er do-wells everyone loves to hate: Ursula (
The shows are breathtaking; the special effects astounding. And audience members get swept up into the magic faster than they can say "Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo."
"I've worked for many different cruise lines and Disney is always consistently at the top of the list," said Wayne Hoffman, a professional mentalist and illusionist who performs his own show called "Mind Candy," an interactive gig that combines magic and mindreading. Hoffman has been working the cruise ship circuit since 2006 and has performed not only on Disney, but on Princess, Holland America and
'YOU CAN'T STOP THE BEAT'
Smith also gives high marks to the shows staged on Royal Caribbean International's Oasis class ships.
"Each of these ships _ Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas _ runs a slightly scaled down version of an actual Broadway show," said Smith. "They are 'Hairspray' and 'Chicago' respectively, and they are wonderful."
But that's not all. Aboard the Liberty of the Seas, the smash musical,
Passengers who participated in CruiseCritic's 2013 Cruisers' Choice Awards agree. They voted Allure of the Seas into the No. 2 slot for best entertainment, specifically giving its Broadway production of "Chicago" a shout-out.
Besides Broadway shows, Royal Caribbean has an entertainment lineup that includes original productions and ice shows, like
'HIT ME WITH YOUR BEST SHOT'
When it makes its May debut from its homeport in New York City,
"With 'Rock of Ages' and all the other entertainment offerings, we are truly bringing Broadway to the high seas and delivering the high caliber entertainment New Yorkers have come to expect," he said.
"Rock of Ages" is one of the longest running shows in Broadway history, a rousing five-time
CRUISERS TAKE TO THE STAGE ON CUNARD
Ever dream of developing your acting chops a la Vivien Leigh, Anthony Hopkins or Ralph Fiennes? Your ship has come in.
"On Cunard Line you can take acting classes from members of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art _ the famed arts school in
Arguably the most famous acting school in the English-speaking world, London's Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA), founded in 1904, presents specially-edited versions of renowned plays and adaptations of great literary classics onboard Queen Mary 2 during the entire Transatlantic season.
During each Transatlantic Crossing, guests may take up to three RADA dramatic workshops _ and note: sign-up is on a first-come, first-served basis. RADA also performs abridged plays such as "The Merchant of Venice" and "The
_ Cunard Line, http://www.Cunard.com
_ Disney Cruise Line, http://www.DisneyCruise.Disney.go.com
_ Norwegian Cruise Lines, http://www.NCL.com
_ Royal Caribbean International, http://www.RoyalCaribbean.com