Cruise lines continue to raise the benchmark in fabulous stage shows. From Broadway-style epics to a ship full of rock ’n’ roll bands, the host of cruise entertainment offerings on 2024 itineraries will be music to the ears of cruise fans.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises has unveiled four spell-binding productions from a range of world-renowned Grammy Award winners and Broadway directors. A Heritage of Perfection offers captivating productions. It pays homage to the rich legacy of Broadway and its influence on cruise ship entertainment in 2024. 

Creative input has come from choreographer Britt Stewart from America’s Dancing with the Stars, Argentine Tango royalty Francisco Forquera. And, celebrated Broadway director John MacInnis is also part of the crew.

The Broadway shows

Among the offerings are Pasión which celebrates the mesmerising Tango, while Ignite the Night combines dance and style. Marauder’s Ball, meanwhile, promises a swashbuckling adventure, and ICONS delivers a contemporary “VIP concert experience”, reinventing headliner hits.

Over at Norwegian Cruise Lines, guests are treated to a spooky serving of entertainment in 2024. The new Norwegian Viva will host the cult classic Beetlejuice now being performed as a musical.

Beetlejuice joins Six and Jersey Boys as the rotation of Broadway-style shows currently showing on NCL ships.

Actors in the Beetlejuice the musical on Norwegian Vivia
The Beetlejuice production is the newest on Norwegian Viva

Local cruise entertainment in 2024

Cunard brings the big top to Australian cruise season with performance company Circa on-board Queen Elizabeth. The Royal Court Theatre is the onboard venue for his extravaganza of movement, dance, theatre and circus skills. Circa will perform from February 1 to March 10, 2024.

For the kids, Disney Wonder –  currently cruising our waters – has ample entertainment. Starting with Frozen, a musical extravaganza inside the Walt Disney Theatre. Disney Dreams – An Enchanted Classic, meanwhile offers a musical about the power of dreams and family. And it stars a cavalcade of Disney characters. The true star of Disney has his own show in The Golden Mickeys. It is a dazzling tribute to the enchanting movies of and his creator Walt Disney. This Hollywood-style awards show features spectacular songs and special appearances by Mickey and friends. And it’s designed for families to enjoy a special night of Disney cinematic magic.

P&O offers live music on all its cruises. They strongly supports local artists, making sure home-grown talent gets the chance to perform onboard. Performances range from acoustic guitar duos and piano vocalists. You can even find four-piece party bands playing blues, RnB, jazz, funk and everything in between. Live music venues include the Blue Room featuring intimate live music. For a more relaxing vibe head to the Ocean Bar for chilled Waterside performances.

Something for the adults

When the sun goes down on a P&O Cruise, and the kids are in bed, the fun is just beginning onboard Pacific Adventure and Pacific Encounter. Broadway-style productions feature in shows performed in Marquee. But guests can also test out their talent in The Voice-style competitions. There are also edgy acrobatics, cabaret and comedy of Black Circus. Musical shows such as Let’s Misbehave, a frolic back to the era of swing bands and 1930s nightclubs filled with flappers, gangsters, burlesque and sirens, are also a feature.

Virgin Voyages’s Resilient Lady offers Lola’s Library, an immersive cabaret. It takes the audience through the eclectic book collection of a mysterious author in a mix of song, dance, acrobatics and comedy.

If you want to exercise your mind, P&O offers a different take on the classic trivia quiz where flattery and a sense of humour get you a long way. If miscellaneous information is not your thing then try a music quiz and guess the name of a song or the artist that sings it.

A comedian on the P&O Comedy Club
A comedian on the P&O Comedy Club

If you want to tickle a funny bone, P&O features three nights of non-stop laughter with its Short Break Comedy Cruises. Departing from Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Auckland, and Adelaide, these short cruises offer the chance to see live shows by favourite local comedians. You can even participate in professionally-led comedy workshops and perform in front of your fellow guests.

Down Under newcomer Quantum of the Seas, features world-class choreography, beautiful set design and extravagant costumes in Sequins & Feathers. The Royal Caribbean stage show takes the audience from classic Parisian cabaret to modern-day Las Vegas theatres and the stages of New York and Los Angeles in this dazzling celebration of the most glamorous stage performers in the entertainment world.

Themed cruising

If you can wait until October, then Carnival Luminosa is hosting the BRAVO Cruise of Performing Arts. Departing Sydney, on October 16, 2024, more than 40 world-class performers are set to board for this seven-night extravaganza with Carnival Cruise Line Australia. The voyage will host celebrated artists performing a variety of genres from classical, jazz and opera to Broadway classics and contemporary music. The star-studded line-up includes West End star Ruthie Henshall, Australian entertainer Todd McKenney, musical theatre icon Marina Prior, Australian tenor, Mark Vincent and baritone Teddy Tahu Rhodes, with host Ray Martin and conductor Guy Noble.

Passengers will have the opportunity to explore two ports of call Mare in the Loyalty Islands and Noumea, New Caledonia. Following hot on its heels and hitting the same destinations is Rock The Boat, a highly-anticipated cruise for Aussie rock music fans. Departing October 23, the seven-day sail is onboard Carnival Luminosa for the first time. Headlining the event are The Living End, Baby Animals, The Screaming Jets, Mark Seymour And The Undertow, Chocolate Starfish, Boom Crash Opera  and Thirsty Merc among them. It’s sure to hit just the right note.