Over the past couple weeks, South Florida benefited from the music-cruise scene when top acts from the annual Jam Cruise and inaugural Weezer Cruise played land-locked kickoff and post-ship shows. It's been an unexpected positive of the booming themed cruise explosion, which has attracted entirely new audiences to cruising and proved a fun way for artists to make some money in the in-flux industry.
If you follow County Grind, you probably know all about the recently finished Kiss Kruise, the Jam Cruise, Holy Ship, the Weezer Cruise, and the upcoming Bruise Cruise, which departs on February 10 from Miami to Nassau, and for which you can still book a cabin. But while the heaviest season for these outings is through the fall and winter, there are still a few more music cruises, some better known than others, departing from South Florida ports in the next weeks and months. Here are five:
Did you know there are actual battling Irish music cruises? You already missed the boat (rimshot) for the Folk n Irish Cruise, which is on the ocean as of today. But if you act fast, you can still secure a spot on the seven-night Cruise of Irish Stars, departing from Fort Lauderdale on February 4. You won't find any, say, crossover Irish-punk acts on this voyage -- this is largely strictly traditional Irish fare. Top names include Andy Cooney, Ronan Tynan, and the comedian Noel V. Ginnity.
For those for who treasure the scene captured in the cult flick The Decline of Western Civilization 2, here's the Monsters of Rock Cruise. This is a veritable who's-who of acts who reigned the Sunset Strip of the '80s, but are perhaps remain lesser-known in today's mainstream than peers like Motley Crue, et. al. The biggest names here are Cinderella, Tesla, and maybe Stryper, but the long lineup is rounded out by other acts like Bang Tango, Faster Pussycat, and even Odin.
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To some, being stuck at sea with Kid Rock sounds like torture; to others, it sounds like redneck heaven. For the latter, there's this boutique cruise which features just five acts total. Besides the namesake headliner, performers are Uncle Kracker, the Sheepdogs, Ty Stone, and, as a genre wild card, rapper pinup Yelawolf, who featured Kid Rock on his current single "Let's Roll." This cruise is sold out, but you can get on a waiting list.
Make all the fun you want, but the recently reunited New Kids on the Block are enjoying a serious renaissance. Their fans are older and wiser, but now have way more disposable income to spend on concerts and fan experiences, and apparently still revel in their diehard passion for the grown-up Kids. The first editions of the cruise reached high-pitched capacity, and this year should be more of the same. Unlike other cruises, on this one, the stars are the only performers, and give multiple concerts, preside over dance parties, and more. This may be the most intense saturation experience at sea for serious fans of a single group.