Electric Guitar Rentals on Cruise Ships: Good or Bad?

Norwegian Epic Cruise Ship

Norwegian Cruise Line will soon debut its newest, and largest, vessel aptly named “Epic.” NCL is promising that the 153,000-ton, 4,200-passenger ship will take cruise entertainment to the next level. However, some of the new programs, like electric guitar rentals, may scare off more customers than they attract.

The Norwegian Epic has some entertainment options we’re excited about such as Vegas acts like Blue Man Group. Legends in Concert may not be something I’d pay to see in Vegas, but I’d still definitely attend an inclusive evening show on the ship.

Electric guitar rentals on-board are another story. At 27, I’m not sure I fit the demographic that cruise lines consider their bread-and-butter clients, but even at my age, when I’m resting in my cabin after a long day of activities or even an afternoon catnap, the last thing I want to hear is my cabin-neighbor learning how to play the electric guitar. NCL is providing headphones to go along with the package that also includes the guitar and amplifier, though I can’t imagine they would stay plugged in for long. “Hey mom, listen to what I just learned how to play,” followed by the worst version of Smoke on the Water you’ve ever heard.

For me, cruising isn’t a time for single-person activities to perform in your cabin, it’s about the social experience and having fun. So, I have a better idea for those itching for a little musical release without bothering the neighbors: A Guitar Hero Tournament.

Many ships already have video games like this set up in the kids programs, but why not make it adult friendly? Hold a tournament with the finals to be played in the auditorium on the big screen backed by the theater’s sound system and invite other passengers. This would be far more entertaining for more people (kids AND adults) and be far less of an annoyance for everyone else on board who may not have the patience to deal with a Jimmy Hendrix wannabe next door.

Norwegian Cruise Line is on the right track, they just need to adjust their strategy so that their programs don’t make some passengers think twice about booking.

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