I’m very lucky to have gone on one of Royal Caribbean’s latest ships, less than 2 months old at the time of cruising, The Anthem Of The Seas. This itinerary I went on went to Gijon, Bilbao, Guernsey, and Paris, sailing from Southampton. I’ve been on many cruises in my almost 21 years of being alive. Things have changed a lot in cruising, especially as far as entertainment goes on cruise ships. In lieu of having a different show every day, there are only a handful of shows on a ship and these are more elaborate than the shows from the old days, with better effects. You also can guarantee your place so you won’t miss a show. No need to fight over a seat! There are better venues and better technology and more money can be put towards the production of a show. These new shows on the cruises can be anything from magic shows to musicals. On this cruise the Broadway show was We Will Rock You!, which is a tribute to Queen and has classic rock references galore in the dialogue, perfect for an avid classic rock fan. As well as We Will Rock You! Royal Caribbean has productions of Mamma Mia! and Saturday Night Fever on their other cruise ships.
I went into the show with no knowledge about the musical itself, but I am a fan of Queen and I know a lot of their songs. What’s the iPlanet? Who are the Ga Ga Kids? I have never seen the show on the West End or Broadway, but I’ve heard from a friend of mine that it was so good he saw it more than once. I had high expectations and I was impressed. I went out of the show itching to listen to more Queen. Too bad internet packages were too dear on the cruise ship because I would turn on Spotify or YouTube and rocked out to Queen all night. The setting is in this futuristic world where rock is pretty much dead and forgotten. The protagonists are the rocker looking Galileo Figaro and the gothic looking, later punk looking after her makeover by The Bohemians, Scaramouche (Bohemian Rhapsody references). The Bohemians take their names from rock and pop icons and legends. Galileo Figaro, Scaramouche, and The Bohemians are the few people on the iPlanet keeping the memory of rock and roll alive. For example, Galileo has song lyrics from the lost classic rock songs stuck in his head. The Bohemians’ hangout, The Hard Rock Café (in other productions, it is called the Heartbreak Hotel), is decorated with concert posters of 60s, 70s, and 80s rock bands. Their enemy is the Killer Queen (that’s the name of a Queen song). In this world there’s a school that brainwashes the youth into being vapid drones who make computerised music without any instruments or human vocals. Their goal is to go to The Hard Rock Cafe and then on to Graceland to find the guitar they have heard about. However, the Killer Queen and her followers did everything they could to stop them from bringing back rock and roll. The musical reminds me a bit of the Ramones movie Rock n Roll High School, not only because it was about a youth subculture and about rebelling against “the man”, but also because most of the Bohemians in this production of We Will Rock You! have a punk look, albeit a more 80s-ish and crossed a bit with the raver subculture. The musical included a lot of Queen’s hits. At the end it left me with suspense and the audience thought they wouldn’t do Bohemian Rhapsody, but they cleverly put a question on the screen asking if you really wanted to hear Bohemian Rhapsody. Of course we do. How can you not have a Queen tribute show without that song! It was a great way to finish off the show and it was a spectacular performance. The strongest moments in the show were the songs “I Want to Break Free”, “Under Pressure”, “Seven Seas of Rhye”, “We Will Rock You/We Are The Champions”, and “Bohemian Rhapsody”. During the show there was no intermission and the duration of the show was 1 hour and 45 minutes. I also liked the way big screens were utilised to make sets and it added to the futuristic look of the iPlanet.
Overall, I would absolutely recommend this show if you’re going on Royal Caribbean’s Anthem Of The Seas. It would definitely be a great thing to see on your holiday. This was one of my favourite parts of the cruise ship. By the way, another show on the ship called Spectra’s Cabaret has a segment where “Within You Without You” is sung by a performer with psychedelic graphics shown in the background. Some other rock gems you’ll find on the ship include a classic rock reference in one of the drink names in the Music Hall Bar, “Whiskey In The Jar” – called Whiskey In A Jar in the menu. Probably a reference to the Irish traditional song that was famously done by The Dubliners in the 60s and Thin Lizzy in the 70s. If dancing tickles your fancy, you’ll want to check out a tribute they do to rock and roll classics from as early as the 50s to today called Anthem Rocks. In addition, the guitarist from We Will Rock You! does a Beatles tribute show.