When I took my first cruise on the magnificent Mississippi Queen in 1976, the entertainment was mostly a jazz, ragtime piano player and powerfully-voiced female singer. We were thrilled with the music on our riverboat cruise.
Years passed, of course, and now I am cruising on one of the newest cruise ships ever made – the mighty MSC Seascape. Therefore, the entertainment must be so much larger, grander, varied and breathtaking. It certainly is.
On each and every weeklong sailing, the MSC Seascape offers up a whopping 98 hours of live entertainment in a mix of venues across the ship. For starters, there is a Broadway-style production almost every night in the ship’s huge Chora Theater.
The 1,200-seat, two-deck theater resembles an ancient Greek amphitheater with hardly a bad seat in the house. After all, “chora” is Greek for “town.” The theater seats are plush and roomy enough with plenty of leg room for tall guests. Shows are usually presented three times a night – at 7 p.m., 8:30 p.m. and 10 p.m.
Chora Theater shows have a plot, such as “ImaginOcean” which tells the musical tale of a young sailor’s adventures beneath the sea. The sets, costumes, music and entertainers are all fantastic.
Although the shows are different, the performers are often the same with lead characters alternating roles. A lead performer one night may be a supporting member the next. Don’t know how these young people can perform different shows almost every night of our cruise and remember all their lines, dance moves and songs.
These entertainers are certainly giving it their all with the audience responding in kind. Standing ovations are not unusual.
Wealth of Diverse Entertainment
And talk about diversity. This morning, I listened to a four-piece band and singer in the Atrium. The heart of the ship, the four-story Atrium offers a steady flow of music. Surrounded by bars and lounges, the Atrium is a great place to enjoy a drink and listen to the music.
Nina Skyy in Forever Whitney
The 400-seat Le Cabaret Rouge on Deck 7 is a fun venue modeled after Paris’ Moulin Rouge. Singers, aerialists, contortionists and other performers take the stage of Le Cabaret Rouge. I stopped by a couple of times and liked what I saw. But I often seemed to arrive at the end of one act and didn’t want to wait around during stage break for the next performance to begin. Too much else to do and do on MSC Seascape.
At the ship’s Times Square on Deck 6, the dueling pianos are popular as are the karaoke folks belting out their best near the Marina Pool on Deck 18.
Chora Theater Shows
Le Cabaret Rouge
On our cruise, six shows will be offered in Chora Theater. Here is a brief description of each:
Dreamscape – Passengers are invited on a journey through the stars and imagination for dreams with endless creativity.
Love Blooms – A whimsical trip through the Garden of Love on a wild ride with two young lovers. Expect the unexpected as the garden comes to life with singing, dancing, music classics and aerialists flying above.
ImaginOcean – The vast oceans of the world are spotlighted through choreography, aerial acts and innovative puppetry. ImaginOcean tells the musical tale of a young sailor’s journey beneath the sea where he encounters a vibrant underwater world full of charming sea creatures, colorful ocean scenes and hits from musical superstars.
Contortionist in Dreamscape
Premiere – The bright lights of Hollywood feature favorite songs from hit movies in this red-carpet premiere.
Nina Skyy in Forever Whitney – The singer combines her own personal story with the life and songs of Whitney Houston.
Dueling Pianos in Times Square
In Concert – From Tina Turner and the Beatles to Cyndi Lauper and Elton John, this show rocks out to the music of performing icons.
All in all, I would grade the entertainment aboard MSC Seascape as excellent. Not a single show that I didn’t enjoy. If I had a chance, I would see them all again. That is the ultimate compliment.
Photos by Jackie Sheckler Finch
See sailings here: All MSC Cruises (cruisecompete.com)