Cruise International Awards judge, John Honeywell, discusses some of the different sides to cruise ship entertainment.

Cruise Awards 2012  Norwegian Epic blue-man-group

Cruise Ship entertainment gets more exciting every year. It’s no longer the refuge of long-past-it end-of-the-pier performers – an excerpt from the musical Hairspray was even broadcast live from Oasis of the Seas during the televised coverage of America’s Tony Awards this year.

Theatres on modern ships are sumptuous, bigger and better-equipped than most in the West End, and there are performances to match. Royal Caribbean also features almost full-length versions of Chicago and Saturday Night Fever, and the Blue Man Group are among the most memorable features of a cruise on Norwegian Epic.

Carnival has recognised the value of British humour, and has recruited a number of comedians from the UK to perform in its Punchliner comedy club. Funny men, and even a few women, are a popular draw on dozens of ships sailing from Britain throughout the year.Cruise Awards 2012  Carnival Cruises -comedy

Taking a different tack, Carnival has also cut performances down to 30 minutes for the musical shows on its newest ship, Carnival Breeze, but the fun doesn’t end at the curtain call – the stars lead the audience out into the atrium to carry on singing and dancing through the night.

It’s not all jokes, tribute acts and songs from the shows, however. Last year’s winners were OperaBabes for their performances on Fred Olsen cruises.

String quartets are always popular but often pass unrewarded when the time comes to hand out plaudits.

But who do you think should get first place in Best for Entertainment in the Cruise International Awards 2012? The nominees are:

Atlantis- An eye-popping ice show has proven to be a hit with Atlantis guests
Carnival Cruise Lines– Carnival continues the laughs with their Punchliner Comedy Club
Norwegian Cruise Line– Epic introduced Blue Man Group to the sea to what has been a storming reception
P&O- Derren Brown has continued to entrance audiences onboard Aurora and Arcadia
P&O– Click your heels to Strictly Come Dancing onboard Oriana
Princess Cruises– Continued high quality of in-house production shows
Royal Caribbean International– Oasis of the Seas brings the West End to see with Chicago and Hairspray
Disney– Aladdin- A musical Spectacular wowed audiences on the newly launched Disney Fantasy

What was the best fun you had on a cruise ship during the past 12 months? Cast your vote in the Cruise International Awards 2012 and you could win a holiday to Florida! Good luck!
Best for Entertainment category is sponsored by Cruise Connections