This ‘strange and unusual’ Broadway musical is coming to Norwegian Cruise Line’s newest ship

23 March 2023

What better way to welcome the undead to the high seas than on a ship whose name means “to live”? Pull out your “Handbook for the Recently Deceased” and brace for sandworms: “Beetlejuice” is set to make its cruise ship debut on Norwegian Cruise Line‘s next vessel, Norwegian Viva.

“Our goal is to elevate the experiences that our guests have on the ship,” said incoming Norwegian Cruise Line president David J. Herrera. (Herrera will take over for Harry Sommer, who is stepping up to replace Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings president and CEO Frank Del Rio when he departs in July.) “One of those cornerstones … is our entertainment.”

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Harry the Hunter of “Beetlejuice” fame makes an appearance at a Norwegian Viva press event. ASHLEY KOSCIOLEK/THE POINTS GUY

During a live announcement at the Chelsea Piers in New York on Wednesday, main characters Beetlejuice and Lydia Deetz joined guests for an abridged rendition of “Say My Name,” a hilarious number where Beetlejuice tries to convince Lydia to say his name three times — the key to summoning him and his ghostly mischief.

Shrunken-headed favorite Harry the Hunter also made an appearance immediately prior to a “Dinner for the Recently Deceased,” which evoked the famous dinner party scene from the film, complete with a shockingly tasty beef dish that appeared to be plated on blood spatter.

A place setting at Norwegian Cruise Line’s “Dinner for the Recently Deceased” to announce the debut of “Beetlejuice” on Norwegian Viva. ASHLEY KOSCIOLEK/THE POINTS GUY

When Norwegian Viva begins sailing in August, the 90-minute Broadway adaptation of the 1988 movie directed by Tim Burton will star members of the actual Broadway cast and feature state-of-the-art special effects, lighting and audio.

“Beetlejuice” joins “Six” and “Jersey Boys” as one of three Broadway-style shows currently running on board Norwegian vessels.

A delicious beef dish that appeared to be plated on blood spatter during Norwegian’s “Dinner for the Recently Deceased.” ASHLEY KOSCIOLEK/THE POINTS GUY

“We do [entertainment] the best,” said Richard Ambrose, Norwegian’s senior vice president of entertainment and cruise programming. “People always say, ‘What about the other lines?’ … I really don’t care what they’re doing because my competition … is [Broadway], is the West End.”

In addition to the musical, Norwegian Viva will also host a live version of “Press Your Luck,” the game show of “no whammies” fame, as well as “Ocean Music Fest,” collaborative live jam sessions where onboard performers mix musical genres. Improv @ Sea comedy shows will also return, along with performances at Syd Norman’s Pour House, which is a carryover from sister ship Norwegian Prima.

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