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Does Carnival have entertainment shows like Royal Carribean?


xps15z
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I've only been on Royal Caribbean and anyone who has went on Carnival have never mentioned any entertainment shows.

 

I am curious does Carnival newest ships have the same kind of entertainment shows that Royal Caribbean offers? For example Symphony of Seas had:

 

  • Hairspray! The Broadway Musical  
  • Flight: Dare to Dream
  • Hiro
  • Stand-Up Comedy (I know Carnival has comedy)
  • 1977
  • iSkate 2.0
  • Aqua Nation

 

Then it'll have the late night entertainment shows like Quest, Family Feud, Love and Marriage, etc.

 

We like to stay busy with activities so just curious if they put on big shows like Royal does. Need to understand my expectations as I've heard a lot of bad things about Carnival, but if I go it would be Mardi Gras when it launches.

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Carnival calls their live music shows Playlist Productions. They consist of a half dozen or so singers/performers that do shows grouped by music genres. Costumes, some stage design, dancing, and one or two of them include a live band, but a majority do not. This Cruise Critic article offers a run-down of the current Playlist shows on each ship and a brief description. https://www.cruisecritic.com/articles.cfm?ID=3235 Obviously Mardi Gras won't be included on this list yet. If it follows the pattern of the Vista class ships, it'll get some of its own unique shows.

 

Playlist Production shows are hit and miss with most Carnival cruisers. Some enjoy them, some hate them. I do enjoy some of them, but it's also of my opinion that many of the performers just aren't very talented. I've seen shows that I think would've been a lot better if the performers were better singers, but the fact that they weren't brought down the shows overall.

 

Then there's things like comedy, as you already mentioned. Each comic will perform a family friendly act and an R rated act. Live bands in different locations around the ship at different times. There's a lot of trivia and other games (we played a game of Scattergories). The Fun Squad, which are the entertainment hosts that work closely with the cruise director, host different events and activities, like deck parties.

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The Carnival entertainment is quite different from RCCL, but we enjoy both.  They don't do 2 to 3 hour Broadway type shows like RCCL, but rather will have 3 or 4  different 45-minute themed production shows with singing and dancing.  No Aqua Theater or Ice Rink.  RCCL has only one comedy show that repeats and possibly one additional late night show in the theater.  On a typical 7-day cruise, Carnival will have 4 different comedians, each performing 2 or 3 different shows.

 

Carnival entertainment teams get more involved with guests with events such as trivia, deck parties, and "name that tune type trivia" hosted by the cruise director in the atrium.  The Carnival cruise director and his/her entertainment team spends more time with the guests versus RCCL.

 

A 7-day cruise will typically have a fly-on entertainer performing such acts as juggling, magic, hypnosis, vocalist,...

 

You don't need to reserve your shows on Carnival like you do on RCCL.  On Carnival, the comedy shows are often SRO and you may not get in if you show up last minute.

 

 

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Ok so basically they don't do production type shows like RCCL. I'll look into Mardi Gras when they start sailing to get a different cruise experience. Just needed to know my expectations as far as shows, as we love the RCCL production shows.

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7 minutes ago, TomCruise48 said:

The Carnival entertainment is quite different from RCCL, but we enjoy both.  They don't do 2 to 3 hour Broadway type shows like RCCL, but rather will have 3 or 4  different 45-minute themed production shows with singing and dancing.  No Aqua Theater or Ice Rink.  RCCL has only one comedy show that repeats and possibly one additional late night show in the theater.  On a typical 7-day cruise, Carnival will have 4 different comedians, each performing 2 or 3 different shows.

 

Carnival entertainment teams get more involved with guests with events such as trivia, deck parties, and "name that tune type trivia" hosted by the cruise director in the atrium.  The Carnival cruise director and his/her entertainment team spends more time with the guests versus RCCL.

 

A 7-day cruise will typically have a fly-on entertainer performing such acts as juggling, magic, hypnosis, vocalist,...

 

You don't need to reserve your shows on Carnival like you do on RCCL.  On Carnival, the comedy shows are often SRO and you may not get in if you show up last minute.

 

 

you mention for a 7 day they may have magic/hypnosis/juggling..any clue if any of these are on the Horizon?

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We have really enjoyed the playlist shows, they usually have a different show every night with two seatings so you can make it to the show no matter if you have early or late dining. I have found the production value to be good, not blow your socks off amazing but good and worth seeing. Also on longer sailings they usually switch out the comedians half way through the sailing so you get some fresh faces with fresh acts half way through. We have never been to a comedy show that hasn't been full so we always try to get there early. 

 

41 minutes ago, petuniaflower said:

you mention for a 7 day they may have magic/hypnosis/juggling..any clue if any of these are on the Horizon?

I do remember seeing the juggling on the horizon but that was in June of 2018 on an 8 day. I have no idea what they have these days and I'm sure it probably rotates. 

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I agree with Organized Chaos.  Sometimes the singers are not that great.  When they are good, I usually enjoy the shows.  However, I still miss the style of the shows when we first cruised in 2003 - more Las Vegasy. 

 

Some of the little bands around the ship are good.  Typically perform different genres of music.

 

Now, I tend to go to more of the comedy shows.  There are several comedians on a week long cruise, so you get a variety.  When we sailed RC, I felt the singers were more talented and the shows more enjoyable.

 

We also go to the trivia contests occasionally.  Not very good at it, but still fun.  Also enjoy the bean bag toss.

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Carnival’s stage entertainment is similar to what you may have experienced on Royal’s older and smaller ships. They are amateurishly entertaining. Another thing that you will find On Carnival is that, on several evenings, there’s not even a show at the main theater. Instead, the main act for the night will be a game show with audience participation. Our last Carnival Cruise was in February after a few years away from Carnival, and I was pretty disappointed with the stage entertainment. It’s gotten worse and cheaper. 
 

Royal’s stage entertainment (specifically aboard the larger ships, like the Oasis class) is truly unrivaled in the cruise industry. We were mesmerized, not only at the professionalism and quality, but also at the selection. We actually had to skip some performances because we didn’t have time! There’s just so muck to choose from. MSC is getting close with their partnership with Cirque Du Soleil at Sea performances and dedicated theaters, but they charge an admission fee. 
 

Let’s see what Mardi Gras will be like, but do understand that Carnival doesn’t emphasize or invest as much on their stage entertainment. It’s not their forte. They do things differently. 

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No, Carnival does not have entertainment like Royal Caribbean does.  

 

They will have singing/dancing shows in the theater some nights, not all nights.  I have not had a fly-in headliner act on Carnival in years, the cruise I got off 2 weeks ago was no exception.  The majority of nights that had a show it was taped background music; one night one of the lounge bands played with the singers and dancers live.  You will have an audience participation game show. Some nights nothing at all in theater.  Typically will have a Love and Marriage show at some point in the week.  Way more comedy than Royal.  Much better sized comedy lounges and more shows and performers in there; that's something Carnival does well.  

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10 hours ago, xps15z said:

 

if I go it would be Mardi Gras when it launches.

 

 

9 hours ago, xps15z said:

 

Ok so basically they don't do production type shows like RCCL. I'll look into Mardi Gras when they start sailing to get a different cruise experience. Just needed to know my expectations as far as shows, as we love the RCCL production shows.

 

 

Hi xps15z ☺️

 

The production shows onboard Carnival are not Broadway style like Royal. They are Vegas style as others have stated.

 

My wife & I will be sailing Mardi Gras for a 15-night repositioning Journeys voyage and I want to drop you information below regarding the 3 main Playlist Production Shows that will be held in the Mardi Gras main theater.

 

1) "Celestial Strings" show is themed on classical music mixed with modern pop.

 

2) "Soulbound" is a gothic-inspired, New Orleans-themed show featuring R&B music favorites.

 

3) "Vintage Pop" show is themed on "Gatsby's Cotton Club", featuring modern songs recomposed into classic jazz interpretations performed live by a 6-piece jazz band.

 

(Note) - The 4th show isn't in the main theater, but wanted to list it for you.

 

4) "Amor Cubano - A Caribbean Dance Romance" show is themed on classic Latin songs mixed with modern music hits. (It will be held at the Havana Bar) and highlighted by a 7-piece Cuban music band.

 

I hope this helps you..

 

 

 

🌴

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If you want Broadway type entertainment, NCL's newer ships have had or will have:

Priscilla Queen of the Desert

Jersey Boys 

Million Dollar Quartet 

Choir of Man

Six

Blue Man Group

and others I can't remember..... 

Edited by Sauer-kraut
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9 hours ago, petuniaflower said:

you mention for a 7 day they may have magic/hypnosis/juggling..any clue if any of these are on the Horizon?

Horizon alternates between 6 and 8 day cruises.  On our 8 day cruise earlier this year, Consuelo Ivy, a vocalist, was the fly-on entertainer.  We did B2B, and there was no fly-on entertainer on the 6 day.  

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Although the majority of cruisers are of the older generation, Carnival designs the shows mainly for the younger crowd.  So rock or rock and roll dominate.  The music is extremely loud.  I mean really crazy loud!  Costumes are rather plain.  The shows are not bad but nothing like they use to be in the past.  When I get home, I don't rave about them like I use to but just say "Yes, I went to the shows."

 

One thing that is amazing are the backgrounds which use lighting and computerized sketches that the actors work with.  They have really become part of the show like one of the actors and some times the entire show.  I think Carnival has put so much money into this that it reduces monies for other activities during the show.  On the other hand, it is probably the best remembered part of the show.

 

So after 22 Carnival cruises, I will continue to go to the shows.  In stead of trying to get a front row seat (It might make you deaf), I sit at the back in case I would like leave early.  I know that sounds negative but as I said before, the shows are OK but not outstanding like they use to be.

 

    

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I think the Broadway style musical review styled show in the main theater are fairly good and sometimes quite imaginative in their execution. There's usually two I think. The comedy club is excellent and always a highlight. I also enjoy the musical acts spread around the ship of which there are several. The violin trio in the lobby was fantastic each evening and there were some cover groups and duos around that were great. I also saw bands performing concurrently in the Pub and the Havana lounge/bar. This tends to be my favorite past time listening to music in the lounges.  There's also the typical slate of bingo/trivia/hairy chest contest styled stuff too during the day and evening. This isn't the same thing but the Vista and Horizon both have IMAX theaters on board that are true IMAX and they and the Breeze have a "Thrill Theater" which is the 4D set up with motion and 3D like at Disney World and amusement park rides. All in all I honestly have never been bored and in this day and age find it near impossible to do everything and don't even try.   

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13 hours ago, xps15z said:

I've only been on Royal Caribbean and anyone who has went on Carnival have never mentioned any entertainment shows.

 

I am curious does Carnival newest ships have the same kind of entertainment shows that Royal Caribbean offers? For example Symphony of Seas had:

 

  • Hairspray! The Broadway Musical  
  • Flight: Dare to Dream
  • Hiro
  • Stand-Up Comedy (I know Carnival has comedy)
  • 1977
  • iSkate 2.0
  • Aqua Nation

 

Then it'll have the late night entertainment shows like Quest, Family Feud, Love and Marriage, etc.

 

We like to stay busy with activities so just curious if they put on big shows like Royal does. Need to understand my expectations as I've heard a lot of bad things about Carnival, but if I go it would be Mardi Gras when it launches.

As someone who has sailed Carnival, RCCL, and NCL, let me just say that yes, there are entertainment shows, but the shows in the theater are called Playlist Productions. Believe me when I say this, without getting flamed, that there is no comparison to the Broadway caliber shows we saw on RCCL and NCL. With that said, the pluses are that they are entertaining and you do not have to reserve the shows ahead to get in, as we had to on RCCL and NCL. So, aside from their stage productions, I found all the other entertainment 100% better than on RCCL and NCL. Music everywhere all the time, loads of trivia and game shows like Love & Marriage, Quest, Hasbro the Game Show, to name just some, but the clincher for us were the Dive In Movies with free popcorn! And the Comedy shows are far more plentiful, and no reservation needed to get in! We found we were more than happy to return to Carnival. Their prices were better, their complimentary food was abundant, they were less pushy trying to nickel and dime you, just a better all around cruise experience. I know all the bad rumors that are always spread.....Carnival is a booze party cruise with trashy “Walmart” cruise ships. TOTALLY NOT TRUE! We are senior citizens and fell back in love with Carnival after several years away testing the waters by trying RCCL and NCL. You will be very happy to book a Carnival cruise. But I always advise people to do your research. Find a ship that has the amenities you want. Watch several cruise ship videos on YouTube. My favorite tour videos are done by Cruise Radio. 

Edited by grandmarnnurse
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1 hour ago, grandmarnnurse said:

Oops! Forgot to add, there are so many better things for children in your family to do. A much better camp program than RCCL and NCL.

Not according to my kids. Of all the cruise lines we’ve sailed on with them, they rank Carnival somewhere at the bottom. The only one they liked less was Holland America (needless to say, it’s not as family friendly as other cruise lines, plus we were in Alaska with not too many kids onboard). For the record, they did have fun on Carnival, they just think others are better.
 

According to my kids, MSC is the absolute best (even I was amazed at the facilities on the Meraviglia and list of activities), followed by Royal, then Disney, then Carnival, and lastly Holland America. We are sailing on Holland again in 2020 aboard their newest ship (Niew Statendam) so let’s see if they change their ranking order after that.

 

About Carnival, the kids had an overall fun time on the cruise, they loved Waterworks, and they participated on everything they could, including the Dr. Seuss activities. Heck, I even took them to Make it with Michael’s. But the Camp facilities were overrun with too many children, to the point that they had to use a conference room as overflow because they couldn’t fit all the kids in attendance. We’d go get the kids and they’d be sitting on the floor shoulder to shoulder with other kids in a packed room, watching a cartoon movie, with a “get me out of here” look. The staff was wonderful, but they were very obviously spread too thin, both space wise and personnel wise. 

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14 hours ago, groundloop said:

Carnival has "Vegas Style" shows which are quite good.  My last cruise was on the Paradise and the shows were excellent.  You won't lack things to do.  Between the shows, comedy club, etc. you'll have fun.

 

A different opinion......If Carnival shows were available at popular Vegas hotels, folks might ask for refunds.  While some think they are "Vegas style" and enjoy them (good for those folks), we feel they are more like high school productions in quality and avoid most of them.

 

We much prefer Carnival's comedy shows over their theater offerings.  But everyone has their own preferences, so to each their own.

 

We are just off Celebrity Equinox, and while their shows were a step or two up from Carnival's, they still weren't Vegas quality.  Same with MSC's.  We'll find out about the Symphony in January.

 

 

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2 hours ago, evandbob said:

While some think they are "Vegas style" and enjoy them (good for those folks), we feel they are more like high school productions in quality and avoid most of them.

Carnival started using the term “Vegas Style” to refer to their stage entertainment at a time when it was truly similar to Las Vegas. Think of the 80’s and 90’s, with poorly choreographed women wearing elaborate feathery outfits with big headdresses, dancing while a singer sang cheesy songs. That’s what I remember from my cruises during those decades.

But it’s 2019 now. Some of those elements are still present on Carnival’s production shows, (the cheesy dancing and singing, and the use of  costumes, although not as elaborate), But Vegas shows have considerably changed over the years, and Carnival stage shows have changed as well. It’s not the 80’s anymore. People don’t go to Vegas to see feathery outfits anymore. They go there to see high tech, elaborate productions or headliners that Carnival can’t replicate even in their dreams. 
 

So in my humble opinion, “Vegas Style” doesn’t really apply anymore, although a lot of people still like to use the term. 

Edited by Tapi
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6 hours ago, richfret said:

Although the majority of cruisers are of the older generation, Carnival designs the shows mainly for the younger crowd.  So rock or rock and roll dominate.  The music is extremely loud.  I mean really crazy loud!  Costumes are rather plain.  The shows are not bad but nothing like they use to be in the past.  When I get home, I don't rave about them like I use to but just say "Yes, I went to the shows."

 

One thing that is amazing are the backgrounds which use lighting and computerized sketches that the actors work with.  They have really become part of the show like one of the actors and some times the entire show.  I think Carnival has put so much money into this that it reduces monies for other activities during the show.  On the other hand, it is probably the best remembered part of the show.

 

So after 22 Carnival cruises, I will continue to go to the shows.  In stead of trying to get a front row seat (It might make you deaf), I sit at the back in case I would like leave early.  I know that sounds negative but as I said before, the shows are OK but not outstanding like they use to be.

 

    

Your post made me think of a couple of other points.

 

Carnival uses theatrical smoke and fog in most of their production shows.  If you have difficulty breathing, you should sit near the rear.

 

Some of the shows have laser strobe lighting effects and/or minor pyrotechnics.  If you suffer from PTSD, you should not attend these shows.  We have a traveling companion who suffers from PTSD, and he always checks with the cruise or entertainment director at the start of the cruise to see which shows he should avoid.

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I have been on 1 Carnival 7 night Xmas cruise and 3 RC cruises, a total of 30 nights. I have hardly seen a bad show on RC and only remember I was unimpressed with Carnival shows, very amateurish.  I think it’s a trade off and the MDR food on Carnival was far better than that on RC.  I booked a cruise for 12/20 and asked my grandchildren if they cared more for food or entertainment.  We are going a Carnival!

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2 hours ago, sanmarcosman said:

No, they're apples and oranges. When Carnival introduced Playlist shows after a few cruises of attending the shows we stopped going. The comedy shows and the other musicians scattered throughout the public areas are more than enough for us. 


Same here.  We really enjoy the comedy shows on Carnival and the number of different comedians they have for most nights of the cruise.  We also enjoy the variety of music played throughout the cruise. We will only go to a theater show if we have nothing else to do.  They aren't impressive.  The shows on Royal and Norwegian are so much better.  Since we enjoy watching comedy shows the most, we usually choose Carnival.

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