First Beatles Tribute Cruise to Leave From Fort Lauderdale

As a hub for so many cruise ships, Port Everglades sees a lot of entertaining "theme" cruises. Remember the Climax Cruise or the Weekly Standard Cruise? Well now a Boca Raton man has assembled the first Beatles Tribute Cruise, and it's scheduled to depart Fort Lauderdale on Sunday, March 28, 2010, for six nights of pure mop-top mania.

Will there be any Beatles on this cruise? No, but there will be

plenty of hardcore fans, just like Woody Lifton, the 54-year-old Boca man who put it all together. There will also be ex-girlfriends of Beatles, former Beatles photographers, a Beatles tribute band (with a special dance set list picked out by Lifton himself), and at least one woman who's written a book about being a groupie during the British Invasion.

"This is sort of a dream of mine," Lifton told me. Like many Americans, Lifton watched the Beatles debut on the Ed Sullivan Show on February 9, 1964. "Like 73 million other people, I fell in love that night. That's it. It was over."

Liften says the idea grew out of other Beatles projects he's worked on. For a website he assembled, he had to contact several of the former Beatles' girlfriends. A neighbor of Lifton's who helps organize special cruises saw the site and told him they should put together a Beatles cruise.

"I said I know a lot of people that would be great for that."

For this first cruise, Lifton has scheduled special guest appearances by
May Pang, John Lennon's former girlfriend; Nancy Lee Andrews, Ringo Starr's former fiancee; and Chris O'Dell, who wrote a book: Miss O'Dell: My Hard Days and Long Nights With the Beatles, the Stones, Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, and the Women They Loved.

Royal Carribean allotted Lifton only 400 tickets for Beatles fans. Of those, he's already booked 260. How often do you have the chance to be with so many fellow Beatles fans and still be able to say "I'm on a boat"?

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