They phased this in almost 3 years ago, moving to one or two person acts using electronics to mimic steel drums, and now I believe it is mostly just an on-deck disc jockey. There were various excuses given, with the most used being that calypso bands were a one-trick pony and they took up crew space that could be used for more versatile musical acts.
I think it is really this: Carnival needs to appeal to younger people for future business, and the truth is steel drum music doesn't interest young people as much as it used to. It seems kitschy to them.
DJ IRIE is part of the "Fun Ship 2.0" enhancements that they are putting on all the new ships and the older ships as they are being refurbished. The idea behind DJ IRIE is the music you hear throughout the ship is different in each section of the ship. I'm talking about the background music, not the live music. It is designed to enhance you vacation by setting the mood and ambiance for wherever you are on the ship. For instance; if you are in a lounge/bar with an Asian theme you will hear music of that flavor. The Serenity area - a more relaxed, softer music. Red Frog Pub- a more upbeat, fun music.
We just returned from our cruise on the Carn Glory. Yes the live bands on Lido are gone. As part of the 2.0 make over cutbacks. As it is the same with most other areas on the ship .On Lido the DJ plays programmed music to welcome all the Caribbean bound cruisers very loud modern basically today music . It didn't set the mood for us. The big shows are gone , No more vegas type shows , cut back to 8 singers /dancers with computer graphics on screen. The 2.0 makeover has good points too. But music cutbacks suck.We did enjoy our cruise in spite of changes. Since Carnival doesn 't do the island for our next cruise. it looks like th Emerald Princess might fill the bill ,10 days southern caribbean. Any input would be helpfull, our first time on Princess. Happy cruising.
lookin to cruise
ncl ms norway, sundream cruises ms carousel, carnival victory, carnival legend, carnival valor ,carnival freedom,carnival dream, carnival glory 2013, emerald princess (in the works feb 2014.)