When I took my first cruise on the magnificent Mississippi Queen in 1976, the entertainment was mostly a jazz band, ragtime piano player and powerful-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 biggest cruise ships ever made – the mighty Royal Caribbean Symphony of the Seas. Therefore, the entertainment must be so much larger, grander, varied and breathtaking. It certainly is.
For starters, there’s vocalist Mark Preston, plus comedians Gary Caouette and Landy. They can be seen performing around the ship.
Then there’s the top-notch Broadway-style shows which actually are amazing, no exaggeration. Presented in the ship’s Royal Theater is “Hairspray! The Broadway Musical,” one of the biggest hits of all time. Winner of eight Tony Awards, the feel-good musical is all about big hair, big dreams and all the right moves.
If you’ve seen the John Travolta “Hairspray” movie, you already know that young Tracy Turnblad won’t stop until she gets her shot at fame dancing on The Corny Collins Show. A fellow passenger who had seen “Hairspray” on a cruise the week before – he and his wife were doing two back-to-back Symphony cruises – said he couldn’t believe it when he was told that the person playing Tracy’s buxom mother is actually a man, just like John Travolta performed in the movie.
I’ve posted a photo of Tracy and her mother to see what you think. Of course, I looked up the show’s credits and the mom is indeed a man. He also performed later in another Symphony production in his actual appearance. He was terrific in both.
In the outdoor Aqua Theater – an impressive venue on the back of the ship behind the Boardwalk on Deck 6 – a presentation called “HiRO” was a combination of martial arts and dance moves, awesome diving and water action, high-flying aerial feats, exciting acrobatics, tightrope walking and unexpected stunts. The show’s description says that the performers are some of the world’s best extreme-sport athletes. I sure believe it.
In Studio B, the show is called “1977: A Thrilling Adventure on Ice.” Yes, there really is an ice skating rink on Symphony of the Seas. The ice show features a time-traveling, dimension-hoping hero named Tempus, whose name means “Time.” I learned that in two years of high school Latin.
In the ice show, Tempus has a mission is to catch the infamous jewel thief Black Max. The story starts in London in 1977 during the Queen’s Jubilee and moves around the world with incredible skating feats until, of course, the hero overcomes the villain.
Studio B also has another ice skating show, “iSkate 2.0” but I didn’t get to see that one. It was being performed opposite another production in Royal Theater named “Flight…Dare to Dream.”
Turns out, Flight was my favorite on the cruise and that is certainly saying a lot. For that show, I’m going to write its very own article. Flight certainly deserves it.
Photos by Jackie Sheckler Finch
One of the lovely ladies skating in the ship’s ice show.
(COVER) HiRO features some of the world’s best extreme-sports athletes.
A HiRO performer gets ready for some intricate movements with his stick.
Tracy Turnblad adds even more hairspray in the musical production.
Tracy and her mom in their grand finery.