This year cruise fans can get down with 311, get serenaded by Jeff Tweedy, or kick it with wrestling legend Jericho.
If you have a thing, rest assured there’s a cruise ship catered to that thing.
Recreational sailing began, more or less, in 1901 with the Prinzessin Victoria Luise. But cruise ships really began to take off as a pastime in the 1960s and ‘70s with the launch of what’s now called the Norwegian Cruise Line in 1966 (NCLH) – Get Free Report and Carnival Cruise Line in 1972.
At first, cruise lines were more of a regional business, with small businesses running ships out of, say, Florida ports. But as companies such as Norwegian grew, they began to form a national identity, and also began competing for new customers.
One challenge any brand or product has is not just to get potential clients to switch to you from a competitor, but to get people who would never even consider using your product to give it a try.
While this idea has certainly changed in the past ten years or so, for a while there was an assumption that cruise ships were either for retirees or people with a lot of disposable income.
These are not a bad thing to be, per se, but until somewhat recently you weren’t likely to see many college kids taking a cruise on Spring Break, or many thirtysomethings availing themselves of the pleasures of Royal Caribbean.
But in order to counteract the assumptions many younger people had about cruise ships (basically, that they weren’t for them), the industry began to reach out to them with some smart partnerships.
These days, you can probably find a cruise ship for whatever interest you like. Are you kind of emo? Well, then get yourself to Coheed and Cambria’s cruise series S.S. Neverender – Raiders Of Silent Earth:3 this October. Do you want to hang out with Basketball legend Shaquille O’Neal, mediate with Oprah or learn about the magic of GOOP and all things Wellness with Gwyneth Paltrow? Well, there are ships for all of that as well.
But the cruise line industry is like a shark, in that it must always move forward. (Though the cruise line industry would like to make it clear that you never have to worry about sharks while you are cruising.)
So if you still haven’t given the high seas a shot yet, Norwegian and the promotions company Sixthman are doing their best to convince you to give it a shot.
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Behold The ‘Experiences At Sea’
Norwegian has partnered with Sixthman, a promotions company that specializes in theme cruises and vacations and has put together specialty sailings for Weezer, Paramore, and KISS, amongst many others.
The two parties have announced this year’s “Experiences at Sea,” a series of 13 events. Whether you want to hang out with a wrestling legend, rock out ‘90s radio kings, or (checks notes) earn a Certified Nurse Educator credit, there truly is something for everyone this year.
Cruise Perfect (Jan. 20 –23) Miami to Nassau, Bahamas – The five dudes from the comedy troupe Dude Perfect will host a family friend bro down full of sports comedy hijinks.The Rock Boat XXII (Jan 23. – 28) Miami to Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic, and Nassau, Bahamas – ’90s radio will sail on, featuring headliners Sister Hazel and more than 30 acts from Need to Breathe, Neon Trees, American Authors, the worst enemies of Lit. On the Blue (Jan. 28 – Feb. 2) Miami to Harvest Caye, Belize to Costa Maya, Mexico – Hosted by Justin Hayward of the Moody Blues, who always seems to be at sea, it’s all the classic rock you can ever need.Chris Jericho’s Rock N Wrestling Rager at Sea (Feb. 2 – 6) Miami to Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas – If wrestling legend Chris Jericho is hosting and bringing Quiet Riot and his band Fozzy along, you are all but guaranteed to wake up with a hangover.
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Nursecon at Sea (Feb. 6 – 10) Miami to Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic – Cruises can still be wholesome, as the Ultimate Nursing Conference will provide attendees with the perfect blend of fun and professional learning, including accredited CNE courses.Cayamo 15 (Feb. 10 – 17) Miami to Philipsburg, St. Maarten, and Tortola, British Virgin Islands – Guests will celebrate the 15th anniversary of this Americana journey through song with over 40 artists, featuring Jeff Tweedy, Andrew Bird, Trampled by Turtles, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Patty Griffin, Neko Case, Shovels & Rope and many more.Sail Across the Sun (Feb. 17 – 21) Miami to Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic – Train will drop some jupiter on guests, and will be joined by Fitz and the Tantrums, G. Love & Special Sauce, and Nick Swardson.Outlaw Country Cruise 7 (Feb. 21 – 27) Miami to Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas to Cozumel, Mexico – More than 40 country legends will set sail, featuring The Mavericks, John Anderson, Lucinda Williams, Steve Earle & The Dukes, and more.The Friendship (Feb. 27- March 3) Miami to Nassau, Bahamas to Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas – Hosted by All My Friends and Gary Richards, the yet-to-be-announced line-up will drop all the beats you can handle.The Beach Boys Cruise (March 3 – 8) Miami to Harvest Caye, Belize to Costa Maya, Mexico – The Beach Boys will be joined by The Isley Brothers, The Temptations, The Righteous Brothers, and, somehow, Sugar Ray’s Mark McGrath. 311 Caribbean Cruise 7 (March 8 – 13) Miami to Harvest Caye, Belize to Roatan, Honduras – Celebrate 311 day, and give thanks to all the alt-rockers have brought to our lives. And then stick around for Arrested Development, G. Love & Special Sauce, Less Than Jake, and more.Keeping the Blues Alive at Sea VIII (March 13 – 17) Miami to Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic – Joe Bonamassa will host a celebration of blues legends such as Little Feat, Dion, Bobby Rush, Robert Randolph Band, and more.Atlantis (March 17 – 27) Miami to Key West to Cozumel, Mexico to Harvest Caye, Belize to Colon, Panama to Cartagena, Colombia to Georgetown, Grand Cayman – Each Atlantis cruise offers “a carefree experience for the gay community based around friendship, camaraderie, relaxation, indulgence, adventure, and pure uninhibited fun.”Plus: The Broadway Cruise (March 31 – April 5) New York City to Bermuda on Norwegian Gem – The Great White Way is getting all wet, featuring performances from Tony-Award winners Laura Benanti, Kristin Chenoweth, Alan Cumming, and more, plus panels and activities.