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Music Cruises Hit a High Note

There are many reasons why music theme cruises are popular with today's cruise vacationers. These types of events give passengers a great opportunity to hear their favorite stars in concert and vacation with fans that have the same interests. Guests can attend live concerts and special ďmeet & greetĒ 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, however, these kinds of cruise experiences are very expensive. Music fans have a better alternative that offers tremendous vacation value. As part of Carnival Cruise Linesí Carnival LIVE Concert Series, music lovers can cruise and experience some of the recording industryís hottest performers at a fraction of the cost of a full ship charter fare.

Rock Out To Top Artists

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 convenient homeports around the United States, providing guests with convenient access and potentially eliminating the need for expensive flights.

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, Kansas, 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 held in the shipís theater area. These locations are much smaller than typical major concert venues, providing a more intimate experience. Headline acts come onboard prior to the show 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.

Have More Fun Onboard

The concert experience is only a small part of a Carnival LIVE cruise vacation, though. Thereís so much more to do onboard the ship. Carnival LIVE music cruises take place on a variety of ships packed with fun-filled entertainment, such as the Carnival Breeze. This 3,690-passenger ship is loaded with a wide variety of restaurants, attractions and amenities.

While the concert is certainly the main event, thereís something for everyone to do on a Carnival Fun Ship. Carnival Cruise Linesí ships are well known for their cool waterslides and sports areas. The Carnival Breeze takes this to a new level with its WaterWorks Aqua Park. It features two huge curving waterslides: the 312-foot-long Twister and the huge funnel-type DrainPipe. There's also a water play area, two small slides for little ones, and a massive soaker bucket that fills and then tips, dumping loads of water those playing below.

Then thereís Carnival Breeze's recreation complex, SportSquare. This top deck area has fun features like a miniature golf course, an open-air workout area, and a cool suspended ropes course called SkyCourse. If thatís not enough, check out Carnival Breezeís interactive Thrill Theater. The 24-seat Thrill Theater combines a high-definition projection system, 3-D movies and glasses, moving and vibrating seats, and special effects designed to generate a totally immersive experience.

Carnival knows vacationers need to mix their high-octane activities with a little chill relaxation. Located at the front of the Carnival Breeze, Serenity is an adults-only escape complete with double hammocks, comfy cushion-topped loungers, and huge whirlpools. Admission to this area is free, unlike on some other cruise lines.

Dining is an important part of any cruise and the Carnival Breeze offers lots of options. Guests should plan to enjoy at least one dinner at Cucina del Capitano, Carnival's family-style Italian specialty restaurant. Fahrenheit 555, a classic American steakhouse, is another exceptional specialty restaurant and an excellent choice for a special night out. There are nominal additional fees associated with these specialty dining options, but they're well worth the cost.

Other great specialty dining venues on the Breeze are completely free, however. Check out Guy's Burger Joint for juicy burgers and hand-cut fries created with Food Network star Guy Fieri, authentic tacos and burritos at BlueIguana Cantina, and awesome offerings from the Lido Marketplace including Indian Tandoori and the Mongolian Wok. Don't miss Fat Jimmy's C-Side BBQ available only on sea days.

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

Want to bring the kids? Thatís no problem. Carnivalís award-winning programs for children, tweens and teens are available to keep them happy from mornings 'till way past the midnight hour.

The entertainment never stops on any Carnival Fun Ship cruise. With the introduction of the Carnival LIVE Concert Series sailings, the cruise line found an innovative way to increase the energy and excitement onboard. For those who love music and cruising, Carnival LIVE Concert Series cruises offer the best of both worlds and a tremendous value as well.

If You Go:

* Carnival LIVE Concert Series tickets are not automatically included in the sailingís cruise price and a limited number of seats are available. Tickets are sold on Carnivalís website or onboard 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 tickets.

* Purchase your concert tickets as far in advance as possible. Popular artists sell out quickly.

* Two types of tickets are available. General admission tickets range from $35 to $60 per person depending upon the music artist, while VIP packages are available for $125 to $250 depending on the artist.

* If at all possible, purchase the VIP package. It gives fans the opportunity to meet their favorite artists and eliminates the need to stand in line prior to the concert. If you havenít purchased the VIP package, get in line an hour or more before the doors open. Itís well worth the wait to get the best seats.

* For additional information on the Carnival LIVE Concert Series and a complete list of upcoming events, including dates and ships, visit www.carnivallive.com/carnivallive.

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