A performance of Celine Dion’s Titanic theme, an app in place of the cruise director and themed events sporadically occurring around the ship were among a number of surprising twists on traditional cruise entertainment revealed by Virgin Voyages for its first vessel.
The performance of Dion’s 1997 track My Heart Will Go On occurred in the closing moments of Untitled DanceShowPartyThing, an immersive dance experience shown for media and trade partners during a weekend showcase onboard the adults-only Scarlet Lady in Dover on 21-22 February.
Many would consider the song a bold choice for use by a maritime company but Chris Stubbs, the line’s director of sailor [its term for guests] experience, says Virgin Voyages is “all about doing things tongue-in-cheek”.
“We don’t take ourselves too seriously,” he tells TTG when asked of the idea behind featuring it. “We just want to play and do what nobody will expect.”
Untitled DanceShowPartyThing features nearly two hours’ worth of flash mob-style dancing, a rotating stage, trippy visuals (including sections of the show being narrated by a cosmic cat) and a giant inflatable pink whale.
The show, which will be performed during the first night of itineraries during Scarlet Lady’s inaugural season, was secretly road-tested on land at New York nightclub Le Poisson Rouge.
“It was unbranded and we never told anyone it was Virgin Voyages, we just advertised an epic dance show,” says Stubbs. “We ended up doing two shows for about 200 people each time.”
Untitled… is one of many immersive experiences encountered onboard, with others being a masked carnival procession making its way through the ship (which TTG duly joined for some festive fun) and an interview with the line’s president Tom McAlpin being suddenly interrupted by a ‘sex therapist’.