Thrill Theatre delivers action, chills and dinosaur snot

Butterflies flutter before our noses. Bubbles dance through the air. Our seats jerk and tilt as we stop at the edge of an abyss. And a dinosaur blows snot in our faces.

Jessalyn Beich, Sarah Prince and MacKenzie Beich wait for Thrill Theater to begin.

Jessalyn Beich, Sarah Prince and MacKenzie Beich wait for Thrill Theater to begin.

A dinosaur? Yep, in Thrill Theater all kinds of adventures await through the magic of 3-D technology. The new “multidimensional” theater is now drawing eager viewers on the Carnival Breeze.

“It’s always fun to watch people come out of the theater,” says Entertainment Crewmember Daniel Dawes. “When I heard someone laughing and making a comment about having to wipe dinosaur snot off their glasses, I wasn’t sure what they were talking about until I saw the film for myself.”

The first-such Carnival theater on the high seas uses motion simulation and special effects to make viewers feel as though they are part of the action. Viewers wear special 3-D glasses that make objects float in front of their eyes, dart around their heads and even tickle their feet. Theater seats shake, roll, vibrate and bump to the action. A light spurt of water accompanies special scenes.

Breeze Entertainement Crewmember Daniel Dawes works at Thrill Theater.

Breeze Entertainement Crewmember Daniel Dawes works at Thrill Theater.

“I like the Bamboo Express film the best, but all of them were really well done,” says Jessalyn Beich, 12, from Canada.

Rats skitter around our feet, bats fly past our heads, snowflakes chill the air and something puffs air on the back of our necks. The action ranges from slightly spooky to beautifully serene.

Some of the short films on our Breeze cruise were Happy Feet, Bamboo Express, Ice Age, SpongeBob SquarePants, Mumble’s Wild Ride and Extreme Log Ride. Each feature is about 10 minutes long and most showings include two films.

“It’s really fun,” says Sarah Prince, 9, of Canada. “I didn’t even know they had this theater on the ship. The ride films are my favorite.”

Sarah also shares a tip for future viewers. “Sit in the front row of the theater. It feels really real in the front row.”

Thrill Theater is a first for Carnival Cruise Lines.

Thrill Theater is a first for Carnival Cruise Lines.

Tickets for the 24-seat Thrill Theater are $7.95 per person for a single entry or $14.95 per person for an unlimited entry ticket. The unlimited, of course, is the best value and most people I talked with wanted to see the films several times during our cruise. I agree. The charming, feel-good Happy Feet was my favorite and I saw it twice.

Located on Deck 4 of the Breeze, the theater has posted hours with shows running every 30 minutes. Once people find the theater, they seem to come back. “A lot of people don’t know it is here,” Daniel says. “People of all ages seem to like it. I’ve seen children and people in their 80s coming out after a film and saying how much fun it was.”

Waiting with her sister and a friend for the film to start, MacKenzie Beich, 9, says the theater is just one of the experiences that are making the cruise so enjoyable for her.

Thrill Theatre makes audience members feel as though they are part of the action.

Thrill Theatre makes audience members feel as though they are part of the action.

“I love the ship. I didn’t know it would be this big,” she says. “I was expecting it to be smaller but it is really nice and big and new.”

For Daniel, being able to work on the cruise ship is a dream come true. “The first time I ever took a cruise was when my parents took me on one for my 18th birthday. I sat there on that ship and thought, ‘This is what I want to do, work on a cruise ship.’ It took me a while but here I am.”

At the time, Daniel was living in Australia. When he moved to London in 2011, Daniel decided it was time to fulfill his dream. Filling out a questionnaire online, Daniel got a call from Carnival and started training for an entertainment crew position. He’s been working for Carnival Cruise Lines since November 2012.

“I love to travel and I love the potential for advancement in my job,” the 24-year-old says. “I’m really happy to be here.”

Photos by Jackie Sheckler Finch

About Jackie

Jackie Sheckler Finch fell in love with cruising 35 years ago when she rode the magnificent Mississippi Queen riverboat in its inaugural 1976 voyage. A newspaper reporter, photographer and travel writer, Jackie has cruised on large and small vessels on numerous rivers and oceans. Read more...

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