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Inside the jaw-dropping, acrobatic, all-singing-all-dancing shows on MSC Cruises

Cruise ship entertainment is a huge attraction for many passengers setting sail on the high seas, and these days shows on cruises are pretty darn spectacular.

MSC Cruises is one such line offering top drawer cruise entertainment, with a whopping seven new shows announced earlier this year.

The popular Mediterranean brand has a new production company called Carousel Productions at Sea which has created the new spectacles exclusively for MSC Meraviglia Class ships – and, to loosely translate from Italian, they do sound pretty marvellous.


What entertainment is on MSC Cruises?

The shows unite amazing acrobatics, dance and music to create a multi-sensory entertainment experience with light, sound and jaw-dropping acrobatic performances. What’s that? You can’t even do a cartwheel?

Yes, prepare to reminisce about those school gymnastic lessons and wonder what could have happened if only you’d applied yourself a weensy bit more – these performers have been hand-selected from all over the world for their unique performance skills and trained to impeccable standards for the productions.

Not to worry, you’ll get to relax in comfort, drink in hand, in The Carousel Lounge, an intimate state-of-the-art venue, as you soak up the incredible 40-minute-long acts.

The 1,000m2, custom-built, multi-million Euro glamorous spot can accommodate up to only 400 guests so you’re guaranteed an intimate performance – and no one will make you wear gym knickers.

MSC Virtuosa is just one of the MSC ships to boast Carousel productions – alongside sister vessels MSC Meraviglia, MSC Bellissima and MSC Grandiosa.

The ship sailed its maiden cruise in May 2021 and is one of the most environmentally-sound ships at sea. It’s also filled to the brim with whizzy and distinctive elements from robots to waterparks.

MSC Virtuosa

What entertainment is on MSC Virtuosa?

There are two impressive shows that play uniquely on MSC Virtuosa: Ajedrez and Arkymea.

Ajedrez is an operatic rock spectacular inspired by chess. In a plot worthy of a Netflix rom-com, but infinitely more dramatic, two opposing queens battle it out to win the heart of one king. Yep, like in chess, we see what they did there.

Expect other familiar faces from the traditional board game, from bishop to knights, as a ticking chess clock builds to the exciting denouement. Gosh, we wonder who gets the boy in the end…

The second show is Arkymea in which the lead character is a scientist who discovers a hidden world where anything is possible.

Intrigued? Putting a mysterious device to use, the scientist breaks through dimensions to reach Arkymea, a peculiar place where extravagant characters break out in acrobatic feats and where magic comes to life. Bugger, we wish we’d tried harder in chemistry, the things we could have achieved!

If you leave feeling over-awed by what you have seen (and underwhelmed at your own lack of singing, dancing, tight-roping prowess) – head to the bar.

Of course, as with the shows, this is not just any bar, this is an MSC bar. The barman at MSC Starship Club? Not a man or a woman – it’s a robot. Rob (good pun MSC) is the first humanoid robotic bartender at sea and might well be the closest you get to a real-life C-3PO.

So how does it work? And does he know his mai tais from his mojitos? Well, guests will use specifically designed vertical digital cockpits within the area to place their orders before Rob gets to work. He can pour spirits, juices and syrups; shake, build or stir the beverages and even garnish, plus he can speak eight languages – can your partner do that? We thought not.

Cosmic cocktails are served in custom-designed futuristic glasses and can be sipped amid a fully immersive, futuristic atmosphere complete with 3D holograms, a digital art wall and a 12-seater infinity digital interactive table. We definitely don’t have a bad feeling about this.

If you’re after something a bit more, well, down to earth, there are many other lounges to choose from onboard MSC Virtuosa. The Sky Lounge offers fabulous views through floor to ceiling windows and is the ideal spot for an aperitif or after-dinner cocktail. Sit back in the comfy sofas and enjoy the vistas while listening to live piano music.

For a livelier joint, head to Attic Club – a chic nightclub boasting an extensive list of cocktails where you can boogie the night away as DJs play dance and club favourites. Hey, maybe after a few martinis you’ll feel ready to join the Carousel troupe!

Entertainment is far from limited to just the nighttime on MSC Cruises ships, though. To get your own adrenaline pumping, check out the onboard MSC Formula Racer. You’ll be in the driver’s seat of a racing car going head to head against other petrolheads in a virtual-reality race. Watch out Lewis Hamilton.

If you’d rather enjoy some al fresco fun, hit the Savannah Waterpark – it’s said to be one of the most exhilarating of its kind at sea. Expect three twisting slides and a plethora of pools, features and activities for cruisers of all ages.

There’s also a ‘Himalayan Bridge’ – an 80m sky walk across a suspension bridge at the aft of the ship 60 metres above sea level. Nervy? Remember, if the Carousel acrobats can do what they do – you can do this. Do that PE teacher proud.

If not, hey, go visit Rob. Sipping on a refreshing, well-garnished drink? That’s something we can all do, with or without gym knickers.

Published 06.03.22