The Secret Value Of CarnivalLIVE And 11 Tips

When I first stepped on to Carnival Breeze to experience CarnivalLIVE, something felt different. I had been on the ship before and she did not look any different this time than when new.   It had not been all that long since I sailed on Carnival Cruise Lines, so it was probably not something they are doing differently operationally. Just different. I figured out what that “different” feeling was on our last day at sea.  It anticipation,  apparently, washes away a number of negatives.

By mid-week I was trying to think of what this different feeling was about the ship and was finding no answer.   But then I looked at the people, the passengers on board with me now. That’s what the difference was. Mix in 1000 extreme Styx fans due to this being a CarnivalLIVE sailing and anything can happen. In this case, knowing they had an upcoming concert put everyone in a better mood. Not as much moaning about lines not moving fast enough, about how stuff costs more these days or the entire topic of ‘change’ in general, but better.

Here are some tips, facts, hints, solutions and random thoughts about the secret value of CarnivalLIVE:

  1. You Don’t Have To Drive Home- One of the best part of a CarnivalLIVE performance is that it is done on the ship. Styx gear was sitting on the dock as we arrived in Cozumel. Workers spend the rest of the day setting it up.
  2. You Don’t Get Off The Ship For The Show- A common misconception, the show comes to you.
  3. Big Fans: Do The VIP Package- The included meet and greet and first four rows of seating is well worth the $200-$250 per person price for those to whom the band is great.  Just do it; you will thank me later.
  4. Get There Early– Doors open about an hour before the performance. If you did not get the VIP package, get there an hour before the doors open for the best seats…although with the small size (about 1000 people) of Carnival ship’s
  5. Sit On The Isle- You’ll get drinks faster (yes, served during the show) and be able to get up, shake, dance or whatever that music makes you do, easier
  6. New Life For Caribbean Itineraries- That there is a main attraction that trumps which islands we visit in the Caribbean, those who have become bored with it might want to take another look.  Rather than mentally rating each port of call, deciding in my brain which would be the best, it was the Styx concert CarnivalLIVE event that stood out as the top experience to be anticipated.  That’s rain or shine too, no canceling this experience because the tour bus might get stuck in the mud.
  7. Check The Itinerary Carefully–   I get the feeling that Carnival tries to plan itineraries to have the CarnivalLIVE performance occur later in the voyage, like to give passengers something to look forward to. As mentioned above, the positive attitude boost is an unclaimed benefit of having tickets
  8. Buy Tickets In Advance- just like a shore excursion, on There is one show and seats are limited. Enough said.
  9. Plan On Time Ashore Too- There was a part of me that was a little jealous of those NOT booked for the CarnivalLIVE performance; they got to experience the nightlife of Mexico. But starting at 9:30, the show ran a bit over an hour and we could have walked off the ship and visited a local dockside bar by 11:00 easy. The ship did not leave until 1 in the morning.
  10. Not Everyone Is Here For Your Party- CarnivalLIVE sailings are not full charters, gathering a ship load of like-minded travelers together for a week-long immersion into a particular genre (Wild Bills Country Cruise) or band (Kid Rock And Pals). That’s not a bad thing but if you get into the elevator and throw down the secret (band name here) fist bump and someone does not respond, they are not worthless human beings.
  11. Don’t Look Around In The Theater- Probably the single biggest surprise to me when we saw Styx live, for the first time in over 30 years and sober, was turning around to look back into the theater and thinking “Where did all these old people come from?” remembering a different time. I found the answer in a mirror, later.

Good news for those not yet on the CarnivalLIVE train; it’s coming back  in 2015 with a new Spring 2015 season just announced.  ourney, Rascal Flatts,Little Big Town and Smokey Robinson make up the roster for the Spring 2015 season along with Styx who will be returning.  Better yet, no driving home after the show.


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