Broadway Cruise Sets Sail from NYC to Bermuda in the Spring of 2023, Featuring a Star-Studded Cast of Broadway Favorites Including Laura Benanti, Kristin Chenoweth and Alan Cumming
The Great White Wave Is Set To Hit the High Seas
From March 31st through April 5th of 2023, aquatic-minded Broadway superfans can get their sea legs aboard a luxury cruise from New York City to Bermuda, along with some of the biggest names in the business.
Cruise lines have been doing many types of themed cruises including excursions for wrestling fans, cat lovers, knitting circles, genealogy enthusiasts as well as every imaginable music genre. Decades like the 50s and 80s, TV/film themes like Harry Potter and The Walking Dead, religion and even NASCAR draw travelers of all ages and backgrounds onto the ships.
Broadway on the High Seas
This particular voyage will feature several Tony nominees and winners including crowd-pleasers Laura Benanti (Gypsy), Kristin Chenoweth (Wicked), Alan Cumming (Cabaret), Sierra Boggess (Phantom of the Opera), Lena Hall (Hedwig and the Angry Inch), Joshua Henry (Scottsboro Boys), Jeremy Jordan (Newsies), Taylor Loudermilk (Mean Girls) and popular parodist Randy Rainbow.
The five night cruise on the impressive Norwegian Gem vessel offers a variety of accommodations, performance venues, dining options, and payment plans.
In addition to grand scale performances from the starry line-up, Broadway cruisers can expect intimate concerts and cabarets, as well as advice and industry insights. Planned events include immersive experiences like celebrity meet-and-greets, panel discussions, late night sing-a-longs and Broadway style karaoke and bingo.
For those who have been dragged along by their Broadway-loving family members, plenty of non-theatre activities and excursions are also available to keep them sane.
Sailing the High (Cost) Seas
While the prices are generally all-inclusive (small print fees notwithstanding), the vacation would not be considered budget friendly, especially since the duration of the trip falls short of a week.
Given that the clientele (largely tourists looking to get up close and personal with Broadway’s elite) are likely used to shelling out big bucks for Broadway tickets, the cruise may seem like a good value. For example, 2 people could book an interior cabin on The Broadway Cruise for about $3,000 per couple.
While this amount does include the basics (meals, lodging and entertainment), it does not include alcohol, spa services, daily onboard fees, an automatic 20% gratuity, pre-cruise or post-cruise airfare, ground transportation or lodging, specialty restaurants or any tours, events or meals in the ports of call. Those additional costs can add up very quickly.
All on the Same Boat
Naturally, lavish entertainment with high production values has been a mainstay on cruise ships for decades but musical theatre fans tend to be more discerning regarding acoustics and the sonic experience of it all.
Passengers needn’t worry as Sixthman, the company behind the endeavor, has more than 20 years of experience outfitting ships for exactly these types of ventures. Plus, with such a range of opportunities, guests are sure to find a performance they can enjoy.
What motivates Broadway stars to be on such an adventure? Well, it’s nice work if you can get it.
"Broadway on the High Seas" in 2017 Did Not Work Out Too Well
In 2017 leading lady Melissa Errico was invited to perform as well as bring her whole family on a “Broadway on the High Seas” cruise organized by Playbill magazine. The My Fair Lady star was a bit unnerved when Phil Birsh, president of Playbill publishing gathered Errico (as well as Broadway stalwarts Alice Ripley and Brian Stokes Mitchell) to inform them that the 250 fans were NOT stalkers. She noted that everyone was on display for better or for worse, guests and performers alike.
But it wasn’t all smooth sailing. There was seasickness. There was vulnerability. There were life jacket drills. And there were incidental reminders from guests that the talent was still seen as the hired help.
One passenger mindlessly remarked that they would give Errico a high evaluation, an unwitting critical comment intended as simple praise. Ultimately, Errico enjoyed the gig, especially the camaraderie with her peers, but none of them ever forgot that they were there to put on a show.
In the wake of the pandemic, Broadway luminaries may not be as willing to mingle so freely.
Not the Only Ship in Town
Some may consider a Broadway cruise niche but the sheer amount of cruise lines out there offering similar experiences suggests otherwise.
In addition to The Broadway Cruise (a grand affair, to be sure), folks seeking maritime musicals can look to the aforementioned Playbill Broadway Cruise (a smaller, more intimate vibe), Seth’s Big Fat Broadway Vacations (helmed by eminent music director Seth Rudetsky) and even Disney Cruise Lines (more family oriented), for a theatrically themed vacation.
Disney, in particular, has gone beyond simply inviting Broadway stars to perform but curating their own branded musicals, written and designed expressly for their fleet of ships.
The Broadway Cruise was delayed by the coronavirus pandemic, which means that the upcoming cruise in 2023 will be its maiden voyage. Strict safety regulations and protocols have been put in place to ensure everyone’s safety.
All guests 12 and over (including all artists and crew) aboard The Broadway Cruise are required to be fully vaccinated and present proof of vaccination to embark.
In pre-pandemic times the only mask was worn by the Phantom, but now, although face masks are not currently required, things may change closer to the date.