How to Have a Las Vegas Holiday Without Going to Vegas

Looking for a taste of the high life on your next holiday? You’d expect musical extravaganzas in lavish theatres, song-and-dance shows pumping with energy, wickedly funny stand-up comedy and buzzy nightspots on a trip to Las Vegas. But you can have all that – and a lot more – in a fun-filled package much closer to home.

Epic Rock performance

Carnival Cruise Line’s two Australia-based ships, Carnival Legend and Carnival Spirit, offer entertainment galore on their cruises to the Pacific, around Australia and to New Zealand. Both ships feature spectacular shows: in the Follies Main Show Lounge on Legend and in the Pharaoh’s Palace Lounge on Spirit. And guess what? They’re completely free.

Follies Main Lounge is a magnificently opulent venue that hosts a range of Playlist Productions musical shows plus lavish Las Vegas-style entertainment.

The shows include Epic Rock, which celebrates the heyday of glam rock in the ’70s and ’80s with high-powered renditions of classics by Led Zeppelin, Guns ‘n’ Roses and Bon Jovi, among others such as 80s Pop to the Max. Expect razzle-dazzle lighting, special effects and super-slick dance moves.

There’s more music and dancing at Medusa’s Lair dance club, or why not check out the Punchliner Comedy Club in the Firebird Lounge for late-night comedy acts? If winding down to the smooth sounds of the resident piano player is more your scene, wander along to Billie’s Piano Bar, an Art Deco club with a stylish 1930s vibe.

Carnival comedy

Carnival Spirit’s main show lounge, Pharaoh’s Palace, is extravagantly decorated in the style of King Tutankhamun’s tomb, Egyptian hieroglyphics and lashings of gold. It showcases Epic Rock, 80s Pop to the Max, 88 Keys and Getaway Island as well as solo acts such as singers, musicians and magicians.

Just below Pharaoh’s Palace is the Versailles Lounge, a cabaret-style venue for the Punchliner comedy club and acts that suit an intimate ambience. Make your own music at karaoke sessions in the Shanghai Piano Bar or drop in later in the evening for a sing-along with the piano player. This popular spot is decked out with illuminated Chinese silk-screens and red-and-black lacquer furnishings – and it gets quite a buzz.

If the stage show gets you in the mood for dancing, make your way to the Dancin’ Nightclub by way of the new hip-and-happening Alchemy Bar, where you can build your own bespoke cocktails with the help of Carnival’s handpicked mixologists. DJs in the glitzy two-deck club play today’s hottest hits and golden oldies that will keep you on your toes until the wee small hours.

A Las Vegas-style holiday wouldn’t be complete without a flutter in the casino. Carnival Spirit’s Louis XIV Casino and Carnival Legend’s Club Merlin offer roulette, blackjack and poker tables along with 105 and 122 poker machines, respectively. Tournaments offer the chance to win big bucks.