Experience Carnival LIVE Cruise: What to Expect

There are many reasons why music theme cruises are popular with today’s cruise vacationers. These events give passengers a great opportunity to hear their favorite stars in concert and vacation with other fans. Guests can attend live concerts and special “meet & greet” sessions while sailing to some of the most popular ports of call.

Full-ship charter music theme cruises have allowed fans to get up close to some of their favorite recording artists. Typically, though, the fares for these cruise experiences are very expensive. Music fans have an alternative that offers tremendous vacation value. As part of Carnival Cruise Lines’ Carnival LIVE Concert Series, music lovers can cruise and experience some of the recording industry’s hottest performers at a small fraction of a full ship charter fare.

Get Up Close To Your Favorite Artists

Carnival Cruise Lines offers various artists and performance dates on their cruise ships. Concerts are scheduled on limited sailings on ships visiting Cozumel, Nassau or Catalina Island. Carnival LIVE cruises depart from several convenient home ports around the United States, providing guests with convenient access.

Carnival LIVE concerts feature artists such as country music superstars Lady Antebellum, Rascal Flatts, Little Big Town, Trace Adkins, Martina McBride and more. Rock performers include Styx, Journey, Chicago and Foreigner. Solo artists are also popular, with performances by Jennifer Hudson, Olivia Newton-John, Smokey Robinson and others. New artists are announced periodically as well.

Concerts are 75 minutes long and held in the ship’s theater area. These locations are much smaller than typical major concert venues, providing a more intimate experience. The artists are incredibly close, unlike in a stadium or arena setting. It makes it much easier for performers to get out in the audience to interact with their fans or even bring guests up on stage.

Headline acts come onboard before the show and leave the vessel shortly after the concert before the ship departs. Ships stay in port until 1 AM on concert nights, which is very unusual. This allows guests to have dinner in town or head to a local bar after the show. Those distinctive kinds of experiences make great vacation memories and add to the unique nature of the cruise.

Concert tickets can be purchased once the cruise has been booked, just like a shore excursion ticket. That’s one of the many reasons to book Carnival LIVE cruises as early as possible. General admission tickets range from $35 to $60 per person depending upon the artist. Compare those prices to stadium seats at a regular performance and the Carnival LIVE value is instantly apparent. VIP packages are available for $125 to $250 depending upon the performers.

The VIP package provides an outstanding opportunity for guests to get up close to their favorite music artists. The package includes a Meet and Greet session plus a photo opportunity with the band before the show; special VIP seating in the first few rows of the ship’s main show lounge; and a Carnival LIVE commemorative VIP pass. The VIP seating is an incredible plus. While everyone who has a concert ticket has a guaranteed seat in the theater, there’s nothing like being as close to the stage as possible.

Carnival LIVE cruises have another major benefit: cruising and interacting with other fans. There’s lots of energy, camaraderie and excitement on a Carnival LIVE cruise. Guests meet other fans at bars, breakfasts and other events – and the talk quickly turns to music and the upcoming concert. It’s fun to meet others who share the same interests.

Have Fun Onboard

The concert experience is only a small part of a Carnival LIVE cruise vacation, though. There’s so much more to do onboard the ship. Carnival LIVE music cruises take place on ships packed with fun-filled entertainment. While the concert is certainly the main event, there’s something for everyone on a Carnival Fun Ship.

Carnival ships feature bars with lots of personality. Some of these include the RedFrog Rum Bar, the BlueIguana Tequila Bar, and the ever-popular RedFrog Pub on several ships. Although fans are focused on the concert, parties will be happening nightly onboard the ship. Trained by the award-winning DJ IRIE, Carnival’s DJs can be found keeping the late night action going in the nightclub and throughout the ship. There are also multiple crowd-pleasing evening shows at Carnival’s Punchliner Comedy Club, both in adults-only and family-friendly formats.

Dining is an important part of any cruise and Carnival ships offer lots of choices. Guests should plan to enjoy at least one dinner at Fahrenheit 555, Carnival’s classic American steakhouse. The steaks and entrees are superb and portions are huge, not to mention unlimited. There’s a small additional fee charged for this specialty dining option, but it’s worth the cost.

Other Carnival specialty dining venues are completely free, however. Check out Guy’s Burger Joint for juicy burgers, hand-cut fries created with Food Network star Guy Fieri, and authentic tacos and burritos at BlueIguana Cantina. The Lido Marketplace has a lot of awesome offerings, including the popular Mongolian Wok.

Want to bring the kids? That’s no problem. Carnival’s award-winning programs for children, tweens and teens will keep them happy from morning ‘till night. They’ll love the performances, too.

Carnival LIVE is great for first time cruisers. Many come for the concert and then get hooked on the cruise experience. For seasoned cruisers who love music and life at sea, Carnival LIVE cruises are a “don’t-miss” event offering the best of both worlds. It’s a different kind of cruise experience. For music fans, Carnival LIVE’s exceptional value can’t be beat.

Nancy Schretter is the Managing Editor of the Family Travel Network.

Photo credit: Nancy Schretter

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