Carnival has a fairly new addition to their onboard entertainment – the Carnival Live Concert Series. Not every ship or every cruise has a concert, but every now and then several ships will get a band. The band stays at a port and comes onboard a ship just for the concert. They perform again on a couple more ships that come to the same port in the next couple days.
Some time after booking our cruise on the Breeze we got a notice that a Heart concert had been added to the ship’s port stop in Cozumel. At just $40, the onboard concert cost considerably less than a land-based show. They also had a VIP ticket for $100 which included seats at the front of the theater and a chance to meet the band, but we just went with the $40 ticket. Heart was one of my favorite bands growing up and John liked them too so we were glad they were the band added to our itinerary.
Having the concert meant the Breeze stayed in Cozumel longer than normal, an opportunity probably much appreciated by passengers not going to the concert as they could spend more time out and about in port. The concert also brought first time passengers on board who probably wouldn’t have taken the cruise if they hadn’t come to see the concert. A great way to introduce new people to cruising who otherwise may never have tried it. Some probably return to cruise again without a concert next time around.
We docked at 10am with the concert at 8:30pm, all aboard at 11pm and departure at midnight. The concert ran until 10pm, giving the band plenty of time to gather their things and leave the ship before the ship left port. The timing also meant even people attending the concert had more time to spend on shore than in the average port and still get back in time for the concert.
After the theater opened and all the people came in we looked around and noticed the demographic seemed a bit more Holland America than Carnival. Most concertgoers were old enough to have grown up with Heart, while much of the general ship population was not.
The crowd who knew all the rap songs mentioned at the other night’s comedy show, and who and sang along with the comedian during his performance was noticeably absent from the Heart concert. They probably had about as much of an idea who Heart is as we did about the rap tunes. While all the people in the theater really enjoyed the concert, it had lots of seats left open that might have filled more easily with a younger band more popular in Miami where the ship sailed from.
The Breeze uses a movie screen for the sets in a lot of their production shows, which came in handy as an enhancement for the concert. Each song had different colored lights shining down from above the stage and patterns in those colors dancing on the screen. I thought they could have turned the volume down a bit, which might have improved the quality of the sound, but otherwise it was a good concert. Heart sang some of their old favorites, some newer songs, and a few covers from other bands.
Photography was actually allowed without flash, but though video was forbidden people all over the theater had their phones and tablets held up high blocking other people’s view while they recorded entire songs, and some the entire concert.
A group of about 5 or 6 people up near the front seemed to think spending more of the concert standing up blocking the view of everyone behind than they did sitting down was the way to go. Even after the crew asked them to sit down (which brought a round of applause from the people behind them) they didn’t stay in their seats more than a minute or two before one of them gave the crew a rude gesture and they all stood back up again.
Other bands appear from time to time on other cruises so if you watch for it you just might be able to catch a band you like on a cruise someday – especially if you have a fondness for older bands.