Monday, August 16, 2010

Karaoke taking over the high seas.

Finally, I can sing "Caribbean Queen" by Billy Ocean in the Caribbean Ocean! Item!
Gone are the days of cruise ship karaoke singers screaming "I Will Survive" to a taped backing track.

Karaoke, the popular onboard diversion, has evolved to include video games with virtual instruments, professional recording studios and "American Idol"-style competitions. The latest option for those looking to belt out (or butcher) pop hits in front of fellow cruisers? Carnival Cruise Lines has begun offering karaoke backed by a live house band.

By year's end, Carnival will feature live band-backed karaoke on 12 of its ships, with professional musicians playing guitar, bass, drums and keyboard, and backup singers providing the harmonies. Passengers can croon or caterwaul over 100 popular songs from artists like ABBA, Zac Brown Band, the Beatles, Taylor Swift, Bon Jovi and Lady Gaga. The program, called "Superstar Live Karaoke," is already available onboard Carnival Conquest and Carnival Valor, and later this week, the offering will debut on Carnival Pride. Interested passengers need only sign up with the on-site host in the Superstar Live Karaoke lounge after boarding to participate -- availability will be on a first-come, first-served basis.

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