Last updated: 03:00 AM ET, Wed May 20 2015

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  • Amber Nolan | May 20, 2015 3:00 AM ET

    6 Rockin' Music Cruises

    6 Rockin' Music Cruises

    Music cruises have become extremely popular because travelers can watch their favorite musicians live on stage while being transported to tropical islands or other exotic cruise destinations. Entire cruise ships are taken over by fans for what are essentially music festivals at sea, combined with the usual cruise ship amenities. Musical genres range from blues and soul to rock and roll, and often include opportunities to meet the artists and participate in themed events with other like-minded cruisers. Here are some upcoming music cruises that are sure to be a hit — so book early.

    The Kiss Cruise V

    This October, the Norwegian Pearl sets sail from Miami to Ocho Rios, Jamaica on a four-night cruise during Halloween — so bring your most outrageous costumes. A dozen bands will perform on six stages including Steel Panther, Lita Ford of the Runaways, Big Rock Show, and more. Kiss will perform the entire “Alive” album, and cruisers will become part of the Kiss Navy. A pre-party option is available to board the ship the night before and take part in the moonlight pre-cruise party.

    Country Music Cruise

    It’s no wonder the Country Music Cruise is scheduled for an entire week of fun, there’s a slew of activities scheduled onboard. Kenny Rogers is the headliner, in partnership with the Grand Ole Opry, and the star-studded lineup includes Randy Owen, The Oak Ridge Boys, and more than 50 live performances. Holland America’s Westerdam embarks from Fort Lauderdale in January 2016 and calls on Key West, Ocho Rios, and Grand Cayman. Get ready for “red, white, and blue barbecue,” question and answer sessions, autograph signings, line dancing, costume contests, karaoke, and more.

    Rock Legends IV

    Hop aboard Royal Caribbean’s Independence of the Seas for a three-night cruise from Fort Lauderdale to Grand Turk for the annual Rock Legends cruise. The January voyage features greats like Gregg Allman, Grand Funk Railroad, The Marshall Tucker Band, Peter Frampton, the Outlaws, and more than 15 additional artists (so far). Fans will be able to wander from stage to stage and check out all the outrageous amenities of the ship like a surf simulator, a rock climbing wall, boxing ring, and full-service spa.

    Holy Ship

    Electronic music fans flock to the MSC Divina each year to see some of the biggest DJs like Skrillex, Fatboy Slim, Baauer, DJ Snake, Kaskade, and more. The event draws such a crowd that two sailings are being offered in January and February 2016. Both three-night cruises will sail from Miami, with the January voyage heading to Coco Cay (private island) and February’s going to Grand Turk for outrageous beach parties. While 2016’s lineup is yet to be announced (and pre-booking has already sold out), 2014 featured Knife Party, Pretty Lights, Flume, and Boys Noize — to name a few.

    The Soul Train Cruise

    Cabins are selling quickly on the Soul Train Cruise, which sets sail in January, 2016 for a week-long Caribbean voyage. The lineup already features The O’Jays, Stephanie Mills, The Whispers, Billy Ocean, Howard Hewitt, and special guest Smokey Robinson. Activities include question and answer sessions, dance lessons, meet and greets, cooking lessons, and costume nights aboard the Celebrity Constellation. The ship leaves from Fort Lauderdale and calls on Grand Cayman, Ocho Rios (Jamaica), a private island in the Bahamas, and Key West.

    The Rock Boat XVI

    For a blend of different types of rock artists, The Rock Boat (aka the Norwegian Pearl) will cruise from Miami to Costa Maya (Mexico) and Grand Cayman in January 2016. Now in its 16th year, the lineup includes everything from Christian rock bands (Need to Breathe) to the eclectic reggae/rap/rock of Michael Franti and Spearhead, as well as hits from Sister Hazel (who are the cruise hosts) and the pop/rock sounds of Gavin Degraw. If fans have down time in between shows, the ship has more than 12 dining options, basketball courts, hot tubs, a spa, casino, and bowling alley.


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Amber Nolan Captain’s Blog: Cruise Tips and Advice

Amber Nolan Amber Nolan loves to be on the water, and although she enjoys the fun and excitement of larger cruise ships, she prefers setting sail on smaller vessels to unique destinations. Originally from western New York, this restless traveler has a knack for finding creative ways to travel and befriending interesting characters along the way. On her most recent adventure, she hitchhiked on private aircraft across the United States. She previously served as the cruise editor at Sherman’s Travel but her work can also be found on and USA Today Travel. She current resides in South Florida.
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