You probably paid a premium (upward of triple the cost of a usual cruise) to interact with your favorite band, eat specialty food or hang out with movie stars. So make it worth your while — and your wallet. Here are five tips to getting the most out of a theme cruise:
Get close: You are on a cruise ship. Whatever the theme, it will stay on the ship until the end of the voyage. Scour the public areas of the vessel for the featured acts and approach them — calmly. Chances are, you’ll land a pleasant conversation, an autograph and, if you’re lucky, a new Facebook profile picture. What separates a cruise from a paid show is the interaction, so get out there and interact.
Sign up for every activity possible: On a theme cruise, traditional activities such as bingo and trivia take on a new meaning. The featured guests will usually appear, or even participate, right alongside cruisers. Ask the random question, bust a strange dance move or bring your homemade tri-colored band T-shirt along. The Backstreet Boys, for example, host an annual theme cruise. Among the activities: Twister.
Socialize with other like-minded cruisers: If you love something, you will probably do it more than once. Companies from the Food Network to ESPN have embraced theme cruises. Make new friends, because chances are, you might see them again (whether you like it or not).
Be nice to the staff: A theme cruise presents a new set of challenges for cruise staff. Public areas might have themed names or be filled with more cruisers than usual, so be sensitive to concerns other than your own. Events could last all day or 45 minutes, which puts the staff at a disadvantage in all areas, from food preparation to cleaning rooms. This is not a traditional cruise with structured sea days or even eating times, so allow a little wiggle room.
Go again: If you loved the experience, you will want to go again. And that’s good for your wallet. Seriously. Companies such as Sixthman offer discounted friends and family rates to past cruisers. And some even have special receptions on board. There is good opportunity to double down here, as you would gain credit for both the theme cruise and sailing on the respective cruise line. Who doesn’t like double rewards?
Persuade a newbie cruiser with the help of a theme cruise.
See what it’s like hanging with athletes during a football theme cruise.
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