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RMLincoln

No more production shows?

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I picked up some bits and pieces that indicate HAL is phasing out productions shows. Has there been an announcement of this?  I understand some people's experience is that there were no productions shows with the ship's singers and dancers on their cruise, and I believe them.  But I'm wondering if this is an isolated glitch, maybe a contract issue?  Or is this beginning fleet wide? 

We had excellent shows on Koningsdam last November; the dancers were the best I've seen on a ship yet!  The World Stage backdrop of LED panels displayed a mesmerizing flow of images with these shows. I think we had 4 different shows during our 21 night B2B.  It was our first cruise on a Pinnacle class ship and I thought that HAL was finally coming into the modern ear.  Now I hear it's all going away? 

I'm much more concerned about this change than the new charge for second entrees in the MDR.... but if I am the only one concerned, then no wonder they may be phasing out this form of entertainment.    m--   

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If there are no production shows I will be an unhappy camper.  Those shows are my favorite.  

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Posted (edited)

I learned from one of the cruise directors that HAL is no longer having entertainers as part of the crew, but they will all be guest entertainers. This means they get private cabins and will no longer have any other duties (e.g. lifeboat communicator etc)

The shows we call production shows - produced by Belinda King are being replaced by other production shows produced by RWS entertainment. RWS has a the StepOne dance company which produces,the show Humanity and similar currently making the rounds on HAL ships. These RWS contracts will only be 4 months.

All the band members are also guest entertainers. Previously some were considered crew.

Bottom line, the old production shows are going away fast. New shows, with dancing etc will take their place...using a new production company.

Here is some more info from Backstage

 

"Seeking the industry’s top dance talent for a brand-new entertainment experience, Step One Dance Company. Synopsis: Step One Dance Company will include several touring dance companies at sea. Each contract will be around 16 weeks in length. The dance company will merge groundbreaking movement from renowned choreographers with cutting-edge interactive video. Company members will enjoy “Guest Entertainer” status onboard, complete with private cabin and full access to the ship when not performing, free from any duties or previous restrictions related to a “Crew Member” status, creating the first-of-its-kind experience for dancers at sea"

 

Pay is $1000 a week plus room and board.

 

https://www.backstage.com/casting/step-one-dance-company-246340/

 

https://www.rwsnyc.com/talent/


www.theinsidecabin.com

Edited by The-Inside-Cabin

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Posted (edited)
51 minutes ago, RMLincoln said:
I picked up some bits and pieces that indicate HAL is phasing out productions shows. Has there been an announcement of this?  I understand some people's experience is that there were no productions shows with the ship's singers and dancers on their cruise, and I believe them.  But I'm wondering if this is an isolated glitch, maybe a contract issue?  Or is this beginning fleet wide? 
We had excellent shows on Koningsdam last November; the dancers were the best I've seen on a ship yet!  The World Stage backdrop of LED panels displayed a mesmerizing flow of images with these shows. I think we had 4 different shows during our 21 night B2B.  It was our first cruise on a Pinnacle class ship and I thought that HAL was finally coming into the modern ear.  Now I hear it's all going away? 
I'm much more concerned about this change than the new charge for second entrees in the MDR.... but if I am the only one concerned, then no wonder they may be phasing out this form of entertainment.    m--   


The show you saw may have been one of the new shows....if it was Performed by StepOne dance company - that is the name of the new group

If you google StepOne dance company and RWS entertainment you will find casting call info and other tidbits

 

Here is a highlight reel of their current shows   




www.theinsidecabin.com

 

Edited by The-Inside-Cabin

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Posted (edited)

Here is some more interesting info that is provided to the prospective singers and dancers.   It looks like all ships are getting RWS except the Amsterdam.

 

https://www.rwsnyc.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/LifeatSea-083117.pdf

 

Info about life at sea from Belinda King

 

https://www.belindaking.com/onboard/#1536148703795-8015f5fa-86fbf005-a826

 

 

 

 

Edited by The-Inside-Cabin

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That was very interesting! Thanks for sharing!

 

39 minutes ago, The-Inside-Cabin said:

Here is some more interesting info that is provided to the prospective singers and dancers.   It looks like all ships are getting RWS except the Amsterdam.

 

https://www.rwsnyc.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/LifeatSea-083117.pdf

 

Info about life at sea from Belinda King

 

https://www.belindaking.com/onboard/#1536148703795-8015f5fa-86fbf005-a826

 

 

 

 

 

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Isn’t that old info from 2017?

as far as I know, all singers have been eliminated, and the changes are ship-by-ship.

 

 

 

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On the koningsdam now. No singers and dancers . Now standard magicians, comedians, jugglers , and impressionistcs are the norm. Two shows are a little better. One step d@nce, and post modern jukebox. Saw the d@nce show last night. It was good, but music is piped in and paired with 6 dancers and a lighting show. Post modern jukebox was good, but not as good as the production shows. 

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As a disclaimer we don't go to production shows much- we are ballroom/Latin dancers.  We cling like a life ring to those ships that still have the four piece Oceans combos. 

 

I'm trying to mind read HAL leadership here- so this seems like an innovation/creative/groundbreaking idea. I also see cost cuts.  I'm not sure it's working.  What I would do is keep a core small production company aboard (say 6) and do smallish more modest shows.  You don't need nineteen cast members.  And supplement that with guest entertainers.  As to what 22-35 year old guests like on cruises- I have no idea.  

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Was on the Oosterdam two weeks ago:

 

No production show

No chilled soups

No smoked fish

$10 charge for an extra lobster tail

No library

No Explorations Cafe

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6 minutes ago, CruiseRQA said:

Was on the Oosterdam two weeks ago:

 

No production show

No chilled soups

No smoked fish

$10 charge for an extra lobster tail

No library

No Explorations Cafe

No smoked salmon for breakfast?! Surely that can not be!

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I'm curious now to see what entertainment will be available on our Alaska cruise in a few weeks. I always enjoyed the production shows but were disappointed or bored by the comedians and magicians.  Keeping an open mind.

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Posted (edited)

This is a very interesting thread that is making me think about what I like in terms of entertainment.  Maybe I am about to open a can of whoop-ass on myself.  

 

Just some off-the-cuff thoughts:

I would much prefer a troupe of professionals than some half crew/half entertainers.  I would prefer that trained professionals get paid for their talent and art.  I would prefer to support the arts this way.  Much like I would prefer if the ship sold LOCAL artists (from the ports of call) on the ship than recycled prints of "established" artists of no value.

 

I am not a fan of dancing.  But, again, I would prefer a ballet that supports a job for artists. I would enjoy that.  

 

For a 2 show night: Why not a one act ballet?  Why not a one act play?  Something traditional?  I would love to see the final act of Romeo and Juliet!  Is this a reach?  What about a 3 hour production instead of 2 shows?  Hey!  They could UPSELL this (sorry, folks).  But I (personally) would love this.  Just once a cruise.  Again: just spit-balling here.

 

On our (limited number) of cruises, we disliked  the production shows, but enjoyed the magicians and comedians.  I liked the movies in the Wajang theater (Zaandam) but not poolside (Koningsdam).  

 

 

Edited by 1964IceCreamLady

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1 hour ago, 1964IceCreamLady said:

What about a 3 hour production instead of 2 shows?

From 2:00-5:00, so everyone can attend? Or would 10:00 PM-1:00 AM be better?
Or perhaps 5:00-8:00 so as to interfere with only one dinner?

Much as I might appreciate the performance, it seems a bit too time consuming for a cruise ship. I have a theatre at home for those kinds of performances.

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I checked my When and Where's from Koningsdam last November; we saw One World, Musicology. 1000 Steps and Off the Charts.  I don't know which company put these on, or if the personnel were considered crew or guest entertainers.  But they were good, and I really felt encouraged that HAL was improving their entertainment, especially with the LED panel screens around 180 degrees of the World Stage show lounge showing beautiful scenes and intriguing designs.  

Pete (The inside Cabin) was giving me hope, but recent cruisers report differently.  <sigh>  Maybe this is just an interim lull between contracts? ....something else that HAL isn't announcing. 

We don't have a cruise booked now, but we would gravitate towards a newer ship with the Lincoln Center Stage (DH's delight) and if that is all we would enjoy then so be it, but I will look more closely at other lines for what they are offering now, as they may have changed also.  Or last NCL was a few years ago and some of the shows were quite amazing, complex performances with acrobats, magicians, singers and dancers all in one show.  And our last Celebrity cruise was even longer ago and they had stunning shows with beautiful imaging.

I have heard Dance of the Bumble Bee played on about a dozen different instruments by virtuosos who are compelled to display their virtuosity with frantic selections.  It doesn't WOW me.  Bernie Fields sure can play his harmonicas, and I've enjoyed him the first five or ten times I've seen is act....  magicians, jugglers, mentalists.... I will go to the shows because I am easily entertained, or I will watch a movie on the in-room TV, something that will captivate me for more than an exhausting, frantic 2 minute "number".   But if we can find another cruise line with a string quartet for DH, and excellent shows for both of us, we will opt that direction.   I will start reading some of the other lines' forums and learn more.   

Thank all for your input.  m--

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2 hours ago, RMLincoln said:

And our last Celebrity cruise was even longer ago and they had stunning shows with beautiful imaging.

 

Our last Celebrity cruise was a few months ago, and the production shows were just awful.  The singers were talented, and a smaller revue of Broadway show tunes they did was excellent, but the production shows themselves were silly and boring.

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I may be disappointed, but not totally surprise... everything seems to be changing.  Always better to just enjoy what is there and not worry about what isn't.  "Hard to have a bad day on cruise ship!"  m--

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48 minutes ago, RMLincoln said:

  "Hard to have a bad day on cruise ship!" 

 Obviously, you were not on QE2, a July, 1980 trans-Atlantic crossing from Hamburg-Southampton-New York in Tourist Class.  When the service crew are having labor issues, the guest suffers disappointment.  Throughout my crossing?  No.  But, I can cite you chapter and verse of examples of my experiences during that crossing when the Cunard experience failed.  I can also cite one example of exemplary historic Cunard service, even in Tourist Class, of a Deck Steward who fully met my expectations, even as a "young" cruiser!

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If production shows are important, try MSC Cruises. They have production shows every night, sometimes an additional afternoon show, including an abridged opera performance one afternoon.

 

But MSC is nothing like Holland America. Most of their ships are largeer than HAL’s ships.

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1 hour ago, rkacruiser said:

 Obviously, you were not on QE2, a July, 1980 trans-Atlantic crossing from Hamburg-Southampton-New York in Tourist Class.  When the service crew are having labor issues, the guest suffers disappointment.  Throughout my crossing?  No.  But, I can cite you chapter and verse of examples of my experiences during that crossing when the Cunard experience failed.  I can also cite one example of exemplary historic Cunard service, even in Tourist Class, of a Deck Steward who fully met my expectations, even as a "young" cruiser!

 

In the early 1980s, tourist class service on QE2 was not always great. Except on Sundeck, which became our favorite place on board. Was the deck steward Dennis or Roger? They always took good care of passengers.

 

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6 hours ago, RuthC said:

From 2:00-5:00, so everyone can attend? Or would 10:00 PM-1:00 AM be better?
Or perhaps 5:00-8:00 so as to interfere with only one dinner?

Much as I might appreciate the performance, it seems a bit too time consuming for a cruise ship. I have a theatre at home for those kinds of performances.

 

Doesn't matter what time something like that would be presenting on K'dam. Only about a quarter of the passengers would be able to attend because the "World Stage" has so little seating. 

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6 hours ago, RMLincoln said:

I checked my When and Where's from Koningsdam last November; we saw One World, Musicology. 1000 Steps and Off the Charts.  I don't know which company put these on, or if the personnel were considered crew or guest entertainers.  But they were good, and I really felt encouraged that HAL was improving their entertainment, especially with the LED panel screens around 180 degrees of the World Stage show lounge showing beautiful scenes and intriguing designs.  

Pete (The inside Cabin) was giving me hope, but recent cruisers report differently.  <sigh>  Maybe this is just an interim lull between contracts? ....something else that HAL isn't announcing. 

We don't have a cruise booked now, but we would gravitate towards a newer ship with the Lincoln Center Stage (DH's delight) and if that is all we would enjoy then so be it, but I will look more closely at other lines for what they are offering now, as they may have changed also.  Or last NCL was a few years ago and some of the shows were quite amazing, complex performances with acrobats, magicians, singers and dancers all in one show.  And our last Celebrity cruise was even longer ago and they had stunning shows with beautiful imaging.

I have heard Dance of the Bumble Bee played on about a dozen different instruments by virtuosos who are compelled to display their virtuosity with frantic selections.  It doesn't WOW me.  Bernie Fields sure can play his harmonicas, and I've enjoyed him the first five or ten times I've seen is act....  magicians, jugglers, mentalists.... I will go to the shows because I am easily entertained, or I will watch a movie on the in-room TV, something that will captivate me for more than an exhausting, frantic 2 minute "number".   But if we can find another cruise line with a string quartet for DH, and excellent shows for both of us, we will opt that direction.   I will start reading some of the other lines' forums and learn more.   

Thank all for your input.  m--

 

Check to see which ships have the Lincoln Center classical quintet. Best entertainment on the ship! Second best (and I know opinions are split on this) is watching a movie on the big screen by the pool.

 

Most of the other entertainment on the K gave me a headache. Rock room was insanely loud.  The LED screens in World Stage were so bright I had to periodically close my eyes--the dancers were excellent, but what's the point of going if I have to sit with my eyes closed?!?

 

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14 hours ago, 1964IceCreamLady said:

On our (limited number) of cruises, we disliked  the production shows, but enjoyed the magicians and comedians.  I liked the movies in the Wajang theater (Zaandam) but not poolside (Koningsdam).  

 

 

Over the years we have seen that most comedians on cruise ships have about the same jokes. With a few exceptions, if you have seen one you have seen them all.

 

On cruises we have been on, the show room has always been packed for production shows and at times almost empty for comedians or magicians. Maybe that is one goal of eliminating production shows -- keep the passengers out spending money instead of sitting in a show room.

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Posted (edited)

I am probably in the minority, but I am glad there are less production shows with singers / dancers. It always reminded me of watching Lawrence Welk or the boring choreographed dance segments of the Carol Burnett show. I would much rather see a comedian, magician or really good cover band. We have also seen some really good tribute bands on cruises including shows featuring the music of Elton John & Billy Joel, Journey, Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, Earth, Wind & Fire, Motown tributes, Disco tributes, etc. Hopefully those will be shows in the future.

Edited by JT1962

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