NCL has some of the best entertainment of all the mainstream lines, including, aboard many of its ships, sketch comedy shows by members of the famed Second City comedy troupe, which launched the careers of such legends as Bill Murray, John Belushi, and Gilda Radner. Production shows are way above average, too, with talented performers and good choreography, costumes, and set design. A show called Tubez, offered aboard Pearl in 2007, was one of the few truly contemporary shows we've ever seen at sea, with a mix of older and recent pop hits, hip-hop-inflected choreography and ballet, a rapper as the lead male vocalist, and bizarro elements like BMX bicycle acrobatics. Bollywood- and South Beach-inspired shows in recent years have also been standouts. Ditto for most of the other performers, including the musicians and comedians who play the ships' lounge circuit. On Pride of America's Hawaii itineraries, 1 night a week is devoted to Polynesian music and dance, while another features an extra-cost production of the interactive off-Broadway hit Tony n' Tina's Wedding. The new Norwegian Epic features performances by the Blue Man Group, as well as an interactive, 2-hour dinner theater show staged by Cirque du Soleil.
For closet entertainers, the line puts on an American Idol kind of talent program called Star Seeker, which gives adults and kids the chance to prove themselves onstage. Videos of the performances serve as audition tapes for NCL's shore-side entertainment department, which sometimes hires the winners for one-time performances aboard a future (free) NCL cruise.
Big gamblers should avoid Pride of America, as Hawaiian law prohibits all gambling onboard.
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