Now in its 11th year, the KISS Kruise will be rocking the high seas again in 2022 -- and not just for one week, but two! Here's what you need to know, from how to get onboard to what you can expect once you're there.
The KISS Kruise XI will take place in two separate segments: October 24 to 29, 2022 and October 29 to November 3, 2022, on Norwegian Jewel. Both cruises will leave from Los Angeles and sail to Ensenada and Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.
On past cruises, the band has been joined by other rock musicians, including former KISS members Ace Frehley (the 2018 cruise marked the first time he had played with the band in 17 years) and Bruce Kulick, Skid Row, Night Ranger, Lita Ford and Extreme. In 2019, two of the original members -- Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley -- joined Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer for the cruise. (Fun fact: KISS emerged from a band that Simmons and Stanley started way back in 1971!)
Naturally, KISS' performances are highlights. Every passenger sees one general admission KISS show on the pool deck. The band also plays two nights in the ship's Stardust Theater. Ticketing works like this: two guests in each cabin receive a ticket for one show. If more people are bunking in the cabin, they have to pay extra for an indoor show ticket. You can't buy a ticket to another indoor show; the limit is one per person. If someone in the cabin doesn't love KISS, they can give up their ticket for onboard credit.
Besides concerts, the KISS Kruise typically features theme nights (KISS makeup is always in style), game shows, cooking demos, Q & A panels and autograph sessions with the band members (although you are no longer guaranteed a photo). Passengers also have access to a showcase room, where they can see the band's instruments, drumming contests, vow renewals with Gene Simmons, KISS memorabilia swaps and karaoke contests. Past cruises have also had tattoo parlors onboard.
There are also guest bands. For the first KISS Kruise, Dokken, Warrant, L.A. Guns and Lita Ford join the fun. The second cruise has Sebastian Bach of Skidrow fame, Stryper and Vixen.
All KISS, all the time. The band calls their cruise fans the "KISS Navy" -- a play on the KISS Army on land. Passengers receive dog tags outlining their status: Sailor for first-timers, all the way up to Elite Fleet Lieutenant for the die-hard ninth cruise veterans. Remember, this is the band that wants to rock and roll all night and party everyday ... so bring a rested liver. That being said, a fair number of KISS fans are grandparents now, so the kids club is open and available.
KISS fans and those who love them are ideal candidates for this voyage. (KISS is a band where the fan base skews male, and many guys travel with their buddies.) It's also a good fit for hard and classic rock music lovers and partiers, albeit those of a certain age. Families raising hard-rocking kids are also welcome.
This cruise is run by Sixthman, a theme cruise operator owned by Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings. Bookings are done via www.thekisskruise.com. Fans who were on the 2021 KISS Kruise and international guests who couldn't travel to the U.S. because of COVID-19 travel restrictions will get first dibs. Alumni who weren't able to sail in 2021 also get preference before bookings open too the public. This cruise generally sells out, but you can always be added to the wait list if you miss your chance.
Updated July 20, 2022