What could be better than a week cruising in the sunny Caribbean? How about a week cruising in sunny Caribbean with Elvis . . . or your favorite soap opera star . . . or a world famous ukulele instructor, assuming that’s your thing.
That’s right, we’re talking themed cruises, and there are more of them than ever scheduled for the coming year. As the cruise industry has grown by leaps and bounds, so too has the often wacky world of cruises focused on a single, sometimes incredibly narrow topic.
For a sampling of some of the most off-beat offerings for 2009, we checked in with Howard Moses, proprietor of a small but enlightening little website called themecruisefinder.com. Among the most notable for 2009, he says:
— The Elvis “Love me Tender” Cruise (July 30-Aug. 8). A “nostalgic celebration of the King’s greatness” that will include tribute performances of Elvis classics, an Elvis talent contest, trivia contests and more. The nine-night sailing is out of Baltimore to the Eastern Caribbean on Royal Caribbean’s Grandeur of the Seas. Rates start at $1,199 per person.
— The Psychic Medium Cruise (June 28-July 5). Psychic mediums Joanne Gerber and Rita Berkowitz host this cruise, which will include several shows to “contact with friends and loved ones who have passed on,” plus a “Mingle with the Mediums” cocktail party. The eight-night sailing is out of Miami to the Western Caribbean on the Carnival Valor. Rates start at $999 per person.
— The Caribbean Islands Marathon Cruise (Feb 14-21). Runner’s World columnist John “The Penguin” Bingham and running coach Jenny Hadfield lead a “staged marathon” across the Caribbean (each day brings a segment of a marathon on a different island, adding up to 26.2 miles over the course of the cruise). The seven-night sailing is out of Fort Lauderdale to the Eastern Caribbean on Holland America’s Eurodam. Rates start at $1,351 per person.
— The 2nd Annual Ukulele Cruise (April 24-27). Hours of ukulele instruction, jam sessions, hula parties and even a talent show are in store for passengers on this cruise. The three-night sailing is out of Long Beach, Calif., to Mexico on Carnival’s Paradise. Rates start at $829 per person.
— The Rock the Soap Cruise (March 20-24). Hang out with one of more than 20 soap opera actors from Days of Our Lives, All My Children, As the World Turns, General Hospital and other daytime shows. The three-night cruise is out of Long Beach, Calif., to Mexico on Carnival’s Paradise. Rates start at $709 per person.