Continuing the series of comparing the four cruise brands I’ve sailed the past two years (Carnival, Celebrity, Norwegian and Royal Caribbean) it’s time to take a look at entertainment. I know this is a subjective topic (but isn’t every category) and obviously I’m basing it on what I like.
All four brands have live music playing at various venues on the ships. Carnival had the least number while Norwegian had the most offerings. Royal Caribbean and Celebrity were in the middle of the pack.
Norwegian Epic is the clear winner in this category with musicians in multiple venues and various styles. I need to go back to see the Dueling Pianos shows! There was only one performer I didn’t enjoy and it wasn’t because she couldn’t sing; I wasn’t wild about the music.
Live music was the entertainment highlight on Celebrity Summit which we found rather boring in general.
Carnival unfortunately has moved away from live orchestra during their production shows and is using pre-recorded music. They’ve also cut down the length to 30 minutes. It feels like the dumbing down of entertainment.
Conversely, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian offered full-length production shows, Grease and Priscilla: Queen of the Desert respectively. This is in addition to other great entertainment offerings. Again, Celebrity was an also-ran.
WINNER: Tie between Norwegian and Royal Caribbean
This category covers the games, parades and other shows each cruise line offers. I have to tell you right off the bat, I don’t care for juggling or magicians so those are left out of the assessment.
Royal Caribbean has great parades in the Promenade but it can be hard to get a good viewing spot (unless you had promenade cabin like we did) due to the confined route. The only parade I recall on the other lines is the Dr. Seuss parade which is not meant to entertain the people along the route as much as the very cute participants.
What all lines did have were games. Some required props (Carnival Hasbro games?) while other just needed people willing to be laughed at and cheered at the same time (belly flop contest). I don’t recall as many on Celebrity and Royal Caribbean as there were on the others.
What was unusual and fun on Norwegian was the complimentary escape room experience. It was harder than I thought it would be but fun and different. Love having options besides bingo and trivia. 🙂
This comparison was closer than the dining one as two brands stood out amongst the group. However, the overall winner is Norwegian Cruise Line and is one of the reasons I’m sailing them later this year where I’ll see how they are on a smaller ship.
Which cruise brand do you think offers the best overall entertainment experience?
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