Some people pack their dancing shoes. Others will be warming up for karaoke. Everyone’s idea of after-dark fun is different – which is why cruise ships offer a wide variety of night-time entertainment. Generally speaking, the bigger the ship the more choice you’ll have. Sit back and enjoy the razzle-dazzle of a Broadway-style show. Request a favourite song from the resident piano man or seek out a more local experience on a small ship. Here are just a few ways a cruise ship can entertain you.
Take a Chance at the Casinos
Carnival and Crystal Cruises offer passengers the chance to unwind with a flutter in their ships’ Vegas-style casinos. Got a hankering for a particular game? Celebrity Cruises lists what’s available – blackjack, roulette, Ultimate Texas Hold ’Em and so on – in each of its Fortunes casinos.
Water and ice spectaculars
Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas feature the AquaTheatre, where a 5.4-metre-deep pool allows for spectacular diving performances. Legend of the Seas’ atrium doubles as a vertical performance space for acrobatic acts – guests can watch the high-flying performances while sipping a cocktail in the R Bar. Passengers on Voyager of the Seas and Explorer of the Seas can head to the 700-seat Studio B to see ice-skating performances by champion ice-skaters. Between shows, the rink is open for guests to fine-tune their own skating skills.
Movies under the stars
Plenty of ships feature outdoor movie screens, allowing passengers to enjoy a movie under the stars. Princess ships show movies on a Times Square-style LED screen so bright that family-friendly classics can be screened during the day as a backdrop to the pool action. At night, passengers can lie back on a deckchair, wrap themselves in a blanket and enjoy free popcorn while watching latest-release movies. The screens have also shown Oscar telecasts and major sporting events over the years.
Karaoke and Dance Clubs
Busting for a chance to belt out your favourite karaoke song? All P&O ships feature karaoke. If you’re looking to hit the dance floor, try the nightclub that’s on board Carnival ships. Cruising through Fiji with Captain Cook Cruises? The crew members double as enthusiastic dance partners for any passengers who want to dance. Guests can also join the crew in sitting around the kava bowl and sharing kava for a truly authentic local experience.
Broadway on the high seas
With some of the world’s biggest cruise ships in its stable, it’s little wonder Royal Caribbean can find room to host award-winning musicals. In 2014 Oasis of the Seas (which cruises the Caribbean) replaced Hairspray with Cats, which has won seven Tony awards since debuting in London’s West End in 1981. Anthem of the Seas (Caribbean and the Atlantic side of the Canada/US border) is hosting We Will Rock You – the Ben Elton-penned musical that’s packed with some of Queen’s biggest hits. Liberty of the Seas (cruises the Caribbean from Texas) gets its disco vibe on with Saturday Night Fever. Quantum of the Seas (based in Shanghai) features Mamma Mia! – the hit musical packed with Abba songs.
Norwegian Cruise Lines’s Norwegian Getaway, which sails the Caribbean year-round from Miami, features the seven-time Tony award-nominated musical Legally Blonde. In November 2015, NCL auditioned Australian performers for lead roles in Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, which can be seen on Norwegian Epic as she cruises Europe and the Caribbean.