May 1, 2014

Why would I go on a theme cruise?

Country Music Cruise, countrycruising.comI’ve vacationed in Hawaii with my family, been on a wine cruise with friends and have visited Mexico.  So, why would I go on a “theme” cruise? I found the answer to this question when I went on the “The Best Country Cruise Ever”. This cruise was designed by Flying Dutchmen Travel and sailed on Norwegian Cruise Line’s Pearl, a chartered cruise ship. The theme was country western music. People came for the fantastic country music and to sing, dance, drink, eat and have fun with others that also enjoy country music. The excitement started during the sail-away party and lasted all week.
On a “regular” cruise you have nothing obvious in common with
the other passengers. You might sit together at a table with the same people at meal times but it might take the whole week to really get to know them.
Theme cruises are primarily regular cruises with enhanced or additional programs onboard that fit the theme.  Examples include everything from Escorted Wine Cruises to cooking cruises to music cruises (jazz, reggae, country music or rock and roll, etc.) and even themes centered on painting, arts & crafts or singles groups among others.

On a theme cruise you automatically have something in common. This makes the trip so much more fun because it’s really easy to meet and talk to others when you have similar interests. I even met fellow cruisers that planned their annual vacations a year or more in advance so they could take the same themed cruise as others they had befriended so that they could vacation together again. Some cruisers turn it into a year-round social event.  For instance, Country Cruising has a very active Facebook page and a growing Pinterest board where people comment about the cruise, post photos of their cruise and talk about who’s planning on going on the next one!

In addition to the live concerts, specialty programming for a Country Music Cruise might include line dancing classes, meet & greet sessions with the celebrities, photo and autograph sessions with the celebrities, and more. Instead of just a few performances there are usually dozens of musical groups with one to three popular headliners (Blake Shelton, Trace Atkins, Wynonna Judd, etc.).  Live performances usually take place not only in the main theater but also in different venues in and around the cruise ship including the pool deck. It’s pretty much a big party. Of course, if you want some peace and quiet there are plenty of places in addition to your stateroom where you can go including some of the bars and restaurants, the library, outside decks and the spa among others.

Wine Theme Cruise by Flying Dutchmen Travel, Santa Rosa
A Wine Cruise might include wine tastings, wine seminars, food and wine pairings, special gourmet meals, cooking demonstrations by professional chefs and more.  The wine might be from a specific region. For instance, the Wine, Dine and Music Cruise which sails Oct. 25-30, 2014, features award-winning wines by Kendall-Jackson from Sonoma County, California.  By the way, that particular cruise also includes a free bottle of Kendall-Jackson wine delivered to your stateroom every night AND concerts by rock legends!

There’s never a dull moment. Theme cruises are a FANTASTIC value and with a variety of activities. I’d pick a “theme” cruise over a “regular” cruise any day!

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