When one thinks of a cruise, most people tend to picture elderly couples as the primary passengers who have enough retirement money to spend on an expensive boat trip to exotic locations like the Caribbean and Alaska. Then if it’s not old people, one also pictures modestly rich families who bring their spoiled kids along as another common stereotype in relation to cruise ship passengers. But in recent decades, new cruise options have come along that appeal to different people based on their age and personal interests. For instance, there are certain amenities offered on particular ships within a cruise company’s fleet that include things like a 90s-themed party or a big band-style ball, which are meant to appeal to 90s Kids and Baby Boomers respectively.
In fact, there are even entire cruises that specifically cater to these generations which tend to be music-oriented. Sometimes they feature a specific band that performs on this cruise, but more often these cruises include musicians of a similar genre alongside the main band. Some examples include Blue Note at Sea, which is a popular jazz-oriented cruise, to more recent additions such as Ship-Hop which features all kinds of hip-hop artists that were popular in the 90s. While most of these themed cruises are still continuing to this day, a few have sadly ended their run. Still, that doesn’t make them any less cool depending on the type of cruise one has in mind.
Let's start with the 15 cruises that would appeal to any 90s kid...
25 Carnival Live! Cruise (Carnival)
Offered as three to five day cruises out of Florida, according to HuffPost Life, Carnival Live began in 2014 as an amenity on some of Carnival Cruise’s ships. Consisting of various comedic acts and concerts, it featured artists that appealed to different age groups from older folk to the younger generation. For instance, previous artists and comedians on the cruise included “Journey, Carrie Underwood, Chris Tucker, and LeAnn Rimes” as stated by Cruise Critic. Unfortunately, the concerts weren’t complimentary so one had to pay for them in addition to other cruise fares. Though last year, this feature was discontinued.
24 Blue Man Group Performance (Norwegian)
Founded in the late 80s, the Blue Man Group is one of the strangest yet coolest performance artists out there as they combine music and art while appealing to multiple generations of people. With shows in multiple locations, though most frequently Las Vegas, they’ve even been performing on a cruise ship since 2009. Specifically, on the Norwegian Epic which is “Similar to Norwegian's Breakaway-class ships” HuffPost Life states. This is mainly in terms of the entertainment venues it offers along with its design since both the Norwegian Epic and Breakaway are large ships owned by the same cruise company.
23 Hollywood In Astoria Tour (Disney Cruise)
Even though Disney Cruises tend to be oriented towards kids and the families who chaperone them, that doesn’t mean 90s Kids can’t find something to enjoy. For instance, the Historic Astoria and Fort Clatsop Port Adventure cruise has some interesting offshore options including Hollywood in Astoria. On it, one gets the chance to check out all the places in Astoria, Oregon, that were used as film locations for many nostalgic movies. This includes “The water scene from Free Willy” according to Bustle magazine. Though more specifically, the marina where the climactic jump scene at the end of Free Willy happened.
22 Totally Awesome 90’s Party (Royal Caribbean)
Though themed parties are nothing new on cruise ships, as most are either disco or 80s-themed, it’s not typical to find a cruise ship that offers a 90s-themed party. Luckily, there’s one ship that offers such a thing: the Harmony of the Seas which includes “A live DJ, pop-up performances and even a few neon tracksuits” as described on Royal Caribbean’s website. Plus the above picture confirms these things, especially the tracksuits that the performing activities staff are wearing. So those who love music from the 90s either out of nostalgia or personal interest might enjoy this.
21 90s Moonlight Cruise (Victorian Princess)
Located in Pennsylvania, the Victorian Princess is an antique paddle wheeler-style boat that gives scenic tours along Lake Erie. It also offers its share of themed cruises as well, such as the 90s Moonlight Cruise. Hosted in August, this cruise is known for “Featuring DJ Primo” according to the Victorian Princess’ website with 90s music to be played throughout the one night this event happens on. Additionally, wearing clothes that were very popular in the 90s is encouraged. These include “Overalls, flannel shirts tied around the waist, and maybe a choker necklace” as the Victorian Princess’ website points out.
20 Weezer Cruise (Carnival)
One of the lesser-known bands to emerge from the 90s, Weezer has quickly gained a lot of fame over the years after achieving cult status following their second album Pinkerton which was ironically less commercially successful than the first. In fact, they’ve even performed on a couple of themed cruises “In 2012 and 2014” according to ThoughtCo. Hosted by Carnival Cruise, it included more than just performances by this four-man band. For instance, “Trivia contests, ugly sweater competitions…and photos with the band” were among the included activities ThoughtCo says. Each band member even hosted their own activity.
19 Light Up The Pacific Cruise (Carnival)
Also hosted by Carnival, this cruise was done in 2016 and never continued in the years that followed. But unlike the Weezer Cruise which only featured the titular band, Light Up The Pacific featured several bands including: Sublime with Rome, “The Dirty Heads, Yelawolf, Matisyahu, the Expendables, Sticky Fingers and PASSAFIRE” as stated by ThoughtCo. Having gotten their start in the late 90s and early 2000s, all of these bands play a mixture of reggae rap and rock music. Aside from their performances, the cruise offered other things too such as mini-golf and karaoke just to name a few.
18 Kid Rock’s Chillin’ The Most Cruise (Norwegian)
Following in the wake of other successful white rappers such as Vanilla Ice and Eminem, what makes Kid Rock stand out from them is the rock elements in his music which are southern in terms of style. Though he hasn’t made a new album yet, people can still enjoy him in person on his own themed cruise which has been hosted by Norwegian for almost ten years with another coming up this year in May. The cruise not only “Takes admirers down to Jamaica” according to ThoughtCo, but it also consists of various competitions and dances alongside Kid Rock’s performances.
17 Backstreet Boys Cruise (Carnival)
Of the various boy bands that have appeared in the decades of music history, the Backstreet Boys are certainly one of the more famous. Sure, they’re not as critically acclaimed as The Beatles but they arguably defined the modern boy band which groups like the Jonas Brothers One Direction and even 5 Seconds of Summer take influence from. Like Kid Rock, they too have their own themed cruise that has continued for nearly a decade. According to Refinery29, it consists of “Themed parties, special performances (two a day!), and up-close-and-personal time” with each band member in turn.
16 Outlaw Country Cruise (Norwegian)
While country music may not be for everyone, some artists have incorporated elements from other genres in order to make it more appealing to a mainstream audience. Some examples include Carrie Underwood and Taylor Swift, who combined pop music with country. But there are other bands in the alternative genre, who came about during the 90s much like those in the rock category. They became so famous that there’s an entire cruise that features some of these bands on the Norwegian Pearl. This includes “Lucinda Williams, Drive-By Truckers, Steve Earle & The Dukes” for the 2019 lineup according to Islands.
15 Salty Dog Cruise (Royal Caribbean)
For fans of Celtic rock music, which officially began in the 70s and became increasingly popular in the decades that followed including the 90s, the Salty Dog Cruise hosted by Royal Caribbean is the perfect fit. While its primary band is Flogging Molly, who set up this cruise in the first place several years ago, they also have other bands along for the ride as well. Some “Accouterments include whiskey tastings with guitarist Dennis Casey and live-band karaoke,” according to ThoughtCo. So whether one is of Irish descent or not, this cruise sounds like a fun time in general.
14 Monsters Of Rock Cruise (Royal Caribbean)
Due to its long history, rock music has become an umbrella term for so many different sub-genres that can’t be counted on one hand. Among these, heavy metal is an acquired taste that tends to conjure up images such as intense guitar solos mosh pits and lots of head-banging. But for those who enjoy this kind of music, Royal Caribbean’s Monsters of Rock Cruise has got lots of popular bands lined up. This year, for instance, there’s Tesla Queensryche and Skid Row according to Islands. Though three years ago, this cruise was hosted on the Norwegian Pearl ship.
13 The Rock Boat (Norwegian)
Because of its mainstream appeal, pop rock is something anyone can get into so long as it sounds good. While pop rock’s origins arguably date back to the 50s, various incarnations of it have continued to the present day. Nowhere are such incarnations more present than on The Rock Boat cruise that features lots of bands who are both new and nostalgic for some. This year, which will mark the nineteenth time this cruise has been hosted in general, the artists that’ll be featured include: Sister Hazel, Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness, and Plain White T’s as stated by Islands.
12 Ship-Hop Cruise (Carnival)
Last year, 90s Kids were given the ultimate nostalgic present with the Ship-Hop cruise that was hosted on the Carnival Sensation. Here, “Salt-n-Pepa, Sisqo, Naughty by Nature, Blackstreet and Coolio” were some of the featured artists according to Cruise Critic. But the biggest draw for most people was arguably Vanilla Ice, the forerunner of white rappers himself. Alongside concerts, the cruise had “Theme parties, a '90s prom event, meet-and-greets, photo opportunities and more” Cruise Critic states. While another one is rumored to be coming out this year, no dates or official lineups have been announced.
11 90s Theme Cruise (Marella Cruises)
While the Ship-Hop cruise may be up in the air in terms of its continuation, there is now an alternative available through Marella Cruises. Said to be “Scheduled for September 2019” according to Cruise Critic, it will also “Feature special guests like Sara Cox and Trevor Nelson”. Otherwise, not at lot is known regarding any particular events onboard such as concerts and the like. With that said, this cruise will be taking place onboard the Marella Explorer which is considered to be “The largest in Marella's fleet” as stated by Cruise Critic. So it’s easy to imagine the possibilities.
And here are 10 for the baby boomers...
10 Big Band Ball (Cunard)
Switching gears from cruises that would appeal to those who grew up in the 90s to those of the older generation, let’s start with the Big Band Ball offered by the Cunard Line of cruises. An annual event that’s hosted on the Queen Elizabeth ship in the Cunard fleet, it entails the “Sounds of trumpets, trombones, saxophones, rhythm sections and vocalists specializing in the Big Band and Swing era” according to Cunard’s official website. So for those who are fans of this kind of music, or maybe grew up with it, might want to come to this one-time event.
9 Jazz Cruise (Celebrity Cruises)
Whether it’s a cruise over an ocean lake or along a river, jazz performances are one of the more common features that’s offered. In fact, there are entire themed cruises that feature many jazz musicians who perform various concerts throughout the entire length of the cruise. For instance, the 2019 Jazz Cruise offered by Celebrity Cruises claims to be featuring “Nearly 100 jazz musicians on the ship” according to Celebrity Cruises’ website. Now given this cruise lasts an entire week aboard the Celebrity Infinity, that means one will certainly never get bored with all the simultaneous concerts that’ll be happening.
8 Blue Note At Sea (Celebrity Cruises)
Among the jazz-themed cruises out there, some are arguably more famous than others. For instance, Celebrity Cruises does offer an alternative to the Jazz Cruise known as the Blue Note at Sea. Named after the record label that hosts it, which is said to be “At the forefront of jazz for almost 80 years” according to Islands, many of the featured artists are more contemporary than the Jazz Cruise which offers old and new ones. Still, a few older favorites will make their appearance in the 2019 Blue Note at Sea Cruise such as Marcus Miller and Don Was.
7 Country Music Cruise (Holland America)
For those who don’t care much for contemporary country singers who blend other genres into their music and prefer the traditional kind, Holland America’s got just the right cruise. Done in “A partnership with the Grand Ole Opry,” as stated by Islands, the Country Music Cruise that’s hosted on the Nieuw Amsterdam has got many of the biggest artists lined up. This includes The Oak Ridge Boys and Patty Loveless just to name a few. The cruise also offers a few other features such as “A Boot & Buckles Ball, a Red White & Blue BBQ, and line dancing” according to Islands.
6 Decades of Rock and Roll Oldies Cruise (Royal Caribbean)
While rock music has enough sub-genres that can arguably appeal to anyone, there appears to be a strong generational gap. For instance, the younger folk might enjoy The Rock Boat cruise, but older people might prefer the Decades of Rock and Roll Oldies Cruise being offered by Royal Caribbean this year. Hosted on Adventure of the Seas ship-wise, this cruise offers various artists such as: “The Hadden Sayers Band, Phil Dirt and the Dozers, Ohio legend McGuffey Lane, Eagles Tribute Band, Hotel California, Steve Probst of Hotel California and the John Schwab Party Band” according to Hadden Sayers.
5 Flower Power Cruise (Celebrity Cruises)
In a classic example of the generational gap mentioned previously, there was the Hippie movement in the mid to late 60s which changed the image and style of rock music for an entire decade. Ironically, many of the young people from that generation are now old and retired. Fortunately, they can relive the days of their youth with the Flower Power Cruise that is hosted on the Celebrity Infinity ship. Some of the artists that are set to appear for this year’s cruise include The Beach Boys, Tommy James and the Shondells, and Jefferson Starship among others according to Islands.
4 Soul Train Cruise (Holland America)
Like jazz and blues, funk music and soul are often misinterpreted as being the same genre when there are noticeable differences between them. Nevertheless, these were other popular forms of music that would influence later genres such as disco and hip-hop. But for those who enjoy soul and funk in particular, there’s the Soul Train Cruise on Holland America’s Nieuw Amsterdam ship (which is where the Country Music Cruise is held as well). Apart from featuring artists like “Smokey Robinson, George Clinton, Morris Day & The Time” Islands says, the cruise also offers dance lessons and Club Soul Train parties.
3 ‘70s Rock & Romance Cruise (Celebrity Cruises)
Now as crazy as the 60s were for music, the 70s took things a step further. Not only was this the age of disco, but also when rock music started either incorporating more orchestral elements or ramping up the intensity of their guitar solos in the form of punk rock. Fortunately, both kinds of music are available on the ‘70s Rock & Romance Cruise. Apart from featuring bands such as “Foreigner, Boz Scaggs, Little River Band” in terms of this year’s cruise according to Islands, there’s also a disco-themed party offered and a movie/TV-themed costume ball as well.
2 Kiss Kruise (Norwegian)
Though people who grew up in the 80s aren’t a part of the traditional Baby Boomers generation, which applies to those who were born in the 50s and 60s, most of them are getting pretty old. The same can be said for the band Kiss, but they still continue to rock out through various concerts including their very own themed cruise. Hosted on the Norwegian Jade, it not only offers a week’s worth of live shows but also themed nights. With that said, Islands says the cruise does feature other artists such as Ace Frehley, Magnetico and Hard Day's Night.
1 '80s Cruise (Celebrity Cruises)
Because Kiss got started in the 70s but didn’t get really popular until the 80s, they don’t exactly fit in either decade of music. Such is not the case, though, for the bands featured on the 80’s Cruise hosted by Celebrity Cruises. These include Dee Snider, Kenny Loggins, Sheila E, and OMD for this year’s cruise according to Islands. On top of that, the cruise has a lot of other activities it offers besides concerts by artists that made it big in the 80s. For instance, “Trivia contests, karaoke, and Q&As with the artists” are included Islands says.