Full ship charter music cruises are often expensive 3-7 night affairs, sometimes costing more than many fans can afford. Big name musicians remain onboard the ship for several nights or the entire sailing, raising cruise rates substantially. Typically, however, guests are only able to see one headliner stage show. Occasionally there may be an opportunity for a photo or a Q&A session with artists as well.
Enter Carnival Cruise Lines’ Carnival LIVE Concert Series. This innovative program adds a twist to the music cruise game, allowing guests to pay a low ticket price to see a live headliner show by a popular artist or group onboard their ship. Guests still can cruise with fans of their favorite popular music artists, but for a fraction of the normal price of a typical full ship charter music cruise.
Working together with Creative Artists Agency (CAA), Carnival Cruise Lines offers a wide array of artists and performance dates on their cruise ships. Concerts are generally 75 minutes in length and are scheduled on a limited number of sailings on ships visiting Cozumel, the Bahamas or Catalina Island. Carnival LIVE cruises depart from a number of homeports around the United States, providing guests with convenient access and potentially eliminating the need for expensive flights.
Headline acts come onboard the ship prior to the show performance and then 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 get off and head to a local bar after the show if they wish. Those distinctive kinds of experiences make great vacation memories and add to the unique nature of the cruise.
Carnival LIVE featured concert artists include country music favorites such as Lady Antebellum, Rascal Flatts, Little Big Town, Trace Adkins, Martina McBride and more. Rock performers include Styx, Journey, Kansas, Chicago and Foreigner. Solo artists are also popular, with performers including Jennifer Hudson, Jewel, Olivia Newton John, Smokey Robinson and others. A list of upcoming 2014 and 2015 performances can be found on the Carnival LIVE website.
The Carnival LIVE Concert Series cruises have proven to be very popular, often selling out well in advance of sailing. All Carnival LIVE concerts take place in the ship’s main show theater during the evening while the vessel is docked in its port of call, so there’s no searching around onshore for the concert venue. Guests know exactly where to go. In addition, the onboard venue is smaller than one would usually find at a major live event, providing a much more intimate concert experience. Best of all, there’s no hassles with parking, traffic jams or driving home after the show.
One of the major Carnival LIVE selling points is value. Concert goers get to enjoy both the live event and the cruise – and tickets are very reasonably priced. Two types of tickets to these exclusive onboard concert performances are available. General admission tickets range from $35 to $60 per person depending upon the artist, while VIP packages are available for $125 to $250 depending on the artist. VIP packages include a Meet and Greet session including 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.
Carnival LIVE Concert Series tickets are available for booking through the Carnival website’s Shore Excursions page or onboard the ship if tickets are still available at time of sailing. Guests must have already made their cruise booking onboard the ship in order to purchase their concert tickets. Only Carnival passengers sailing on the ship featuring the Carnival LIVE Concert Series performance may attend the show.
For detailed information on the Carnival LIVE Concert Series and a complete list of the events, including dates and ships, visit www.carnival.com/carnivallive.