Former hair-band front man and reality TV star Bret "Poison" Michaels' cruise may have been canceled earlier this week, but there's no need to fret. Rock-music theme cruises are some of the hottest parties at sea, and during the upcoming fall/winter cruise season, there's no shortage of opportunities to sail with your favorite performers.
Whether you prefer old-school pop-rock tunes from the Beatles and Elvis or can't get enough of hard-rocking acts like Hinder and Buckcherry, there's likely a sailing suited to your musical inclinations. And, with so many cruises to choose from, we thought we'd do a bit of the legwork for you.
The best part? While many music-themed voyages sell out quickly (cabins on Kid Rock's annual sailing disappeared within days), these are still available -- at least as of press time. Just remember that these sorts of cruises tend to sell out quickly, so if you're really determined to sail with or celebrate your favorite performers, you'll want to book ASAP.
The Kiss Kruise. Join everyone's favorite larger-than-life glam-rock band on a four-night Bahamas cruise aboard Carnival Destiny. This cruise sails in October, so in honor of Halloween (and the band's penchant for playing dress-up), the exclusive Kiss-themed onboard activities will include a holiday bash and several costume contests. Of course there will be a number of live performances, as well.
Rick Springfield and Friends. Rick will be setting sail on his final theme cruise this November, and he's pulling out all the stops. This five-night Western Caribbean cruise aboard Carnival Destiny will feature musical performances by Springfield and Jack Wagner. Plus, the Australian band Zoot will play its first show in 40 years (yeah, really ... 40 years). There will also be several exclusive parties and social gatherings, so you may even be able to find your very own "Jessie's Girl"!
ShipRocked. With bands like Hinder, Buckcherry and Sevendust onboard and a focus on live performances, November's ShipRocked sojourn is truly a floating music festival. Between performances, passengers will visit ports in the Mexican Riviera on this five-night sailing aboard MSC Poesia and have the opportunity to partake in activities like tattoo contests, speed metal dating, theme nights and more.
Rock Legends Cruise. On December 1, legendary American rock artists including ZZ Top, George Thorogood and the Marshall Tucker Band will set sail on a four-night Bahamas cruise aboard Liberty of the Seas. There will be a full schedule of concerts, featuring more than 18 bands performing in four onboard venues. Feel Good Bonus: Proceeds from the sailing will benefit the Native American Heritage Association's efforts to provide emergency assistance and self-help programs to Sioux Native Americans living on reservations in South Dakota.
The Elvis Cruise. This January, passengers can celebrate the King of Rock and Roll on a four-night cruise aboard Carnival Fascination. During the fifth annual retread of this fan favorite, various tribute artists will provide entertainment, while former Elvis costars will interact with passengers during question-and-answer sessions, panel discussions, autograph events and more. Our favorite is the Elvis-themed fashion show.
The Weezer Cruise. Alt-rock fans can join Rivers Cuomo and crew aboard Carnival Destiny on a four-night cruise to Cozumel this January. In addition to concerts headlined by Weezer, there will be performances by Dinosaur Jr., Sebadoh and many more. Members of Weezer will also be on hand for question-and-answer and autograph sessions, photo ops and other activities during their first-ever themer.
Beatles Tribute Cruise 2012. Beatles fanatics are lining up for this tribute cruise, especially since it celebrates the 48th anniversary of the group's historic performance on "The Ed Sullivan Show." This weeklong Western Caribbean cruise aboard Oasis of the Seas will feature storytelling sessions, dance parties, cocktail parties, guitar lessons and much more. Passengers will even have access to an exclusive-to-Beatles-fans Super Bowl party.
The Rock Boat XII. In March, Sister Hazel will host the 12th sailing of the Rock Boat, a four-night Western Caribbean cruise aboard Carnival Elation. Joining the folksy alternative rock band onboard will be the Alternate Routes, Tim Brantley, Blackberry Smoke and more. (So expect some interesting collaborations during one-of-a-kind concerts.) Between shows, there will be lots to do onboard, including theme nights and other artist-hosted activities.
For more information on these sailings, including fares and other booking information, check out our Music Theme Cruises page.
--by Shayne Rodriguez Thompson, Editorial Assistant