Dispatch, Allure of the Seas: Show time

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Cruise editor Johanna Jainchill is in Finland, touring Royal Caribbean's unfinished Allure of the Seas. Her second dispatch follows.

TURKU, Finland — Lisa Bauer, Royal Caribbean’s senior vice president of hotel operations, said that the 5,400-passenger Allure of the Seas would be the ship of entertainment when it debuts in November.

If a cruise ship leaning on its entertainment sounds like déjà vu, it's because when the Norwegian Epic launched earlier this summer in New York, Norwegian Cruise Line also focused on the vessel’s entertainment lineup, calling it the "hallmark" of its 4,100-passenger newbuild.

Only a few years ago cruise lines competed to have the most unique, headline-grabbing amenities, an arms race that delivered bowling alleys, surfing machines and real lawns.

Now it seems that the cruise lines are banking on luring passengers with a variety of entertainment options, often brand-name.

Speaking at the STX Finland shipyard, where the Allure is under construction, Bauer pointed to the Broadway musical "Chicago," which will be the headline show in the ship’s 1,340-seat main theater main theater.

She also talked about the addition of two ice shows in Studio B: Ice Games, a performance inspired by the board game Monopoly, and a performance based on the DreamWorks film "How to Train Your Dragon."

Royal Caribbean partnered with DreamWorks this year to incorporate its characters and animated films into the line’s onboard activities and entertainment, starting on the Allure.

The ship will also introduce a new water show, "Let You Entertain Me," in its outdoor AquaTheater. The show features the characters of DreamWorks' "Madagascar" and a new diving show called "Ocean Aria."

In all, the ship will have four franchises between the musical, ice shows, diving shows and the Dreamworks character entertainment, which will also include parades and character meals as well as first-run 3D movies.

Click to read Johanna's first dispatch.

Click to see photos of the unfinished Allure.

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