This Jan 22, 2014 photo released by Starpix shows singer Jennifer Hudson performing at an event to launch  Carnival LIVE,  a first-of-its kind on-board
This Jan 22, 2014 photo released by Starpix shows singer Jennifer Hudson performing at an event to launch Carnival LIVE, a first-of-its kind on-board concert series by Carnival Cruise Lines in New York. Before she blasted to stardom on "American Idol" and "Dreamgirls," Hudson sang on a cruise ship. And on Wednesday, the singer returned as the headliner for a new concert series on Carnival Cruise Lines called Carnival Live. Hudson is scheduled to perform June 18 on Carnival Ecstasy and June 19 on Carnival Breeze, both in Cozumel, Mexico. (AP Photo/Starpix, Kristina Bumphrey)

Carnival Cruise Lines is following the game plan that theme parks have mastered, offering up big-name musical acts to drum up business.

The Carnival Live Concert Series was announced Thursday, with acts such as Jennifer Hudson, Jewel, Lady Antebellum and Chicago set to perform on various cruises in 2014.

Hudson, who got her show business start performing aboard Disney Cruise Line and is the godmother to the Disney Dream, will be back to her seafaring ways performing aboard the Carnival Ecstasy and Carnival Breeze for two dates in June.

“Performing live is one of my favorite things,” Hudson said at a launch event for the event in New York. “I'm excited to be part of this unique concert series that will allow me to interact with my fans in such an intimate and memorable setting.”

In total, 49 performances from 15 performers are slated for eight ships sailing out of a variety of ports on sailings from April through the end of the year.

The acts are Trace Adkins, Chicago, Daughtry, Gavin DeGraw, Foreigner, Jennifer Hudson, Jewel, Kansas, Lady Antebellum, Martina McBride, Olivia Newton-John, REO Speedwagon, Leann Rimes, Styx and .38 Special.

Out of PortMiami, acts will be on either the Carnival Ecstasy or Carnival Breeze. Port Canaveral acts will perform on the Sensation, Port of Tampa acts on the Paradise and Jacksonville sailings will be on the Fascination. Some acts will perform out of Charleston, S.C., and Los Angeles as well.

The musicians will perform while the cruise lines are in port, and will cost attendees $20-$40 for regular admission or $100-$150 for VIP, which includes a meet-and-greet, photos, seating in the first three rows and commemorative laminated concert pass.

On top of the headlining acts, Carnival announced the expansion of what they bill as enhanced shipboard house bands across the entire fleet. Nine of Carnival's 24 ships already feature the bands, which feature both male and female lead singers, more choreography and theming as well as a wider range set list and more interaction with cruisers.

“Onboard entertainment is an important part of the overall guest experience when cruising,” said Mark Tamis, senior vice president of guest operations for Carnival Cruise Lines. “With the Carnival Live Concert Series, our guests will enjoy an exclusive performance with one of their favorite artists for an extraordinary value. Combined with our enhanced house bands fleetwide, this is just another example of the many ways we are constantly looking to create even more fun and memorable moments for our guests.”

Here is the complete schedule by band, with dates, port of departure, ship and destination:

TRACE ADKINS

Oct. 13: Jacksonville Fascination Nassau, The Bahamas

Oct. 14: Port Canaveral Sensation Nassau, The Bahamas

Nov. 24: Jacksonville Fascination Nassau, The Bahamas

Nov. 25: Charleston Fantasy Nassau, The Bahamas

CHICAGO

June 3: Tampa Paradise Cozumel, Mexico

June 4: Miami Ecstasy Cozumel, Mexico

DAUGHTRY

Dec. 3: Jacksonville Fascination Nassau, The Bahamas

Dec. 4: Charleston Fantasy Nassau, The Bahamas

GAVIN DeGRAW

Aug. 20: Miami Ecstasy Cozumel, Mexico

Aug. 21: Tampa Paradise Cozumel, Mexico

FOREIGNER

May 9: Port Canaveral Sensation Nassau, The Bahamas

May 10: Miami Ecstasy Nassau, The Bahamas

JENNIFER HUDSON

June 18: Miami Ecstasy Cozumel, Mexico

June 19: Miami Breeze Cozumel, Mexico

JEWEL

Nov. 10: Los Angeles Imagination Catalina Island, CA

Nov. 11: Los Angeles Inspiration Catalina Island, CA

KANSAS

April 15: Port Canaveral Sensation Nassau, The Bahamas

April 16: Jacksonville Fascination Nassau, The Bahamas

May 21: Miami Ecstasy Cozumel, Mexico

May 22: Miami Breeze Cozumel, Mexico

Sept. 23: Port Canaveral Sensation Nassau, The Bahamas

Sept. 24: Jacksonville Fascination Nassau, The Bahamas

Nov. 13: Charleston Fantasy Nassau, The Bahamas

Nov. 14: Port Canaveral Sensation Nassau, The Bahamas

LADY ANTEBELLUM

Nov. 19: Miami Ecstasy Cozumel, Mexico

Nov. 20: Miami Breeze Cozumel, Mexico

MARTINA McBRIDE

May 14: Miami Ecstasy Cozumel, Mexico

May 15: Tampa Paradise Cozumel, Mexico

OLIVIA NEWTON-JOHN

June 27: Port Canaveral Sensation Nassau, The Bahamas

June 28: Miami Ecstasy Nassau, The Bahamas

REO SPEEDWAGON

April 22: Tampa Paradise Cozumel, Mexico

April 23: Miami Ecstasy Cozumel, Mexico

Sept. 22: Los Angeles Imagination Catalina Island, CA

Sept. 23: Los Angeles Inspiration Catalina Island, CA

Dec. 15: Charleston Fantasy Nassau, The Bahamas

Dec. 16: Port Canaveral Sensation Nassau, The Bahamas

Dec. 17: Jacksonville Fascination Nassau, The Bahamas

LEANN RIMES

Oct. 28: Port Canaveral Sensation Nassau, The Bahamas

Oct. 29: Charleston Fantasy Nassau, The Bahamas

STYX

April 7: Charleston Fantasy Nassau, The Bahamas

April 8: Jacksonville Fascination Nassau, The Bahamas

Sept. 15: Los Angeles Imagination Catalina Island, CA

Sept. 16: Los Angeles Inspiration Catalina Island, CA

Sept. 29: Jacksonville Fascination Nassau, The Bahamas

Sept. 30: Port Canaveral Sensation Nassau, The Bahamas

Oct. 8: Miami Ecstasy Cozumel, Mexico

Oct. 9: Miami Breeze Cozumel, Mexico

.38 SPECIAL

Sept. 6: Jacksonville Fascination Nassau, The Bahamas

Sept. 7: Charleston Fantasy Nassau, The Bahamas

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