Cruise with the stars, if you dare

Cruises come in all shapes and sizes. There are big ships, little ships, long cruises and short ones too. On board we find everything from fine dining to luxury bedding and a pampering staff. Some travelers are not interested in any of that though. They want the immersive experience that only a themed cruise can provide. Themed sailings featuring bands are popular with Captain Kid Rock leading the pack for at-sea metal entertainment. Let’s take a look at a couple of other themed cruises, perhaps a bit more subdued, coming up soon.

Sixthman, the people who bring us Kid Rock’s Chillin’ The Most Cruise, and the KISS Kruise have lined up award-winning actors Ernest Borgnine, Tippi Hedren, and Eva Marie Saint, along with distinguished filmmaker Norman Jewison who will set sail on the first-ever TCM Classic Cruise, a new, one-of-a-kind event taking place Dec. 8-12, 2011.

Cruise with the starsThe four film legends will join Turner Classic Movies primetime host Robert Osborne, TCM weekend-daytime host Ben Mankiewicz and a bunch of classic-movie fans for the four-day voyage aboard Celebrity Millennium. While sailing from Miami to Key West and Cozumel, guests will enjoy a variety of movie-themed events including screenings, panel discussions, trivia contests and parties.

Also on the TCM Classic Cruise will be the Alloy Orchestra, a three-man musical ensemble that has written and performed live accompaniment to classic silent films for more than two decades.

Whatever your passion, odds are there is a themed cruise planned with you in mind. ThemeCruiseFinder.com can help narrow down the list with a comprehensive searchable theme cruise web portal available on the internet.

Royal Caribbean’s Freedom of the Seas is host to a cruise where guests can Dance With The Stars. Stacked on top of the regular cruise experience, those on board also get to see a private dance finale performance by star dancers Tony & Chelsie, dance parties with your fellow guests, Q&A sessions with Tony & Chelsie, photo and autograph sessions, welcome and farewell receptions and a bunch of Cruise with the Dance Stars’ goodies.

“Included in this amazing week of dance are exclusive master dance classes for all ability levels, dance parties, photo and autograph sessions, private theme parties, Q&A sessions, dining and socializing with fellow Dancing fans, not to mention a very exciting cruise vacation!” says DanceStarsCruise.com.

Expect to pay a premium price over and above what that sailing might normally sell for to cover onboard events, activities plus up-close-and-personal time with the stars. The Dance With The Stars cruise has prices starting at $1535 per person while today’s starting price for someone not included in the fun is $821. For some, that’s a steep premium to pay. For others, its worth every penny.

Hard rock, movie stars of yesteryear or dance stars of today, there is a theme cruise for everyone. If I had to guess who will be delivering the most bang for the buck, I’ll have to go with the Captain though.

No telling what he might think we should get included for that price.

Flickr photo by jimg944

Annual bloggers cruise features new ship, old host





bloggers cruiseJohn Heald, the popular senior cruise director for Carnival Cruise Lines, is doing it again hosting for the fifth time his John Heald Bloggers Cruise. Fans of the unflappable John Heald’s blog with over 10 million views since it’s launch in 2007, will sail on the new Carnival Magic in March 2012.

The seven-day western Caribbean voyage will sail round-trip from Galveston, Texas, March 4-11, 2012, visiting Montego Bay, Jamaica; George Town, Grand Cayman; and Cozumel, Mexico.

Like other theme cruises, this one gives up-close and personal time with a celebrity.

Unlike other theme cruises, that celebrity is John Heald.

I met Heald almost 10 years ago on the then-almost-new Carnival Victory and have no trouble imagining him as the big draw for a theme cruise. His easy-going demeanor and quick wit are party-pleasers that I can see many enjoying.

The new 3,690-passenger Carnival Magic brings together fans of the senior cruise director for a week full of fun activities, exclusive giveaways and receptions plus a boat load of memories. Sure, Kid Rock, he is not, but expect a whole lot of fun and some surprises along the way too.


Gadling will be on board Carnival Magic for the ships inaugural sailing May 1, less than a week from now. Stay tuned for all the details on what makes Carnival Magic a great new ship as well as some featured posts off the ship when we go ashore.

Flickr photo by jonworth

Related Stories



Captain Kid Rock sails again

Captain kid rock sails again

He doesn’t get to marry people at sea, drive the ship or make people walk the plank but Captain Kid Rock’s second-annual Chillin’ the Most Cruise is underway once again. Along with 2,700 of his fans, Kid Rock is on the way to Cozumel from New Orleans aboard the Carnival Triumph.

The five day charter sailing goes to Cozumel, just Cozumel, and no place else. That’s probably just what the doctor ordered for the rabidly fun-loving fans on board.

“For this heavy-drinking, heavy-smoking crowd, it’s an itinerary that includes all-hours bars, pole-dancing classes and performances by 16 acts, including Rev. Run, Gretchen Wilson and two up-close-and-personal concerts by Rock himself.” says Brian McCollum, on board, from the Detroit Free Press
Fans arrived in New Orleans early and by all accounts, the party was well underway before the ship left the dock.

“Fans had begun piling into New Orleans a day early, excited to dive in to what many returning cruise-goers described as a Kid Rock family reunion. These are the hardest of the hard-core — the fans whose Kid Rock concert counts run into the dozens and whose arms are vividly emblazoned with tattoos of the Detroit star” McCollum wrote.

But other than a few drunken domestic arguments, the crowd seems to be as somewhat-under-control as it probably could be with Rock in charge of the festivities.

“The party will be everywhere,” Rock boasted to the Free Press just after boarding yesterday adding “Everywhere you go on this boat, you’ll be walking into it.”

I bet there’s a story or two coming out of this before it’s all over. Actually, let me take that back on the “he doesn’t get to make people walk the plank” thing I mentioned earlier. I wouldn’t put anything past the venerable Mr Rock.

Flickr photo by familymwr

Beatles infest cruise ship, give back

Beatles cruiseBut this is a good thing.

Beatles Tribute Cruise 2011 is on sale now and for fans of the fab four it doesn’t get any better than this. “8 days a week” is exactly how long fans will sail on Royal Caribbean’s Liberty of the Seas along with pretty much anybody who’s anybody in the world of Beatlemania.

Sailing from Miami with tribute-band The British Are Coming! and other special guests, fans will visit St Maarten, St Thomas, San Juan and Royal Caribbean’s private destination of Labadee in Haiti where Royal Caribbean is still helping, a year after a devastating earthquake rocked the island nation with donations of supplies each week.

Along for the ride is two-time Grammy award winning guitarist Laurence Juber, Beatles artist Shannon, TV and radio personality Tony Perkins, Beatles historian Tony Bramwell and Joe Johnson, the host & creator of the nationally syndicated radio show “BeatleBrunch“.

An annual event, this year’s cruise will be a fundraiser for Thrive/Survive Los Angeles to support young adult cancer survivors. On-board, a raffle will be held with close to 100 Beatles-related items to be given away during the sailing including a special Ultimate Weekend Tickets To Ride package for Abbey Road on the River along with autographed DVD’s from assorted post-Beatles artists.

For donation or ticket information contact Woody Lofton or register online.

Photo: Beatles Tribute Cruise