"American Idol" and "Dreamgirls" star Jennifer Hudson joined Carnival Cruise Lines CEO Gerry Cahill on stage to make the point that Carnival is serious about bringing big-name artists to the stages of its ships.
In April, Carnival will launch an experience branded "Carnival LIVE" featuring live performances by artists including Hudson, Chicago, Styx, .38 Special, Foreigner, Gavin DeGraw, Jewel, Kansas, LeAnn Rimes, Olivia Newton-John, REO Speedwagon, Lady Antebellum, Daughtry, Martina McBride and Trace Adkins.
The artists will join ships at homeports in Cozumel, Nassau and Catalina Island, playing the last night of one cruise and the first night of the next. The performers will be in the main show lounge, and will not be sailing.
The shows will not be included in the fare; tickets will cost $20 to $40, and can be purchased in advance through the line's web-based shore excursion system, or onboard at the shore excursion desk, if available.
VIP tickets, selling for $100 to $150 each, will include a meet-and-greet with photo opportunities, a laminated concert pass and seating in the first three rows.
The full list of artists and dates is on Carnival.com/CarnivalLive