7 Best Stage Shows at Sea

stage show theater play musical cruise
You can see a stage production of "Grease" on Harmony of the Seas. - Photo by Royal Caribbean

Cruise ship evening entertainment has come a long way since the days of lounge shows. Now, cruise lines are teaming up with the choreographers, directors, and composers behind Broadway, popular television networks, and elite entertainment companies for some of the most dazzling shows you'll find on land or sea. We've rounded up a list of seven of the best cruise ship shows you can catch on your next sailing:

1. Grease

Ships: Harmony of the Seas and Independence of the Seas, Royal Caribbean

harmony of the seas grease royal

Photo by Royal Caribbean

What's it about? High school students Sandy and Danny navigate the tricky social scene while attempting to keep their reputations and romantic relationship intact.

What to Expect: The award-winning Broadway musical has been specially adapted by Royal Caribbean and features everyone’s favorite songs like “Summer Nights,” “Greased Lightnin’,” “Beauty School Dropout,” and more.


2. For the Record: The Brat Pack

Ship: Norwegian Escape, Norwegian Cruise Line

for the record cruise ship show

Photo by Norwegian Cruise Line

What's it about? A brain, an athlete, a princess, a basket case, and a criminal are all featured in this mashed-up, genre-bending retrospective of the coming of age teen films from the 1980’s.

What to Expect: The once-dinner theater show has graduated to the main stage due to overwhelming popularity aboard the ship. For the Record turns iconic film soundtracks into one immersive experience, featuring sounds from “Sixteen Candles,” “Weird Science,” “The Breakfast Club,” “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” and “Pretty in Pink.”


3. Tangled: The Musical

Ship: Disney MagicDisney Cruise Line

tangled disney musical stage show cruise

Photo by Disney Cruise Line

What's it about? A teen girl who’s been locked in a tower her whole life comes across a mysterious thief who takes her on a journey outside of all she’s ever known to find new friends and ultimately discover her royal roots.

What to Expect: Disney gathered an all-star creative team to bring the popular animated film to life on the stage with intricate costuming, puppetry, and vibrant set designs.  The show will feature favorite songs from the film, plus three new ones written just for the production; “Flower of Gold,” “Wanted Man,” and “When the Princess Returns.”


4. Burn the Floor: My Revolution

Ship: Regent Seven Seas Explorer, Regent Seven Seas Cruises

burn the floor cruise ship show

Photo by Regent Seven Seas Cruises

What's it about? This ballroom dance show centers on February 9, 1964, the night the Beatles were introduced on the Ed Sullivan show and the British invasion hit North America.  A talented cast performs ballroom dances set to Beatles music and more.

What to Expect: Regent’s President Jason Montague calls the production “hot and sexy;” it features dances of the era including the Jive, Swing, Contemporary, Fosse, the Madison, and the Twist.  Guests can expect toe-tapping tunes and a large dose of nostalgia.


5. Flick: The Power of Motion Pictures

Ship: Carnival VistaCarnival Cruise Line

flick cruise ship musical stage show

Photo by Jose Gonzales

What's it about? The main character, Flick, takes the audience on a magical journey through different genres of film and features some of the greatest movie anthems of all time with songs from films including Footloose, Dirty Dancing, and more.

What to Expect: This 45-minute celebration of filmmaking includes dramatic costumes, stunning theatrical illusions, and cinematic effects that will keep the audience enthralled in the storyline and musical performances.


6. Magic To Do

Ships: Crown, Emerald, and Ruby PrincessPrincess Cruises

magic to do cruise ship show

Photo by Princess Cruises

What's it about? Princess partnered with award-winning composer Stephen Schwartz for a Broadway-caliber show that weaves together magic, song, and dance.  It highlights some of his most famous songs like “Day by Day” from Godspell, “Defying Gravity” from Wicked, and a new number just for this show called “A Little Magic.”

What to Expect: The team that put together Magic To Do are some of the best in the musical production industry, and guests can expect elaborate costumes, logic-defying magical illusions, and popular musical numbers.


7. Rock of Ages

Ship: Norwegian BreakawayNorwegian Cruise Line

breakaway rock ages cruise show musical

Photo by Norwegian Cruise Line

What's it about? This Tony-award nominated Broadway hit heads to sea with exciting rock musical numbers to tell the story of a small-town boy and girl who are living in Los Angeles, falling in love, and pursuing their lifelong dreams.  Songs include “Every Rose Has It’s Thorn,” “Here I Go Again,” “I Wanna Know What Love Is,” “Don’t Stop Believin’,” and more.

What to Expect: Guests can look forward to a high-energy show with elaborate costuming, lighting effects, and a talented cast of performers.

Join the discussion

What’s your favorite show at sea?


Posted by EatSleepCruise

Having seen many of these shows, I think these ratings are dead on. Although, I would add StarWater, the show on Quantum of the Seas. That is an amazing production.

Posted by Cruiserexpert

Vroom on the carnival vIctory or Far from over on the carnival Valor are wicked

Posted by CruiselineMich

My personal favorite Footloose on Norwegian Joy. Great time with great friends! "Everybody cut, everybody cut...Footloose !"

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