From KISS to crochet: The world’s most unusual themed cruises

Dec 22, 2019

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I never thought cruises were for me. But then a friend invited me to join him on an Atlantis cruise for his birthday and I was won over by the thought of disco tea dances by the pool with friends on a ship that had been taken over for a gay and lesbian charter.

Before that first cruise was over we’d already booked the next one, and while I’ve done many cruises since then there’s a lot to be said for setting sail with people who have similar interests. Or tastes in music.

Themed cruises can either take over the whole ship or have a special interest group join a regular itinerary with their own events on the side. While some are based around relatively commonplace interests like food and wine, comedy and sport, others cater for more specific tastes.

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No judgment on which of these cruises floats your boat.

The Big Nude Boat

As the name suggests this is a cruise for those who love to let it all hang out. This annual cruise organized by Bare Necessities will celebrate its 30th anniversary in 2020 with a sold-out cruise through the warm waters of the Caribbean on Carnival Legend.

Passengers are free to go au naturale around most of the ship, though casual wear is required in the dining rooms and while the ship is in port. It’s worth noting that this is a clothing-optional cruise and that fetish wear is not allowed at any time. Even lingerie is too risqué for the dining room. Though at themed parties like Nudapalooza you can wear as much, or as little, as you like.

Star Trek Cruise

Captain to the bridge! Next year’s Star Trek cruise will celebrate the 25th anniversary of Star Trek Voyager with an all-star cast ready to set sail with fans. The actors who brought Captain Janeway, Seven of Nine, the Doctor, Neelix, Tuvok and many more in the Delta Quadrant to life will all be there, and a certain Captain Kirk will also be on board.

As Royal Caribbean’s Explorer of The Seas cruises through the Bahamas, there’ll be celebrity-hosted excursions by day followed by nightly shows — where else but in the Stardust Theatre. You’ll need to hop on the waitlist and hope for the best to join in this sold-out trekkie fun.

Sci-Fi Cruise

If you identify more as a Whovian, then the Dr. Who-themed Sci-Fi cruise will be more your speed. Dr. Who creature designers join stars of the show as you sail from Miami to the Caribbean.

Other geek fest cruises include Star Wars Day at Sea complete with Chewbacca, R2-D2, 3-3PO and Darth Vader on select Disney cruises from Florida’s Port Canaveral, and Marvel Day at Sea bringing super heroes and villains to the Caribbean and Bahamas.

KISS Kruise X

(Photo courtesy of
(Photo courtesy of

You wanna rock ’n’ roll all night and party every day? In 2020, the KISS Kruise will be celebrating it’s 10th anniversary with concerts by the pool, KISS memorabilia swaps, and karaoke nights. Married KISS fans can even renew their vows in a ceremony led by Gene Simmons. So far there’s no word on who next year’s support acts will be, but previous ones have included Warrant, The Darkness and Skid Row.

If Cheap Trick are more your thing check out the ‘70s Rock and Romance cruise where they’ll be joined by Jefferson Starship, The Eagles’ Don Felder and more. And you just know there’s going to be an ‘80s cruise too. Next year’s sold out lineup includes The B52s, Berlin, Grandmaster Flash and Tony Hadley from Spandau Ballet. Wish we’d mentioned it sooner? Hop on that waitlist for 2020 and get ready to pounce when the backup to the ‘80s in 2021 cruise goes on sale.

Chris Jericho’s Rock ‘N’ Wrestling Rager

(Photo by Will Byington/
(Photo by Will Byington/

When wrestling star Chris Jericho played with his band Fozzy on the KISS Kruise it was clear just how much fun a group of fans could have at sea. And in a body slam move, Chris Jericho’s Rock ‘N’ Wrestling Rager was born.

Along with some of the biggest names from AEW (All Elite Wrestling) taking each other on in a ring in the middle of the pool deck, there’s rock ‘n’ roll shows, comedy, live podcasts, and ‘paranormal explorations’. This high seas rager has also sold out, so get yourself on the waitlist and see if you can wrestle a ticket off someone. And if you’re lucky enough to get on board save a big WOOOOO for wrestling legend Nature Boy, Ric Flair.

Gothic Cruise

With an image of a deep sea creature about to devour a ship, the Gothic Cruise website sets its darker-than-your-average-cruise tone from the start. Break out the black eyeliner: on the Gothic Cruise vampire, industrial and gothic wear is welcome any time. Next year’s bands include German electronic body music (EBM) act Rottersand and one of the most popular ‘aggrotech’ bands Combichrist. And for a bit of fun, next year’s door decorating theme is Lost Spirits.

Crochet Cruises

The only cruise where the welcome pack includes a bag full of yarn, crochet cruises have already sold out in Australia and the Southern Caribbean but still have spaces left for their Alaska and South Pacific trips.

As they put it, their cruises are “worth the adventure with a bunch of happy Hookers AKA crocheters” and include a real life opportunity to meet the “socialite of the crochet world,” Mikey. While it’s unclear if anyone will be crocheting a bikini to wear on the pool deck, groups do work together on an even better goal: to create blankets for charities.

Golden Girls Cruise

Fans of Dorothy, Rose, Blanche and Sophia will be in their element as they set sail from the girls’ home of Miami on a cruise dedicated to the hit ‘80s sitcom. The Golden Girls Cruise includes a sail away party with lots of cheesecake, a Shady Pines Craft Corner, and panel discussions with Stan Zimmerman, one of the original writers on the show. And there’ll be not one but two Golden Girls drag shows, with both the original drag parody tribute and the Golden Gays on board.

Meow Meow Cruise

(Photo courtesy of
(Photo courtesy of

Hello, kitty. If you think cat videos are the best thing on the Internet and love sharing photos of your own adorable moggy then you’ve found your captive audience at sea. Sadly, you’ll need to leave the cat carriers at home as no actual felines can join in the Meow Meow cruise fun, but you can flex your cat knowledge muscles in Meow Meow Trivia and join in the kitty scavenger hunt.

And if none of the above have you making holiday plans, have a little hunt around online for things that do make you happy. You may find your people have a ship just right for you.

Featured photo by Matteo Colombo / Getty Images.

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