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View Poll Results: What is the future of ship theatres?
Do you think that anyone would design a ship with no theatre?
It uses lots of space, makes some drink sales but perhaps less than other venues.
How do you think they will evolve?
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On large ships, I think they stay. How do they evolve? Maybe "premium" extra cost entertainment? If you got rid of them, what revenue generating spaces do you put there? I guess either more cabins or extra pay restaurant(s) and bars/lounges. Or is there something else you could put there instead? Some "out of the box" sort of thing.
Entertainment is a big evening draw for some and the theaters on the ships I have sailed have always been packed. I don't see that changing anytime soon.
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Existing theatre spaces on existing ships are unlikely to be retro-fitted for any other purpose; however it is possible that charges may be applied for "premium", possibly all, shows. Theatre space on new construction may very well be smaller to reflect reduced demand if charges are applied.
The sad fact is that, like most commercial operations, the never-ending effort to improve the bottom line will result in two ongoing influences: increasing of base fares and miscellaneous charges to improve gross revenue, and decreasing the quality and amount of included amenities to reduce costs.
Six US Navy ships, (1960-1970)
20+ cruises: Furness Bermuda (1), Orient (1), Holland America (10), Norwegian (5), Carnival (1), Princess (1), Celebrity (3), Cunard (1), Royal Caribbean (1) - (1953-2014).
On the cruises I have been on the main theater was also used for daily talks about ports of call, ship functions, and for occasional demonstrations of various topics, including cooking tips, crafts, and, on a few rare occasions, products. On one cruise we attended a discussion and Q & A session about how the theater operates, hosted by the cruise director, and including the choreographer, the director, and the musical director. It was followed by a backstage tour. On another the captain demonstrated the tools used to navigate the ship, and his fellow officers talked about how the ship functioned. Both of these events were well attended and there would have been no other place on the ship to accommodate everyone attending.
I don't see the functionality of the main theater eliminated. It is one of the selling points of a cruise.
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Sure, I have seen some very good shows on board. But in general, they fit the bill for what is stereotyped as cruiseship talent.
So I see a move where bigger names or headliners make an appearance, and yes of course it becomes a pay-extra event. This might make sense in the itineraries where talent can fly in/out from ports along the way. Comedy shows already heading this way.
Or. I see the move towards ultra technical flexible theaters that can host a dancing review, a water Cirque-style show, ice skating, comedy, and a wedding all on the same day. Perhaps not in that order.
But the days of the atypical Welcome Aboard, dance and review, way off Broadway or further off Vegas style shows - I think are seeing a big drop in attendance.
And yes, that is a BUNCH of real estate on a ship. But at $30 Bingo cards, maybe all is just fine the way it is.
I say "they'll get smaller". Case in point: when Carnival converted Destiny into Sunshine just this year, they shrunk the main theater from 3 decks to 2 decks. Then they turned the leftover deck space into cabins. I wouldn't be surpised if new ships were built with smaller theaters right off the bat. It's a shame. Large theaters with ornate ceilings and soaring columns add a lot to the look of the ship.
On HAL ships -- there are different types. On the S and R class ships there is the Wajang Theatre that not only shows movies but is also the Culinary Arts Center.
On the Signature and Vista class -- mixed bag. A couple of the ships have a dedicated screening rooms with only about 36 seats for movies only. Other ships have the Queen's Lounge where movies are shown, Culinary Arts Center and is also used various other activities.
They will stay even though HAL doesn't make any money on them.
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What is the smallest ship that still has a theater? The venues have been quite different in all the ships we have sailed. Some resemble the classic theaters on London's West End and others are more like Vegas night clubs with heavy emphasis on table service. I think the cruise lines will continue to sample various forms in the constant effort to maximize revenue.
Seven times on NCL since 2005, around the horn on Carnival Splendor in 2013 and two years long ago and far away on USS Princeton LPH-5.
I guess we are in the minority among cruisers but it wouldn't bother me in the least if the theaters went away. I prefer the smaller music venues on the ship and have never stayed at one of the shows for more than five or ten minutes after sitting all the way through the show on the first cruise. I've tried but they're just of no interest to me.
I'd love to see them turn that space into something else (or several different something elses).
The only complaints I have heard are regarding smaller theaters not having sufficient space for the evening shows. They are used for many events during the day. I see no change other than possibly the smaller venues expanding.