Disco, 'Star Trek,' and More Themed Cruises You Won’t Believe

JoCo Cruise

Steve Petrucelli / Flickr

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Disco by PeterTea (CC BY-ND)

High Seas Adventure

Ever consider trying out a themed cruise, which have been gaining steadily in popularity over the last 20 years? If you're an active military member or veteran, police officer, firefighter, or a teacher, you may be able to sail on Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville at Sea for free as part of a program to thank frontline workers. Like many other themed cruises, Margaritaville at Sea used to be seen as niche and even weird, but they've since transformed into full-fledged floating music festivals, meetups of like-minded wrestling fans, and even a safe space for nudists. Whether you're looking to party all night on an adult cruise or just relax on a Caribbean vacation while you meet some new friends who share the same fashion sense, there's probably a theme cruise in 2022 or 2023 coming up for you.

Related: The Craziest Cruise Ship Amenities

Beach in Freeport, Bahamas
Beach in Freeport, Bahamas by SunshineSooner (CC BY-NC)

Margaritaville at Sea

Margaritaville at Sea Paradise

Dates ongoing

Parrot heads unite on this Jimmy Buffett-run party cruise on its own "it's always 5 o'clock"-festooned cruise ship. Every sailing is for three days and two nights, so bookings are available every other day from the Port of Palm Beach to Grand Bahama Island. Since they're basically tropical weekend getaways, prices only start at $99 per person, but you may be eligible for a free stateroom through 2023 if you qualify for the Heroes Sail Free program in a partnership with GovX.com. It applies to U.S. military members and veterans, government employees, first responders, and educators. 

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Celebrity Summit
Celebrity Summit by Master0Garfield (CC BY-SA)

Flower Power Cruise

Celebrity Summit

March 23-30, 2023

The "grooviest trip at sea" may be the Flower Power Cruise, a celebration of the ‘60s and ‘70s hippie generation. The main draw is music, of course, and the lineup includes Herman's Hermits, Micky Dolenz of the Monkees, The Yardbirds, and The Buckinghams. In between the ports of Belize City, Cozumel, and Costa Maya, you can expect to see plenty of bell bottoms and tie dye shirts, attend themed parties and artist Q+A sessions, or renew your vows at sea.

Related: 14 Types of People Who Shouldn't Take a Cruise

Royal Caribbean Mariner of the Seas
Royal Caribbean Mariner of the Seas by Prayitno (CC BY)

High Seas Rally

Royal Caribbean Mariner of the Seas

October 29-November 5, 2022

It may seem a bit weird to hold a motorcycle rally where you can't bring your motorcycle, but bikers love the Caribbean sun, too. This is the 21st year of the High Seas Rally, which bills itself as the only motorcycle rally on a cruise ship. Cruisers can attend concerts from bands like Foghat and Colt Ford, dress up for Halloween and pirate theme nights, shop off their chopper in the virtual bike show, and attend garage tutorials with customization experts.

Related: The Worst Cruise Ship Horror Stories

KISS by Nashville69 (CC BY-SA)

KISS Kruise

Norwegian Jewel

October 29-November 3, 2022

Rock and roll all night (and party everyday) on the 11th KISS Kruise. This is the first year the ship is leaving from Los Angeles and visiting two ports in sunny Mexico. You'll see KISS performances masked and unmasked, participate in activities with the band members, check out rare memorabilia, and get autographs from supporting bands like Buckcherry and Stryper. Bring your black-and-white stage makeup for the ultimate costume party night on this epic music cruise.

Related: Farewell Concert Tours — That Weren't Actually the End of the Road

Chris Jericho
Chris Jericho by Anton Jackson (CC BY-SA)

Rock N Wrestling Rager at Sea

Norwegian Pearl

February 2-6, 2023

This is the fourth cruise that professional wrestler Chris Jericho has arranged and these trips are always an outrageous time. Watch as wrestlers try to navigate the boat sway during performances each day, grab photos with your favorite performers, rock out to live shows from Fozzy and Quiet Riot, and maybe even participate in the infamous drunken spelling bee. You'll need to lounge around on the private island beach in port just to recharge from all the mayhem onboard.

Star Trek
Star Trek by Kipp Teague (CC BY-NC-ND)

Star Trek: The Cruise

Royal Caribbean Navigator of the Seas

February 24-March 3, 2023

Of course there's a cruise for Trekkies. The sixth annual cruise is boldly going where it hasn't gone before by departing from Los Angeles to three ports in Mexico, but it's the convention-like atmosphere onboard that superfans love. There will be plenty of Trek actors, including Kate Mulgrew, Jonathan Frakes, and Marina Sirtis, plus performances, comedy shows, concerts, themed parties, screenings, and games.

Norwegian Jewel
Norwegian Jewel by Ján Sokoly (CC BY)

Outlaw Country West Cruise

Norwegian Jewel

November 3-8, 2022

The Outlaw Country West themed cruise is a music festival that celebrates California country rock and cow punk. It sails from Los Angeles to Cabo San Lucas and Ensenada with over two dozen bands including Social Distortion, Lucinda Williams, Steve Earle, and Los Lobos. Each artist plays at least two shows, and artists popping in on other sets is not uncommon, especially on the open-air pool deck stage where artists are having just as much fun as the guests.

Disco by PeterTea (CC BY-ND)

Ultimate Disco Cruise

Celebrity Summit

February 25-March 2, 2023

Disco's not dead if you sail on the Ultimate Disco Cruise from Miami to Cozumel and Key West. Everything on this cruise revolves around the music, of course, which is practically nonstop. Kool & The Gang, Billy Ocean, Sister Sledge, and Taylor Dayne will all help you dance the night away. Game shows, trivia contests, theme nights, and dance contests complete with disco balls will keep everyone busy on this music cruise.

Golden Girls Fan Costume Contest
Flip Phone Events

Golden Fans at Sea

Celebrity Summit

April 8-13, 2023

If you threw a party and invited everyone you knew, you might end up filling an entire cruise ship like this "Golden Girls”-themed cruise does. Naturally, it leaves from the port of Miami, then heads to Key West and Cozumel. Entertainment includes a caftan welcome dance party, character costume party, trivia, and celebrity panels. Besides writers and producers who worked on the show, the Golden Gays NYC, a Golden Girls drag show, is also in attendance.

Related: 12 Private Islands and Resorts Owned by Cruise Lines

Knitting Cruise
Knitting Cruise by Shagil Kannur (CC BY-SA)

Antarctica Knitting Cruise

Holland America ms Oosterdam

February 2-24, 2023

If you've ever wanted to see penguins in Antarctica and really, really love knitting, there's a cruise for you. Life on board this cold weather knitting adventure is bound to be relaxing as you take classes with knitting expert Lily Chin, visit a penguin rookery, browse the colorful Buenos Aires yarn district, and get the most out of the 20 hours of daylight you'll get. This is not an inexpensive cruise, but it is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Neon Trees
Jason Kempin / Getty Images

The Rock Boat

Norwegian Pearl

January 23-28, 2023

If you're looking for the ultimate floating music festival, The Rock Boat is the cruise you should book — if you can, since it always sells out quickly. This is the boat's 22nd year sailing, and some cruisers have been on every single one. Besides tons of partying, expect concerts from Needtobreathe, Neon Trees, Lit, and Welshly Arms pretty much constantly in between ports in the Dominican Republic and Bahamas.

Carnival Pride
Carnival Pride by Stan Shebs (CC BY-SA)

Big Nude Boat

Carnival Pride

February 12-26, 2023

You can pack light for the Big Nude Boat since clothing is optional while the ship is at sea and even during some port excursions while docked at private islands. Besides skinny dipping in the hot tubs and sunbathing without tan lines, you can also participate in a Mardi Gras costume party or snorkel in one of the seven ports. Just be considerate and follow the strict guidelines for a stress-free clothes-free experience on this adult-themed cruise, like sitting on a towel in shared deck chairs.

JoCo Cruise
JoCo Cruise by Steve Petrucelli / Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND)

JoCo Cruise

Holland America ms Nieuw Amsterdam

March 5-12, 2023

JoCo is a cruise for nerds and anyone that loves nerd culture. It's hosted by Jonathan Coulton, a comedic singer who writes songs about geek culture, and it's been going on for over a decade. On any given day on ship in the Caribbean, you'll find cosplaying, concerts, comedy sets, crafting workshops, author readings, a ton of tabletop games — literally, they weighed them — and even a mustache, fez, and tierra social party.

The Gothsicles
Gary Wolstenholme / Redferns / Getty Images

Gothic Cruise

MSC Divina

September 18-26, 2022

What the Gothic Cruise lacks in size — it doesn't charter a whole cruise ship — it makes up for in longevity. It's been happening since 1989 thanks to a dedicated fanbase of people who share the same interests in goth music, culture, and fashion. There are private performances by bands like Ego Likeness and The Gothsicles, private late night parties, games, costumes, and even wedding and vow renewal ceremonies complete with gothic music. 

Norwegian Jewel
Norwegian Jewel by Tony Hisgett (CC BY)

Emo's Not Dead Cruise

Norwegian Jewel

November 8-12, 2022

"Sailed on a sea of tears" is the cheeky tagline to the Emo's Not Dead cruise, a trip centered around emotional rock bands and their black eyeliner- and skinny jeans-wearing fans. Sob and mosh to music from Dashboard Confessional, Underoath, Newfound Glory, and Plain White T's. There will be theme nights, games, and activities with the bands as well as you sail from Los Angeles to Ensenada.