Celebrity will unleash eighteen original shows in eighteen months aboard the lines ships over the next two years. “We are continuing to raise the bar by unveiling an array of shows that vary from groundbreaking and contemporary to magnificent and beautiful—all with lighthearted and humorous story lines, popular music and unique choreography,” said Celebrity's Becky Thomson-Foley, director of entertainment. Celerity has pushed the envelope of cutting edge entertainment as it has grown. Many will remember the addition of Cirque Du Soleil shows and experiences to ships over ten years ago. However rolling out so many shows across so many ships in such a short time is a huge undertaking.
Main stage shows on cruise ships are not easy or cheap to produce. They represent large investments by any cruise line and the very best provide experiences that can be the stuff of conversation for years after passengers disembark. A standard new show could cost a cruise line as much as 1.7 million dollars as benchmarked against a current Royal Caribbean show aboard several Voyager and Freedom class ships. This price includes costumes, sets, music rights and arrangements, etc. Ongoing costs for cast and musicians is an entirely different and additional matter. A single show might be copied to several ships, the cast and crew for each effectively training their replacements with limited guidance from the shore based management. Each show is tracked for popularity and appeal and at some point it has to be replaced. Ideally most shows last several years, which is feasible because most cruiser passengers won’t travel on the same ship more often than that. If a show fails outright with passengers it represents an even larger one for the cruise line. The capacity of a ship to support the newest concepts in ship-board shows is also a growing factor and another pressure on the lines to replace smaller, older ships quickly.
Just this past March Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd, mother company of it’s namesake Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises, opened a massive facility dubbed “The Studio” at Florida International University. Able to host over 450 cast members in a 130,000 building, the venue represents a huge investment in bringing business-like efficiencies to the cumbersome process of creating new shows. With lines such as Celebrity committing to opening eighteen new shows in as many months the investment will shoulder the burden of producing numerous and higher quality entertainment.