Music Cruise Season 2012

| 11.17.11

For music lovers, there is a wealth of cruise options to see your favorite acts onboard.

I'm Ready to Rock with the Amazing lineup of talent on The Rock Legends Cruise

Music Cruise Season 2012
I am currently planning for the biggest music cruise I have ever attended - the first ever "Rock Legends Cruise" set to sail December 1st with a slate of extraordinary rock bands performing on a cruise ship for the very first time; ZZ Top, George Thorogood and The Destroyers, John Kay and Steppenwolf, The Marshall Tucker Band, Dickey Betts and Great Southern, Foghat, Johnny Winter, Edgar Winter (although the brothers will not be performing together), Molly Hatchet, The Outlaws, Blackfoot and Pat Travers. This cruise is a benefit for the Native American Heritage Association, and it is looking to be a very popular event.

Tickets are still available!, although this cruise is 90% sold out. If you are willing to share a stateroom there are some balcony cabins that accommodate third and fourth guests where if you split the cost four ways it comes out to just about $1800 per person. Just looking at the schedule for this event has my head reeling. They will have guitar legend Johnny Winter playing in one room while Molly Hatchet is in another. I will have to choose between George Thorogood and Marshall Tucker.

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Music Cruise Benefits

In my opinion you don't hear enough about music-theme cruises - one of the most immersive experiences possible for people who love music. The cruise ship environment means easy access to the venues and even the performers themselves, who are usually relaxed enough to actually spend time with you. This makes for special memories that last a lifetime.

Music theme cruises are already far more successful than most people probably imagine. Take the "Legendary Rhythm and Blues Cruise" for example, aka the LRBC. This company is now preparing its 18th and 19th voyage. Every year they present at least two regular cruises; one on the east coast and another on the west, each voyage featuring literally dozens of talented, professional blues musicians.

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The same is true for the annual Smooth Jazz Cruise, which is just one of several different jazz-based cruises offered every year. This Smooth Jazz Cruise company features full ship charters of two one-week cruises booked back to back. These cruises are so popular that the 2012 Smooth Jazz Cruise is already sold out. The 2013 smooth jazz cruise is already on sale and will feature David Sanborn, Marcus Miller, George Benson, Angie Stone, Jonathan Butler, Candy Dulfer, Jeff Golub and more.

Both the blues and jazz cruises tend to sell out almost a year in advance - with the vast majority of cruisers being loyal repeaters who book the next year onboard during the cruise. And that is why you don't hear more about these cruises - they are successful enough that they don't need to promote much more. Surprisingly, many of the passengers are not necessarily regular cruisers. They are music fans first and foremost who have discovered the magic of musical immersion on a cruise ship at sea with no distractions from the outside world. Many of these people never take a traditional cruise and don't even know what they are like.

Another thing you may not know about music theme cruises is that the sheer number of artists who participate on each one of these cruises is staggering. Most artists now consider these cruises to be vacations themselves, rather than another "gig." Many of them bring their families. They also catch up with other artists for musical collaboration.

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A Look at the 2012 Lineup

Atlanta-based Sixthman Productions is one of the top music cruise organizers in the country. They offer a slate of annual cruises with unique names to highlight different musical themes. They just held the Kiss Kruise, and the VH1 Best Cruise Ever for 2011. In 2012 Sixthman has the following scheduled:

January 12-16 the Elvis cruise sails out of Jacksonville. This cruise features everything from personal friends of Elvis telling their stories to a special performance of "Viva Elvis," the stage show created by Cirque Du Soleil. There is an Elvis fashion show. But the musical highlight, aside from the many Elvis tribute artists, will be The Memphis Boys, the rhythm section from Memphis who played on Elvis hits "Suspicious Minds," "In the Ghetto" and "Kentucky Rain," as well as Neil Diamond's "Sweet Caroline" and Willie Nelson's "Always on My Mind."

The Weezer Cruise sails from Miami on January 19. Weezer has released nine albums, the first produced by The Car's Ric Ocasek for Geffen Records; one of their hits is "Island in the Sun." Other bands on the cruise include Dinosaur Jr. and more. Cayamo is the regular songwriter's cruise with a lineup I particularly like: Lyle Lovett, John Hiatt, John Prine, Lucinda Williams, Richard Thompson, Keb' Mo', Buddy Miller, Loudon Wainwright III and a dozen more accomplished songwriters. The cruise is now on waitlist status.

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The Rock Boat will sail away March 1-5 with Sister Hazel and 26 other artists. Prices for this cruise start at just $699 per person, leaving from New Orleans on Carnival Elation.

Kid Rock's third annual "Chillin' the Most" cruise will sail April 26-30 on Carnival Destiny. This cruise is also already on waitlist status (sold out). They haven't even had to list any of the 12 additional artists they say will be onboard, having Kid Rock was enough to sell the cruise out.

The success of these annual music cruises has also spurred some well-known musical artists to get into the theme cruise business. Upcoming scheduled cruises will feature the band Kiss, Kid Rock, Brett Michaels (former lead singer of the band Poison), Rick Springfield and the Backstreet Boys.

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