July 3, 2014
(3 p.m. EDT) -- Carnival Cruise Lines has added four new revue shows, featuring LED screens and special effects, to the entertainment roster aboard Carnival Freedom as part of a multimillion-dollar refurbishment.
80s Pop to the Max features performances of hits from the 1980s, including tunes by the likes of Duran Duran, Cyndi Lauper, Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson and more.
Heart of Soul highlights romance with songs made popular by Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles. Additionally, six couples will be chosen from the audience to enjoy VIP seating, Champagne and flowers during the show.
Getaway Island's beach theme will have you wanting to stick your toes in the sand, pina colada in hand, as you listen to music from Jimmy Buffett, Bob Marley and the Beach Boys.
88 Keys: The Rock 'n' Roll Piano Show encourages passengers to sing along as live pianists showcase hits from Billy Joel, Little Richard and Jerry Lee Lewis, among others.
The main thing to note here, according to Carnival execs, is that the shows are only 30 minutes long -- quite short as entertainment goes on other cruise lines. When asked how that competes with Norwegian's and Royal Caribbean's Broadway-style shows, they said they're pushing a "self-serve" model, meaning Carnival wants passengers to pick and choose a variety of entertainment each night and not feel like they're roped in to one long show.
The four revues are new to the fleet as part of Carnival's Playlist Production series. They're expected to roll out on other ships -- including Carnival Pride when it goes into dry dock this fall -- but they're exclusive to Freedom for the time being.
Further additions to Carnival Freedom during its recent Fun Ship 2.0 overhaul include Hasbro the Game Show, where audience participation is needed to play giant board games; Guy's Burger Joint, named for famous foodie Guy Fieri; the EA Sports Bar, which offers giant TV screens for watching sports and playing video games; the pharmacy-themed Alchemy Bar; all things RedFrog and BlueIguana, which lend their likenesses to a Carnival-exclusive microbrew beer and rum bar, and a cantina and tequila bar, respectively; and new children's offerings like the Camp Ocean youth program and Seuss at Sea, with themed activities based on the stories of Dr. Seuss.
--By Ashley Kosciolek, Ports and Copy Editor, and Brittany Chrusciel, Editorial Assistant