Most cruise ships have excellent entertainment on board. Some have Broadway quality singing and dancing. One cruise we took had some wonderful family-friendly comedians. Holland America continued this excellent entertainment in their Lincoln Center venue.
The Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts and Holland America created a partnership where top drawer classical music is available on Holland America cruise ships. The Lincoln Center stage was my favorite performance venue on the ship and I went to at least one concert per day. The performing group onboard the Eurodam was a string quartet called Atlys with a pianist.
The resulting string quintet played a variety of music, from Bach to the Beetles. They played three concerts a day, five days a week. The usual cruise is seven days long and the quintet had a large enough repertoire for 15 concerts. But our cruise was 17 days long, so we had a chance to hear each concert several times. I usually went to the 3 p.m. concert which was so popular that you had to get there at least half an hour ahead of time to get a seat.
The quintet has four young women who played with passion and enthusiasm. Their Dvork String Quintet Number 2 was spectacular and got a standing ovation. I also really enjoyed their performance of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. Their arrangements of modern music were more hit and miss. Coldplay was too dissonant for me. Guaraldi’s Linus and Lucy, combined with Bach’s Cello Suite Number 6, created a mess with too much going on. But the arrangements of the Beetles and Radiohead were wonderful. Of course, anything that started out as chamber music was spectacular when played by this group on the Lincoln Center State.
John Arndt performed with the quintet at the Lincoln Center Stage on the piano. He also did a lot of arranging of the music played by the quintet. In addition to being a great pianist he is also a composer.
Tom and I went to several additional entertainment events on the Mainstage. These are supposed to be the headliner performers. While we enjoyed the comedian-juggler Randy Cabral, we were disappointed by the comedy of Frances Dilorinzo. Her observations about the differences between men and women got old pretty fast.
I went to one show featuring Eurodam’s Singers and Dancers. The volume on the singers was TOO LOUD but the dancers were good. The biggest problem with their performance was that it didn’t make any sense. They were trying to tell some big story about ecology but it didn’t hold together at all. By the end of the show I was glad to leave.
The best Mainstage performance was “Frozen Planet Live” with video and stories from BBCEarth and live music by the string quintet and the Billboard band. The combination of the stories with the live music was an emotional journey through the Arctic and Antarctic. Great videography and entertaining music.
In addition to going “out” to performances, Tom and I had a lot of choices of entertainment on the television in our room. We watched a lot of shows from BBCEarth and binged an entire season of Big Band Theory. We also watched several movies. There was no shortage of entertainment during our days on the Eurodam.