Five favorite upcoming theme cruises
Fans unite! Whether you’re nutty for science fiction, kooky over craft beers, or a global policy wonk, there’s a ship full of your fellow aficionados waiting for you to join the party. There’s something special about being surrounded by other folks who get it when you’re carried away by your favorite obsessions. We know. Really, we know.
So out of all our favorite things, here are our five favorite favorites – the theme cruises that go above and beyond to drive their fans wild.
The Ship: Navigator of the Seas (Royal Caribbean International)
In April 2017, fitness fans will be visiting Nassau and Cozumel while dancing themselves healthy. The 5-night Zumba Cruise offers daily Zumba-themed classes — like Zumba in the Nightclub, Zumba Kids, Aqua Zumba, and Zumba Gold — in addition to master classes taught by Zumba founder, Beto Perez, and more than 50 celebrity Zumba instructors.
The teachers are just the beginning. There will also be live music and famous DJs in the classes and performing more than 20 concerts, as well as dance contests, theme parties, and inspirational speakers. And, as folks who were on the 2016 Zumba Cruise can tell you, the fun leads to friendships — just check out the #ZumbaCruise tag on social media for a sample.
Star Trek: The Cruise II
The Ship: Norwegian Jade (Norwegian Cruise Line)
The first Star Trek: The Cruise has already sold out — but (there are actually two “buts”): It’s still possible to win a free cabin … and they’ve opened bookings for the second, due to sail in January 2018 with George Takei as host.
He’ll be following in the footsteps of William Shatner, who’s hosting 2017’s 6-day/6-night event, the first officially licensed Star Trek cruise and a celebration of the franchise’s 50th anniversary. Fans will depart Miami on January 9, 2017, and visit Cozumel, Great Stirrup Cay, and Nassau before returning.
Besides cruising with Captain Kirk, the 2017 guests will sail with Star Trek: The Next Generation stars Jonathan Frakes (Commander Riker), Marina Sirtis (Counsellor Troi), John de Lancie (Q), and Denise Crosby (Security Chief Yar), as well as co-stars from Voyager and Deep Space Nine. Entertainment will include theme bars fit for a Star Fleet officer and performances by the Enterprise Blues Band, made up of Star Trek actors.
Wynwood Brewing Company Cruise
The Ship: Norwegian Escape (Norwegian Cruise Line)
Exactly as the name indicates, this theme cruise is organized by Miami’s own Wynwood Brewing Company. Beginning May 6, 2017, spend seven days aboard Norwegian’s newest ship toasting the health of friends old and new with craft beers. There’s a welcome reception with beer (and other drinks) and hors d’oeuvres, a beer and cheese tasting, a beer and dinner pairing, and, of course, an ultimate beverage package included in the price. Somewhere in there is also a basketball tourney, a WBCo ropes course, goodie bags, and visits to St. Thomas, Tortola, and Nassau.
The Ship: ms Nieuw Amsterdam (Holland America Line)
For those whose yearnings lean a little more to the plate than the pint glass, there’s the culinary Caribbean cruise designed to satisfy your appetite for all things MasterChef. This 7-day cruise, departing Fort Lauderdale on November 6, 2016, features some of your favorite competitors from past seasons — such as Mexican master Claudia Sandoval and MasterChef Junior and pastry prodigy Addison — with the mysterious main attraction being the not-yet-chosen winner of MasterChef’s seventh season.
Besides visiting Grand Turk, San Juan, Philipsburg, and Half Moon Cay, there’ll also be plenty of food-related fun. Take part in trivia contests, Q&A sessions, and live cooking demos; taste special dining room items created by the MasterChef All Stars as well as a VIP five-course luncheon prepared by the season seven victor; and enjoy onboard versions of show highlights like Mystery Box Challenges, Pressure Tests, and other culinary competitions that could see you going home with a trophy as 2016 MasterChef Cruise Champion.
Crystal Visions Enrichment Program: Global Affairs
The Ship: Crystal Esprit (Crystal Yacht Cruises)
Luxury operator Crystal Yacht Cruises is going deep with guests on a trio of cruises through the Mediterranean and Middle East, culminating in a December cruise with U.S. Marine Corps General (Ret.) Anthony Zinni, one of the foremost authorities on the region’s complex military and political history, accompanying guests as they explore Dubai, Oman, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates.
Zinni, as the former commander-in-chief of the United States Central Command, special envoy to Israel and the Palestinian Authority, author, and lecturer at the Virginia Military Institute and Duke University, shares a wealth of information and experience with guests aboard the all-suite ship.
“Crystal has long been a leader in providing enlightening onboard experiences with esteemed leaders in various fields that mirror the enriching experiences ashore in each destination,” says Crystal CEO and president, Edie Rodriguez. “Presentations from guest experts always draw in our audience of savvy, inquisitive travelers. The intimate setting aboard Crystal Esprit will only enhance the interactive and conversational atmosphere for a truly informative opportunity.”
— Grant Balfour
Photos: Zumba, Wynwood Brewing Company
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