BeetleJuice! Beetlejuice! Beetlejuice! That's the name of the latest straight-from-Broadway musical to debut onboard a Norwegian Cruise Line ship. The show will headline the entertainment onboard Norwegian Viva when the second Prima-class ship debuts in August.
Travel partners and media were treated to a preview of the undead entertainment at an event in Manhattan on Wednesday night. Fresh from his appointment as the new president of Norwegian Cruise Line, David J. Herrera was introduced by Norwegian Bliss godfather Elvis Duran and co-host Medha Ghandi from "Elvis Duran and The Morning Show."
"We do all we can to bring these unique experiences via our entertainment," Herrera said. "Entertainment has become our calling card [at Norwegian]."
Herrera was joined by Richard Ambrose, Norwegian's senior vice president of entertainment and cruise programs, who recounted the call he received 18 years ago while living in New York City. "They wanted to know if I would come to work for them, and they told me they wanted Broadway."
"What's amazing about it is they knew what they wanted, and they literally put their money where their mouth is," Ambrose said. "The Norwegian Viva and sister ship Norwegian Prima is where you really see it. We have built the most amazing venue at sea, the Viva Theatre and Nightclub… We just keep on innovating more and more and our job is to deliver that guest experience to continue to wow them and exceed their expectations — and we do that ship after ship."
Ambrose was then interrupted by a man with wild green hair and a black-and-white pinstripe suit who proclaimed, "I've been dead a long time and I want to Viva! I really want to live it up," before he broke into song.
Norwegian Viva's production of "Beetlejuice" is being developed in part by the original designers and creative team for the show. Michelle D'Amico, a cast member of the Broadway production, will play Lydia (Winona Ryder) for the first at-sea rendition. The musical adaptation of Tim Burton's spooky-but-comedic 1988 film of the same name debuted on Broadway in 2019.
The 3,219-passenger Norwegian Viva will launch later this summer with signature NCL attractions like a top-deck Speedway racetrack, as well as nine new dining and beverage options. In addition to "Beetlejuice," Viva will offer a take on the classic game show experience "Press Your Luck LIVE" in its theater, as well as "Ocean Music Fest," a jam session that takes place after hours in the night club.
Joining sister ship Norwegian Prima, Viva boasts a high ratio of square footage per passenger. Viva will sail a variety of Mediterranean itineraries, including the Greek Isles, before repositioning to San Juan, Puerto Rico in December for a winter season of Caribbean sailings.