Changing the shape and fabric of Cruise Shows.
The realization of my idea mapped out on a cocktail napkin on a Princess Cruises holiday with DJ around the world in 2000, I thought it may be possible to use Broadway talent (creative & production teams, construction shops and performers) to develop and produce a higher quality of show for cruise ships.
After running the anticipated numbers, and spending several months in research and planning, it proved to be a valid idea just needing me to seek the right cruise line partner. Adding the validation of Nederlander as a theatre venue owner, through my network of friends, we then took the idea to Celebrity Cruises, to pitch and ultimately build out my plan.
Shortly after, we had 4 Broadway-style shows opened in Europe on a spectacular 5 star floating palace… the GTS Constellation cruise ship in 2002, at the time, the worlds largest cruise ship.
The GTS Constellation (Gas Turbine System) owned by Celebrity Cruises was built in St. Nazaire, France but registered in Liberia, and embarked on her maiden voyage in 2002. 946.6 ft long, 105.6 ft wide the ship had 11 decks, 10 elevators, a guest capacity of 1,950 over 1019 staterooms & suites plus crew of 999 from over 50 nations with most officers from Greece. Captained by Ioannis Papanikoulau and Hotel Manager George Traganis.
The multi-level proscenium Celebrity Theater had a seating capacity of 900, and was designed for state-of-the-art technology in mind including stage elevators, lifts, flys and control, allowing us to produce 4 Broadway style shows, each with 2 performances a night, rotating in repertory with the other 3 shows, for a total of 8 performances during each cruise.
For the several months living on the ship from dry dock through sea trials, and then rolling out the various shows in actual passenger sailings, I was lucky to be classified as VIP guest passenger and not as crew, and generally lived on the Sky deck rear corner of the ship in stateroom #9156 with a huge verandah (the furtherest from the theatre as possible), and for some occasional cruises was upgraded to try out different suites.
Primary Ports (in rotation) included St. Nazaire (dry dock), France; Barcelona, Spain; Villefranche (Nice & Monte Carlo) France; Ajaccio, Corsica; Citiavechia (Rome), Italy; Naples, Italy; Valetta, Malta; at sea; Barcelona, Spain; Villefranche (Nice & Monte Carlo) France; Ajaccio, Corsica; Citiavechia (Rome), Italy; Naples, Italy; Valetta, Malta; at sea; Barcelona, Spain; at sea; Malaga, Spain; Lisbon, Portugal; Vigo, Spain; at sea; Le Havre (Paris), France; Zeebrugge (Brussels), Belgium; at sea; Hamburg, Germany; at sea; Oslo, Norway; at sea; Dover (London), England; at sea; Oslo, Norway; at sea; Stockholm, Sweden; Helsinki, Finland; St. Petersburg, Russia; Tallin, Estonia; at sea; Warnermunde (Rostock & Berlin), Germany; Copenhagen, Denmark; at sea; Dover (London), England.