A Dozen Music Cruises That Will Rock Your Socks Off!
Yes on the "Close to the Edge" cruise.
Until recently, I could count on one hand the magical rock & roll moments I had during my 35 years of cruising: (1) A Carnival DJ slipping Small Faces' Itchycoo Park in among the disco hits just as I was convinced that no matter what Gloria Gaynor said, I would not survive; (2) A trio of strolling Holland-America musicians bringing Freddy Mercury to glorious life with a jaw-dropping rendition of Bohemian Rhapsody poolside aboard the Prinsendam; and (3) A Sea Dream bartender offering to replace the piped-in deck music with the obscure Kinks CD I was listening to on my Walkman-I like to think it was the only time in maritime history that Berkley Mews wafted across the deck of an ultra-luxury cruise ship.
In my early years of cruising-the 70s and 80s-I was dazzled by shipboard luxury, its dining, relaxation and the exotic ports of call. But make no mistake: The music sucked. There I was, a 20-year-old indisputable rock chick spending her holiday evenings listening to Girl from Ipanema at a piano bar, I've Got Rhythm at a production show or, if I was really lucky, some rogue DJ would pop in Stars On 45 at the disco, teasing me with the brilliance of the Beatles even if disguised beneath a dance beat.
Finally, over the past decade, some alert cruise executives, travel agencies and production companies have realized that we baby boomers would rather have a root canal than allow the musical backdrop of our vacation to be our parents' favorites or, in a failing nod to modern sounds, the hits of Abba and Barry Manilow. And while this is great news for cruise fans, it may be even better news for those who have steadfastly resisted a call to the sea.
Like John Morrison. After decades of refusing to cruise, John, a family friend and the ultimate rock fan, reluctantly agreed to test the waters with this year's Inaugural Moody Blues Cruise. With the non-stop schedule of on board shows and activities, I didn't see John too often, but when I did cross his path, he'd theatrically fall to his knees, kiss my hand and thank me in a kid-at-Disneyland way for telling him about the sailing. Look for John on the 2014 Moody Blues cruise-he'll probably be among the first to book.
The Moody Blues Cruise will return in 2014
Since the shipboard musical revolution, I've only enjoyed a small sampling of the vast selection of available rock sailings: The incredible Moody Blues Cruise which converted John to cruising, a Beatles Cruise featuring an amazing tribute band performing a different "era" of Beatles music each night of the sailing (complete with costumes and look-alike band members), and a "Concerts At Sea" cruise starring the tremendously entertaining Paul Revere and the Raiders (see review).
But I'm thinking-as I'm sure you are--that some of these upcoming rock sailings look pretty tempting. See you on board!
Simple Man Cruise VII Lynyrd Skynrd
October 20 - 24, 2013 Norwegian Pearl
Key West, Grand Stirrup Cay
For the 7th time Lynyrd Skynyrd returns for four days of nonstop music on stages all around the ship. Molly Hachet, The Outlaws, Aaron Lewis and more deliver a fiery slice of Southern-style rock guitar heaven at sea! Fares begin $700 per person double occupancy. Call 877-379-9174 or visit www.simpleman cruise.com/ for additional information.
Kiss Kruise III
October 28-November 1, 2013 Norwegian Pearl
Celebrate Halloween with KISS! Concerts galore (ticketed indoor KISS rock show, KISS acoustic and unmasked deck show), along with costume contests, KISS karaoke, KISS trivia, KISS Q&A and more with Paul, Gene, Tommy and Eric each leading an event on board. And, for the little ones (2-14), KISS will host a special Meet & Greet-no parents allowed! Fares start at $1,000 per person double occupancy. For additional information call 877-379-9183 or www.thekisskruise.com
The Inaugural Wine, Dine & Music Cruise 2013--Kenny Loggins, Three Dog Night, Don Felder (formerly of the Eagles)
November 9 - 16, 2013 Royal Caribbean Brilliance of the Seas
Tampa, Grand Cayman, Cozumel. Costa Maya
For those who like a little wine and inventive cuisine with their music, Flying Dutchman Travel offers the inaugural Wine, Dine & Music Cruise. In addition to nightly shows from the artists, jam sessions and special music performances on sea days, photo opportunities and book and CD signings, guests who book this partial charter will enjoy a free bottle of wine each night, wine tastings and seminars, food tastings and more. Fares begin at $999 per person double occupancy.
Call Flying Dutchmen Travel at 800-248-7471 or email [email protected]
Journey: Cruising to the Cure
December 1 - 8, 2013 Holland America Eurodam
Grand Turk, San Juan, St.Thomas and Private Island, Bahamas
Former Journey lead vocalist Steve Augeri and friends that include Tom Barrett (Classics IV) and Johnny Contardo (Sha Na Na) host a rock & roll sailing for a great cause. Private Concerts and cocktail party, Rock n Roll Boot Camp, autograph and photo sessions, Karaoke and dance party and more included on this partial charter. Fares begin $1,119.19 per person double occupancy. For more information contact [email protected] or call 1-800-486-5060
Matchbox 20 Cruise
December 6 -9, 2013 Carnival Imagination
A full charter for fans of Rob Thomas and Matchbox 20: Concerts, Q&A with the band, a photo session, evening deck parties and more. Bookings may only be made through Rose Tours Prices begin at $849 per person, double occupancy. For information, call 888-491-7673 or visit matchboxtwentycruise.com
Concerts at Sea
January 18-25, 2014 Caribbean Princess
Houston, Cozumel, Roatan, Belize
In its 15th year and one of the best organized rock cruises afloat! This year's partial charter features Paul Revere & the Raiders, BJ Thomas, Mary Wilson of the Supremes, Charlie Thomas of the Drifters and the Cowsills. Nightly entertainment, question and answer session with the artists, autograph session with the artists, Concerts At Sea Sock Hop, Hosted Cocktail Party, Dance Hosts and Dance Lessons, Daily Trivia and Live Trivia Games, Commemorative T-Shirt and more. For access to the Concerts at Sea events, individuals or travel agents must book through Concerts at Sea: 1-866-3OLDIES/[email protected] Fares begin at $1,384 per person double occupancy.
Kid Rock Chillin' the Most Cruise
March 3-7, 2014 Norwegian Pearl
Miami, Key West, Great Stirrup Cay
Kid Rock returns to the sea for his fifth rockin' voyage. Not for the faint-hearted, this is booze-drenched, rock & roll bacchanalia and reports suggest anything goes! Waiting List only; $199 deposit required to join waiting list. For additional information, check out www.kidrockcruise.com or call 877-379-9178
Monsters of Rock Cruise
March 29-April 2, 2014 MSC Divina
Nassau, "Monster Island" (private island)
A playground for the most discerning rock & roll metal-head featuring the heaviest of heavy metal: Tesla, Ratt, Cinderella, Kix, Y & T, Firehouse, Slaughter plus Winger celebrating the 25th anniversary of their debut album with performances by all of the original band members. Also, special "Icon Series" performances by legendary drummer Carl Palmer of Emerson, Lake & Palmer fame. This is a full ship charter that may only be booked through Monsters of Rock. Prices begin at $899 per person double occupancy. Visit http://monstersofrockcruise.com to book now.
Monsters of Rock cruise
(855) 505-6672- Toll Free in the United States & Canada
The Moody Blues Cruise
April 2-7, 2014 MSC Divina
Grand Turk, Nassau
The hottest rock cruise of 2013 returns in 2014 with rock icons The Moody Blues! Joining the Moodies for this 5-day rock & roll party will be The Zombies, Carl Palmer of Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Lighthouse, Glass Hammer with other big name artists to be announced closer to sailing. This is a full ship charter that may only be booked through The Moody Blues Cruise. Fares start at $999 per person, double occupancy and booking may be made beginning July 29th. Join the mailing list.
Cruise to the Edge
April 7-12, 2014 MSC Divina
Isla de Roatan, Honduras, Cozumel
The current incarnation of Yes star aboard this full ship charter that also features Steve Hacket of Genesis, Renaissance, UK, Queensryche, Tangerine Dream, Saga and more big name artists yet to be announced. This 5-day sailing may only be booked through Cruise to the Edge. Additional big-name artists will be announced closer to sailing. Fares start at $999 per person, double occupancy and bookings may be made beginning July 29th. Visit www.CruiseToTheEdge.com to join mailing list.
Cruise to Edge with Yes - April 2014
November 8 - 12, 2014 MSC Divina
Nassau, Private Island
The first cruise starring legendary band Chicago! Chicago will be joined by more than a dozen of your favorite artists from the 70s and 80s for this 4-night full-ship charter. Fares begin at $899 per person, double occupancy. Website, ChicagoCruise1 will go live in August.
Rock Legends Cruise III
February 19-23, 2015 Royal Caribbean's Liberty of the Seas
Rock Legends III sails February 19-23, 2015 aboard Royal Caribbean's Liberty of the Seas. While bands are yet to be announced, previous line ups featuring Foreigner, Paul Rodgers, Creedence Clearwater Revisited, Kansas, Bachman & Turner, Blue Oyster Cult, The Marshall Tucker Band, and more promise a big-name rock & roll party! Bookings begin on Monday July 22nd at 9:00 a.m. Call 888-666-1499 or visit www.rocklegendscruise.com
Next Up: The Best Food and Wine Cruises