Passengers on Royal Caribbean International’s Quantum of the Seas, which launched service from Singapore on Dec. 1, have been treated to one of the line’s original productions, “Showgirl: Past. Present. Future,” in the ship’s Royal Theater.
Anyone who has seen the show before might notice one change in the dancers’ costumes: masks. Sparkly, sequined masks that worked so well with the rest of their outfits, it may have seemed that they’d always been there.
“Those aren’t just masks, they are customized masks,” said Nick Weir, senior vice president of entertainment for Royal Caribbean International. “It doesn’t take away from any of the beauty. The guests are really enjoying it, and they’re safe. It can be done.”
The Quantum, one of a handful of ships to have resumed service since March, showed that one of the most important aspects of a cruise vacation, the onboard entertainment, can exist in a Covid world.
As cruise lines ready their fleets to return to the high seas this year, entertainment teams are working furiously behind the scenes to be able to offer passengers the same level and breadth of entertainment options that they have become accustomed to.
And despite new protocols, such as masks and social distancing, cruise entertainment directors say that not only will the shows go on, but that cruisers will enjoy them as much as they always have.
“When we open a ship, it will have a full entertainment component,” said Richard Ambrose, senior vice president of entertainment and cruise programming at Norwegian Cruise Line. “All the shows will be back. Some will be delayed four to six weeks, but they’re coming.”
Those delays of the line’s Broadway-style productions, he said, may result from the need to get the cast and crew back onboard and rehearsed.
Initially, every ship across the industry will have to limit venue capacity to provide more space between audience members, and it’s possible that more shows will be offered to accommodate everyone. But most changes will be ones that passengers don’t notice.
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