A Compendium of Pop Culture-Theme Cruises


If you prefer your vacations to be on palatial boats crammed with like-minded tourists and you have an obsession with 1980s boy band heartthrobs, then you’re in luck! The New Kids on the Block just announced that they’re hitting the stage cruise-style with a four-day vacation from Miami to the Bahamas, packed with NKOTB performances. Tickets start at a mere $700 per person, which is like, totally worth it to see Donnie Wahlberg walk past your cabin. But the NKOTB cruise is merely one in a long line of increasingly specialized cruises. There are now cruises for Star Trek enthusiasts, Twihards, and Elvis believers. Click through to see our compendium of pop culture cruises.

7000 Tons of Metal Cruise

They call it the world’s biggest floating heavy metal festival, and we’re pretty sure we can’t argue with them. It’s you, 1,999 other metalheads, and forty bands heading out for five days and four nights into the totally rockin’ waters of Cozumel Mexico. And what’s more relaxing than listening to Witchburner on the pool deck?

The Backstreet Boys Cruise

Backstreet’s back, all right? And they’re on a boat. From Miami to Mexico, it’ll be just you, the Backstreet Boys, and a literal boatload of screaming fans. Rad! Cruise members will participate in “the Backstreet Boys experience” which, we imagine, is a creative re-imagining of Howie’s facial hair. Apparently, there’ll be a Q&A, cocktail party, and various BSB-related dance parties and social events. If you’re single, ready to mingle, and BSB-obsessed, this may just be the right vacation for you.

The Betty Boop Fan Cruise

Betty Boop enthusiasts, rejoice! This year is the second annual iteration of one of the weirdest pop culture cruises, the Betty Boop vacation. Actresses dressed like Boop join cruise passengers as they relax, swim, and eat unlimitedly catered cruise cuisine. There’s late night cartoon theater, a Boop fashion show, and a pin trading breakfast. Boop to your heart’s content.

The Bruise Cruise

This year is the inaugural combination indie rock festival and cruise, with headliners The Black Lips, Surfer Blood, and Vivian Girls playing aboard a Carnival boat while it drifts from Miami to the Bahamas and back. It’s every rich hipster’s dream vacation: unlimited ice cream, limited edition vinyl, and lots of chillwave. Though, a warning: not everyone may survive an island party with the Black Lips.

The Elvis Cruise

For everyone who thinks the King never really did leave the building, the Elvis Cruise offers four days and nights of Elvis-packed activities while you travel from Florida to the Bahamas and back. What’s in store? Why, vow renewals, Elvis trivia, Elvis high school theme night, karaoke, Elvis wine tastings, and, of course, all the Elvis tributes you could possibly desire. Not to mention a panel discussion with Elvis’ personal hair stylist, who can show you how to coax your hair into a Blue Suede Shoes-worthy pompadour. There’s a whole lot of cruisin’ goin’ on.


Aside for being as rich for visual weirdness as the annual goth day at Disney World, Goth cruises offer the cruise experience that Robert Smith would probably be most comfortable with. There’s goth karaoke, a goth ball, all manner of goth-related dance and mope parties (we assume), and a “Ghosts of Christmases Past” event. Alas, a caveat: “As our group only makes up a small percentage of the ship, you should be prepared to interact with a variety of non-goth people and should dress appropriately for a public setting.” Drat!

But the best part is probably the FAQ entry about apparel:

“You are certainly entitled to shun the sun. We find that the people who most enjoy the cruise are those in the scene who aren’t terrified by the ‘daystar’ and/or are comfortable using ‘Goth Block’ (SPF 30,001) to keep from getting an embarrassing tan. Many of the regular activities and the shore excursions happen during the day and outdoors. Typical day wear consists of loose shorts and t-shirts and it’s rare to see PVC or Velvet come until our special events or dinner. This is vacation after all. You aren’t expected to be uncomfortable 24/7.”

Kid Rock’s Chillin’ The Most Cruise

If you have the moxie to let Kid Rock plan your vacation — along with metal-rock friends Unkle Kracker —then pile aboard the second Kid Rock cruise. You’ll get some serious early 2000s hard rock, plus Kid Rock-hosted bingo, a flip cup championship, and artist v. artist trivia smackdown. Sounds pretty much like the biggest frat party on the seven seas.

The Twilight Fan Cruise

Oh, Twihards. We know that a trip to Alaska just wouldn’t be complete without a Robert Pattinson look-a-like and a Q&A with Charlie Bewley. Twi Cruises offers vacations to either the chilly Alaskan wilderness or the Mediterranean with Twilight themed events. Everyone can dress like vampires, all the time! Plus a talent show, a costume ball, and a host of impersonators giving autographs.

Star Trek Cruise

Robert Picardo, Rod Roddenberry (son of Star Trek creator Gene Rodenberry), and Chase Masterson are among the illustrious Trekkie celebrities than come along on these Star Trek cruises, where even the drinks are served up by an “intergalactic bartender.” Trivia contests, movie screenings, and costume contests abound, not to mention seven days of chillin’ around Puerto Rico with your Spock ears.

CruiseCons’ 1st Celebrity Cruise Convention

This one sounds a lot like Comic Con, but instead of being holed up with your fellow nerds indoors, you’ll spend seven days cruising around the Western Caribbean with a bunch of geek-friendly celebrities. So far the confirmed “headliners” include Nicholas Brendon (Buffy/Criminal Minds), George Takei (Star Trek/Heroes), and Julie Benz (Dexter/Angel/Rambo). As we can’t find any solid intel on this year’s Slayer Cruise, this could prove a good alternative option for Whedon fans.