It is only a few more weeks until the new Oasis of the Seas makes her debut, and Royal Caribbean has announced an entertainment line-up like nothing ever seen before. Since its conception, the creators at Royal Caribbean have been touting it as the ship that takes the cruising experience to another dimension. If the entertainment line up lives up to the expectations, they will certainly achieve that goal.
A List Acts?
The announcement that Rihanna will be debuting the songs from her new album during ship’s pre-inaugural sailing has many people speculating that other A List acts might also sign-on to play the 5000 passenger ship. Rihanna will peform a special concert on November 19th during the pre-inaugural voyage. More than likely, this may be a one time promotional agreement to generate buzz for both the ship and the artist. Rihanna fans have the chance to win a sneak peek at the ship and a one of a kind show. Clear Channel radio stations across the country will sponsor “Keyword” contest beginning Monday, October 26, 2009 through Friday, November 6, 2009. Keywords will be announced throughout the day for listeners to text in for a chance to win a chance to be a part this unique experience. A young artist like Rihanna certainly appeals to the demographic that Royal Caribbean is seeking to capture with this ship. With all of its activities and attractions, Royal Caribbean continues its tradition of providing active vacations for families and young people, rather than the more sedate environment that tends to appeal to an older crowd.
Traditionally a cruise ships main theater has been the site of the evenings entertainment. On a more traditional ship this usually consists of 3 different musical review type production shows and a few featured performers. Usually the cruise director or even the captain greets the guests before the show, and the whole theater experience takes about 45 minutes. Sometimes the productions shows are outstanding with the singers and dancers far surpassing expectations, and other times the shows fall flat and seem overly corny.
For years, frequent cruisers have been asking for something more along the lines of a full production Broadway show. Oasis of the Seas will meet that demand with a 90 minute version of the Broadway show Hairspray performed in the ship’s Opal Theater. Since the full Broadway show is a bit longer, I imagine they’ll meet that time frame by shortening some of the numbers and possibly cutting a few, but for those who would otherwise not get the opportunity to see the show live, I’m sure the 90 minute version will be fantastic.
The ship will also feature a single production show with the ship’s own singers, dancers, aerialists, and gymnasts called “Come Fly With Me.”
Both of these shows will be performed 4 times during a 7 day cruise. Traditionally the singers and dancers on cruise ships perform three different shows, 2 times a night, for a total of 6 full scale shows per cruise. One obvious advantage of this new scenario with two casts performing only one show for the entire cruise is that the singers and dancers can perfect their single show and have less fatigue in performing them. The cast for the Hairspray show was specially selected during a 4 city audition process in London, New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles. Theoretically, the cast of this show would be as good or better than one would see in a regular touring production of the show.
The ship will also offer headliner acts consisting of singers, musicians, magic acts and juggling acts three times during a cruise.
The aqua theater on the back of the ship should provide for some incredible shows. While the area will feature a variety of entertainment during the day and evening including live music, dancing fountains, theme events, the most unique offering will be the two elaborate diving and synchronized swimming shows. Taking a cue from the Cirque de Solie show “O” the Royal Caribbean show Oasis of Dreams will have a cast of champion Olympic caliber and NCAA champion athletes. The last time I saw a diving and syncronized swimming show was at the 1984 World’s Fair in New Orleans. I thoroughly enjoyed that show, and this show sounds like it will be much more elaborate, in line with a Vegas Cirque show. The Aqua Theater will also feature comedy diving show called “Splish Splash” that will allow the divers to showcase their humourous side.
The ship will feature adult oriented comedy shows in its Comedy Live venue that will consit of two comedians in a one hour show that will be performed two to three times a night.
Theme Parties and Parades
If you ready Cruise Talk frequently, you know that I am always up for a good theme party. This ship has a disco themed party planned for its voyages throughout the interior Royal Promenade area. Continuing a tradition started on the lines Voyager class ships, each voyage will feature a elaborate costumed carnival like parade.
Also continuing with concepts created for the Voyager class of ship, the ship will feature an eleborate ice show in its Studio B venue. This show will be offered 7 times during a cruise and will feature a cast of world class figureskaters.
With so many options for entertainment and shows being repeated at different times during a voyage, crowd control is something that Royal Caribbean has taken into consideration. The ship holds about 5000 passengers, yet the Aqua Theater only has 600 seats and the Opal Theater has around 1300. Since the shows will be offered multiple times, in order to accommodate all passengers in an efficient way, the ship will offer all shows for free, but will utilize a computerized reservation system. Utilizing their state room TV, passengers will be able to reserve seating, though not a specific seat location, for the time and day that they want to see the different shows through out the voyage. Walk up seating will be permitted on a space available basis. (No word on how they plan to handle the one time only crowd for the Rihanna concert as the Aqua Theater only seats 600, perhaps standing room only?)
The costs of staging such elaborate and spectacular shows should be covered by two factors. This ship with its 5000 passenger capacity should enjoy greater economies of scale than any other in the industry. Also, with the uniqueness and newness of the ship, Royal Caribbean should be able to command a higher cruise price for this ship than any other ship in its fleet. Currently the price of a 7 day cruise on the Oasis of the Seas is priced at about double what passengers would pay on the just few years old Liberty of the Seas. A 7 day cruise on the Oasis of the Seas in March of 2010 is priced at about $1600 per person for a balcony, while a balcony on the Liberty of the Seas for a 7 day cruise costs about $900 per person.