Jennifer Hudson launches Carnival LIVE with sizzling set in snowy NYC

//Jennifer Hudson launches Carnival LIVE with sizzling set in snowy NYC

Carnival is taking the concept of cruise ship entertainment to a whole new level with the introduction of a live concert series featuring some of America’s most popular singers.
I fought my way through a blizzard to watch Grammy and Oscar-winning singer Jennifer Hudson – a star of American Idol and a hit from Dreamgirls – launch Carnival LIVE in a New York night club this week with a sizzling four-song set.
Hudson, who began her career performing on a Disney cruise ship is one of 15 acts putting on 49 shows this year on Carnival ships which will spend a few extra hours in port at Cozumel, Mexico, and Nassau, Bahamas.
Other acts signed up include Chicago, LeAnn Rimes, Kansas, Lady Antebellum and Olivia Newton John.
In a cruise first, Carnival will charge for admission tickets: standard price will be between $20 and $30, and for $100-$150 guests can purchase VIP tickets which guarantee a seat in the front three rows, a commemorative pass, and a photo-opportunity chance to meet the performer.
Tickets will be available for booking online before the designated cruise, and on board, subject to availability.
It’s an unprecedented step; P&O have recently had stars such as Katherine Jenkins and David Essex on their ships with admission included in the fare. Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Line do not charge for admission to their full-length musicals including Chicago, Legally Blonde, or for the Blue Man Group.
Hudson told her New York audience this week that without her experience of performing on cruise ships, she would never have become a success, explaining that she went to sea to test herself before trying out for competition in American Idol:
“I was scared. I’m a homebody. I told myself if you can get through this, you’re cut out for American Idol.” From gaining fame on Idol in 2004, she went on to win an Oscar for Dreamgirls. “Without that cruise experience, I never would have made it this far,” she said.
Like Hudson – who was also godmother to the Disney Dream in 2011 – some of the performers booked by Carnival have already appeared on cruise ships, or have been associated with them.
Most notoriously, country star Trace Adkins – runner-up to Piers Morgan on America’s version of The Apprentice – booked into rehab last week after a punch-up with a fan on board Norwegian Pearl.
“Music amplifies the fun. It makes fun more memorable. We are turning up the music at Carnival Cruise Lines,’ said Mark Tamis, senior vice-president, guest operations. “Music is a soundtrack not only of your vacation but of your life,” he added.
Carnival senior cruise director and brand ambassador, Essex’s finest, John Heald, said: “Where else would you be able to see acts like this for £10? This is just the start. I want to see Deep Purple, Dire Straits and Rick Astley on our ships.”
The full list of Carnival’s live concert performers is:
38 Special, Chicago, Daughtry, Foreigner, Gavin DeGraw, Jennifer Hudson, Jewel, Kansas, Lady Antebellum, LeAnn Rimes, Martina McBride, Olivia Newton-John, REO Speedwagon, STYX, and Trace Adkins.
Tour dates, which begin with STYX appearing on Carnival Fantasy in Nassau on April 4 are listed on the Carnival website.
See pictures of Jennifer Hudson’s New York performance on Captain Greybeard’s Facebook page.

By | 2014-01-23T17:11:33+00:00 23 January 2014|Cruise Entertainment|0 Comments

About the Author:

John Honeywell is a travel writer specialising in cruise ships and cruise travel. Winner of CLIA UK's Contribution to Cruise award 2017.

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