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Kiss Kruise - October 13-17

Kiss - Wet, Wild, Rockin' Kruise
They are the rock band from the 1970s that few took seriously - but who bounced back for a reunion tour in 1996 that broke all world attendance records. When Kiss first emerged with their outrageous superhero costumes and stage antics they were considered a marketing gimmick meant to appeal to young kids. The skeptics said they could barely play their own songs.

Each player had an individual costume identity; Starchild (Paul Stanley), the Demon (Gene Simmons), Spaceman (Ace Frehley) and Catman (Paul Criss). Despite a number of hit records their fan base was mostly pre-teens who couldn't afford the concert tickets unless their parents ponied up. So, when the fame languished Criss and Frehley left the group in 1982.

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Then, as with so many other kitschy things that become reborn as cool, those pre-adolescents grew up, got real jobs and soon had their own money to buy as many Kiss souvenirs, costumes and makeup as they wanted - and they did.

A new wave of Kiss adoration arrived in 1990 and suddenly the market for Kiss nostalgia flourished. The original band came together again and in 1996 the Kiss Alive/Worldwide/Lost Cities/Reunion Tour was the top-grossing concert tour in the world. The momentum was kept alive and Kiss played the halftime show at the 1999 Superbowl. Unfortunately, Criss and Frehley left the band once again in 2000 and 2002, respectively.

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Still remaining in the band are Gene Simmons, the axe-wielding, fire-breathing bass player known for having the longest tongue in rock 'n roll, and Paul Stanley the vocalist/guitar player who can still get away with playing with a bare chest even though he will hit "the big six-oh" next January. Eric Singer on lead guitar and Tommy Thayer on drums are the replacements for Frehley and Criss.

And now Kiss fans have a chance to meet their super heroes in person in a place where the band members can't escape to their hidden lairs; upon the Kiss Kruise sailing on the Carnival Destiny out of Miami on October 13-17, 2011.

The "Kiss Kruise - Wet, Wild and Rockin" is still in the planning stages, the additional guest bands yet to be announced. Music cruises often have as many as 10 to 20 different bands onboard - even on a four day cruise. So far, Kiss is the only band announced but other guests are sure to follow.

And Kiss popularity is still alive and well. A series of commercials for Doctor Pepper with "a little kiss of cherry" that features kids in Kiss costumes playing onstage showed during the 2011 Super Bowl. Today's Kiss fans, known as the Kiss Army, still love to dress up like their favorite band member when attending concerts and Kiss-related conventions coast to coast. Kiss fans buy and trade collectible bobble-head dolls, t-shirts, ball caps, masks, trading cards, autographed pictures and other Kissabilia. The Kiss Army Facebook page has over four million members.

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The Kiss Kruise already has two shows scheduled for everyone to see - an outdoor acoustic show not in makeup on the Lido deck during sail away, and an indoor show in the regular theater - but since the theater only holds half of the cruise ship capacity at once there will be two identical inside shows - but each guest only gets to attend one of them.

The official Kiss Army Web site just added this blurb about the Kiss Kruise:
"Paul, Tommy, Eric, & Gene are excited to sail with you on the ur BEST vacation yet! Check out EVERYTHING that is included in the price of a cabin: A KISS indoor rock show, an acoustic show on the Lido Deck (no makeup!), a Q&A with all 4 guys, a photo with the band (in small groups), exclusive KISS Kruise merchandise, and so much more!"

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The Kiss Kruise prices start at $895 to $1095 per person for inside cabins. Balcony cabins are $1395 to $1995 per person, depending on location and availability. Discounts are available for kids under 14, military (the Kiss Army does not qualify as military), single occupancy ($199 discount) and to people who pay in full up front - 5% off.

Attendees must be at least 21 years old to sail on the cruise, or else they must be accompanied by a guardian who is at least 25 or older.

Pre-sales registration has already started at The Kiss Kruise Web Site. Kiss Army members are receiving first priority for pre-sales although anyone can register for them. Those who register will receive pre-booking information by email on May 31st and will be able to book the cruise on June 2nd. Regular sales to the general public begin June 7th.

But expect those Kiss Army members to get most of the best seats - the Kiss Army Facebook page alone has over 4,000,000 fans.

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new feature articles

Crystal Cruises Cruise Report
Kuki gives us his final thoughts on his 14 day luxury cruise to Hawaii on Crystal Serenity. Sublime food but dining room service less than perfect. blue arrows

The Shipboard Experience
It never fails to surprise us that two people on the same cruise ship can have entirely different cruise experiences. blue arrows

Cruise Trips: Adventure over Relaxation
Despite the relaxing image, a cruise trip can be as adventurous as any vacation, depending on the ship and itinerary. blue arrows

How to Organize A Group Cruise
Putting together a group cruise may be easier than you think -- with a little bit of organizational skill and lots of help from the right people. blue arrows

Rock Legends Cruise
The Rock Legends Cruise coming next December has ZZ Top, Molly Hatchet, Marshall Tucker, Steppenwolf, Dickie Betts, Edgar Winter, Johnnie Winter. blue arrows

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