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Cruise Concerts: How Much Too Much?

Now that cruise passengers are comfortable with paying extra for upscale restaurants, are concerts next?

For example, in Las Vegas, to see Celine Dion in a "small venue," your ticket price starts at $117. Donny and Marie starts at $108. Elton John is $115…Rod Stewart $89. You get the picture.

Our last stadium concert event was country super star Tim McGraw, near San Diego. With tickets almost $100 each and a two-hour drive to get there, we figured the evening cost between $250 and $300 by the time you added over-priced food and over-priced gas. To make matters worse, we had to bob and weave to see the stage through the flailing arms of other concert-goers, and…don't get us started.

On the way back, we decided we'd rather have paid $100 to see it (that would have been nice) on TV. Even better would have been to pay more to see the show in a small venue…like a cruise ship.

Maybe the biggest stars are still out of reach for cruise lines, but maybe not. Sitting with 500 other customers to watch a name act at work would provide an intimacy you can only find in small-venue Vegas these days. For that kind of show, when you've paid over $100 to bob and weave and not see the show, does the price really matter?

Crown Princess
12 nights
May 24, 2012
Venice, Dubrovnik, Corfu, Olympia, Athens, Mykonos, Ephesus, Santorini, Naples, Rome
Inside:  $999
Cost per day: $83


New Ways to Fill Cruise Bucket

For Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson, a Bucket List meant things like riding motorcycles on China’s Great Wall, laughing till they cried and kissing the most beautiful girl in the world (it turned out to be Nicholson’s on-screen granddaughter in the movie). For country singer Tim McGraw, it meant — in a song — riding a bull named Fu Manchu.

And for Americans who like to cruise?

Alaska, baby.

According to a survey conducted by Princess Cruise Lines, more Americans (25%) have on their travel bucket list the 49th state (and all the adventures that come with it) rather than cruising to such exotic places as the Amazon, Australia, Europe, Hawaii, Africa or the Panama Canal. In fact, the competitors weren’t even close, so evidently there are still many cruisers who haven’t seen Alaska.

Furthermore, 17% of them would like to go dog mushing on an Alaskan glacier, discover the lost city of Machu Picchu in Peru, or visit historic castles in Scotland. Therein lies a contradiction of sorts…Machu Picchu is an extremely expensive proposition any way you do it and Scotland…well, you know what they say about Scots!

But hey, it’s a Bucket List, and money is no object.

Thanks to the current social media tools — is there anything more current (seriously) than Facebook and Twitter? — Princess has made these determinations. At the same time, the cruise line is unveiling new cruisetour options, and enabling its customers to book them as they do shore excursions through Princess, rather than separately or at the destination.

Did we mention where the destination is? Oh, it’s Alaska.


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