advertisement

Do theme cruises have a bad rap? Do you see the term and think, "There but for the grace of god go I?" I have an alternative take: Theme cruises are the province of the truly committed. Think about it: You have to really, really like something to lock yourself on a ship with it for a week.

With that thought in mind, let's take a trip down the rabbit hole to visit six of the more offbeat theme cruises currently on deck.

1. The Renaissance Festival Cruise

When, Where & How Much: January 21-28, 2012, aboard Royal Caribbean's Voyager of the Seas, round-trip to the Western Caribbean from New Orleans (port calls: Cozumel, Mexico; George Town, Grand Cayman; and Falmouth, Jamaica). Fares from $819 per person.

What: "Rub-a-Dub-Dub . . . A ton of wenches on a tub!" says the organizer's promotional material. Ever wanted to sail aboard an enormous, modern cruise ship with a passel of folks dressed like characters from The Hobbit? Here's your chance. Additional weirdness: The Renaissance Festival Cruise will also feature Dr. Monica Ganz, a speaker on healthy living and weight management. Huh?

Info: www.danthetravelman.com/renaissance-festival/

2. The Swingers Cruise: Galapagos

When, Where & How Much: April 29-May 6, 2012, aboard Celebrity's Celebrity Xpedition, with two pre-cruise nights in Quito, Ecuador; a flight from Quito to the Galapagos, 7 nights of Galapagos cruising, and one post-cruise night in Ecuador. Fares from $4,675 per person.

What: "What types of things do you like to do?" asks the organizer's website. "OK, on a lifestyle cruise that could be a loaded question. Flirting? Kissing? Sex? Full Swap? Soft Swap? Dress up theme parties? The Swinger Cruise events have something for everyone." And on this particular itinerary, of course, you can also feel free to ogle the blue-footed boobies.


Info: www.theswingercruise.com

3. High Seas Rally: A Biker Cruise Vacation

When, Where & How Much: October 30-November 6, round-trip from Port Canaveral to the Western Caribbean aboard Royal Caribbean's Freedom of the Seas (port calls: Labadee, Haiti; Falmouth, Jamaica; George Town, Grand Cayman; and Cozumel, Mexico). Fares from $1,876 per person.

What: The world's only motorcycle rally on a cruise ship celebrates its eighth year. "It may seem it, but it's not just a party cruise. Motorcycle vendors and bike builders are set-up on board, ship dress code is changed to biker attire, all the food you can eat is included" and there are "fun games like the belly smacker contest, treasured chest (women), topless man (men), best beard, [and] tattoo contest."

Info: www.highseasrally.com

4. The Rick Springfield and Friends Cruise

When, Where & How Much: November 5-10, 2011, round-trip from Miami to the Western Caribbean aboard Carnival's Carnival Destiny (port calls: Ocho Rios, Jamaica; George Town, Grand Cayman). Fares from $1,049.

What: "Rock the high seas with Rick!" says the promoter. The fourth annual Rick Springfield & Friends Cruise caters to devoted (some might say obsessed) fans of the venerable pop-rock singer-actor with full concerts by the man himself (including an "unplugged" concert), a welcome cocktail party, a photo and autograph opportunity, and other "exciting events with Rick and Special Guests." So who are these special guest friends? That's be Doug Davidson (who played Paul Williams on the soap opera The Young & the Restless), singer/actor Jack Wagner (Dominick Marone on The Bold and The Beautiful), Mark Goodman (one of the five original VJs on MTV), and Beeb Birtles and Darryl Cotton (members, along with RS himself, of the 1960s Aussie band ZOOT, which will be performing on the cruise for the first time in forty years).

Info: www.rickspringfieldcruise.com/index.html

5. The KISS Kruise

When, Where & How Much: October 13-17, 2011, round-trip from Miami to the Bahamas aboard Carnival's Carnival Destiny (port calls: Half Moon Cay and Nassau). Fares from $895 per person.

What: Another band with a particularly devoted fan base, KISS is the hard-rock band that wore all that comic-book makeup in the 1970s, took it off in the '80s, then put it back on in the '90s when, y'know, they started looking old. This, the first ever KISS Kruise, "you'll get to party with fist pounding hard rock all night, and live like a rock star all day. You'll see a legendary show with KISS in an intimate indoor venue and an acoustic 'Sail Away Concert' (no make-up!!) to keep the party going as the ship leaves port. It doesn't stop there; we'll have krazy on board activities, KISS-themed nights, badass costume contests and more!" Also performing will be bands Skid Row, Bad City, and The Envy, plus comedian Craig Gass.

Info: www.thekisskruise.com

6. Cruise Trek, the Star Trek Cruise

When, Where & How Much: September 18-25, 2011, round-trip from Seattle to Southeast Alaska aboard Holland America's Oosterdam (port calls: Juneau, Sitka, Ketchikan, and Victoria, with cruising time in Glacier Bay). Fares from $1,099 per person. The 2012 Cruise Trek voyage will sail October 20-November 3, 2012, round-trip from San Diego to Hawaii. Fares from $2,099.

What: What list of theme cruises would be complete without a Star Trek cruise? The ne plus ultra of obsessed fandom, Trekkies/Trekkers will be found in their multitudes on these voyages, which the promoter describes as "a unique convention and vacation all in one! Explore bold new worlds and share the experience with Cruise Trek family and friends as you cruise with your favorite actors who have appeared in Star Trek." Said actors set to appear on the Alaska cruise are Vaughn Armstrong (who has played 12 different roles in different Trek series Â? apparently a record) and Dominic Keating (Lieutenant Malcolm Reed on Star Trek: Enterprise). Set for the Hawaii cruise are Marina Sirtis (Counselor Troi on Star Trek: The Next Generation) and Connor Trinneer (Commander Charles "Trip" Tucker III on Star Trek: Enterprise).

Info: www.cruisetrek.com