Themed Cruises

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   November 25, 2015 ,   Themed Cruises

Themed Cruises are all the special-theme voyages designed for special people on chartered cruise ships. Theme cruising vacations are your best ever chance to enjoy affordable cruise travel together with passengers with the same interests as yours.

For your convenience, the following links jump down directly to CruiseMapper's theme cruise schedule (listing lines, ships, departure dates and homeports), as well as the reviews and tips on cruises specifically designed for FAMILIESADULTS (Kids-Free)SENIORS.

Our themed cruises selections include the following reviewed themes: Fitness, Dance and Music Themed, Food and WineGolf, Party, Singles, Christian (and to Holy Land), Christmas and New Years Eve.

Themed Cruises - CruiseMapper

"Theme Cruises"

Read below about the cruise ship onboard programming, lines, vessels, and many FAQs (Oh yes, I know, it sounds somehow confusing when spelled out.

What is "Theme Cruise"?

Theme cruises take lots of forms, but they primarily are regular voyages with additional onboard programming. This special type of programming can range from seminars to learning and classroom-style sessions, from concerts to dance themes. Countless possibilities are waiting for you to explore- food and wine, religious, music and dancing, cruises for singles, an alternative lifestyle themed, etc. Usually, the programming occurs onboard the cruise ship, but sometimes theme events take place in the port as well. You can search the huge content of Wikipedia from this link to its Theme directory (for arts, music, narrative, etc).

A few words about our "Theme Cruises" photo of choice here. It's a colorful lady - all the way. Colorful just like the selection of unique choices you have from our long list of most special voyages. And what is a specially themed vacation without women, anyway? The God's most charmingly beautiful creatures make the money-world go round! And they drive the cruise travel industry as well. So what a better theme in life - and on your special cruise vacation, than the woman by your side?

Theme Cruise Lines

The purest form of a theme cruise is what the line creates on-board one of the company's ships- all the passengers are entitled to be participants then. This was fairly common when shipboard transportation involved long sea stretches for ocean crossings. Nowadays, with more than 2,000 passengers on-board most cruise ships, it is not practical for the entire ship to be turned into a themed sailing. But annual festivities as Regent Seven Seas' Chocolate Cruise, Carnival's NASCAR voyage, Holland America's jazz festival, appeal to the audience that is broad enough to warrant the involvement of the whole line. Cruises become more mainstream and desired vacation options. With passengers that count at 4,000 or so, theme voyages that range from lifestyles to hobbies, themed trips are a way for the experience to be personalized.

Types of Themed Cruises

The theme cruise vacation travel today is a very popular way to connect people with common hobbies and interests to share the experiences of theme-related onboard activities that are impossible to live through onshore. Themed cruise specials can range from political to poker or music themed. The popularity of these vacations nowadays has spread across the entire demographic spectrum and everyone is able to find out his own line or itinerary.

Special Interests / Private Themed Voyages

These trips are the most common of all themed specials. In these, a special group of interest arranges and purchases a number of staterooms that are in different categories. This special group also sets up the itinerary and makes arrangements for special guests; markets the cruise to travelers who would be interested in the activity. These groups have little impact on other passengers on board, though some public spaces might be taken over by them.

Private theme cruise specials are developed usually by an organization. They are administered by a travel agency - if you want to participate in the events, you should book through this agency. General passengers on board will be prohibited from participation in the events. Some private theme cruises might comprise as many as twenty guests, while others- as many as one thousand. Keep in mind that a great number of private cruises include additional fees, such as fuel surcharges, gratuities, port fees, government taxes, as part of the overall cruise ticket prices. This is important to note while comparing theme sailings prices to the retail prices out in the marketplace.

Theme Charter Voyages

This signifies full ship charter deals: This type of cruise includes the entire ship's organization around interest-du-jour. Every one of the passengers is a participant to some extent. You can enjoy onboard events and additional activities on selected classic cruises that are going to be shaped around particular themes. If you want to learn about local history; or you are a music fan; or just want to improve your photography skills, themes add different dimensions to general cruise offers. The best part is that they all are completely free of charge!

Actually, these are also a kind of “private” cruises, but the difference is that everyone on the ship is in the action. Chartered cruises are usually implemented for religious themes, music, gaming tournaments (often poker themed), alternative lifestyle. Keep in mind that passenger ships are of a wide range of sizes, and it is possible for a chartered cruise ship to only accommodate two hundred guests, while another accommodates as many as 3,000.

Cruise Line Themed Voyages

Major cruise lines offer their own kind of theme voyages to attract passengers. One of the main advantages of these themed voyages is that there is no additional cost for participating. Book through any travel agency or through the line's website - it doesn't really matter (except for the rates, of course). A negative side is that everyone on the ship is welcome to participate which makes the voyage less intimate. Such theme cruises are more speaker-, seminar- or musically oriented.

Cruise lines get more and more innovative - even a tattoo-themed cruise "Ink or Swim" was on offer in April 2015 (roundtrip Fort Lauderdale to Cozumel, Mexico) on Liberty of the Seas. Passengers had the opportunity to get tattoos from renown artists, to attend tattoo contests and join a private beach party in Cozumel. Rates started at $970 pp, including all activities and events, with added $100 pp onboard credit towards tattoos for first and second passengers in each cabin.

Theme Cruises for Adults, Families with Kids, Seniors (FAQs, tips)

Each theme voyage has different dynamics. Groups vary between 10 and 2-3 thousand (on voyage charters). Partial charters book a substantial number of staterooms, full charters book the entire vessel. Nearly everything on board goes around the voyage's theme, and the experience is about connecting these like-minded passengers socially in big-group activities.

Family Cruises - CruiseMapper

Cruises for FAMILIES with KIDS

Family cruises are actually "kids-themed" voyages on ships with plenty of modern and "cool" kids-friendly facilities, dedicated (professionally trained) staff for supervising children's activities, onboard nursery (for toddlers up to 3 yo), kids- and teen-only club lounges, sundecks (with pool or whirlpool), teens-only programs and excursions, teen spa treatments. family-type cabins, family pool deck, kids menus in dining rooms, etc.

Family cruises are industry's fastest-growing branch of specially themed cruise travel vacations. Annually, over 2 million children cruise worldwide. More and more families book ship cruises due to their most affordable prices and excellent value as a vacation experience.

  • Ticket price includes accommodations, transportation, dining, entertainment, most activities (including kids clubs and programming), water parks with slides, sports facilities, cinemas.
  • Often, major companies offer "kids sail free" deals or give discount rates for a third/fourth passenger in the cabin.
  • Specifically for families with children are available connecting cabins, bigger than average family-category staterooms (oceanview, balcony) and larger "family suites".
  • Ships provide a safe and controlled kids-friendly environment. Some provide 2-way beepers or walkie-talkies. Families eat together in the main dining rooms. Alternatively, kids can eat at their lounges. Food is complimentary and all you can eat.
  • Themed onboard activities are organized n adult-free facilities for Toddlers (ages 2-4), Juniors (ages 5-7), Intermediate (ages 8-10), Tweens (ages 10-12) and Teens (ages 13-17). Kids in different groups eat at different times and order from special menus.
  • Few ships have trained staff and nursery to look after toddlers or to provide babysitting for families.
  • Caribbean and Mediterranean itineraries are best for family-themed voyages. Mediterranean roundtrips from UK (Southampton) are among the most popular and generally offered by P&O Cruises UK.
  • Best brands for family ship travel are Royal Caribbean (largest liners, innovative facilities), Carnival ("Fun Ship" activities, great food, cheapest fares), MSC ("kids sail for free" deals year-round) and Disney (themed entertainment, great facilities, most expensive). Aggressively competing on the family cruising market, some companies establish exclusive partnerships with brands like LEGO (MSC), Dr Seuss (Carnival), DreamWorks (Royal Caribbean), Marvel's superheroes  (Disney), Nickelodeon (NCL).
  • The answer to "what are the best cruise ships for families" depends on the vacation budget. It's one of those money-questions for choosing between all-inclusive luxury on exotic destinations and affordable packages on shorter itineraries.
  • Bigger and new ships provide more space and activities in comparison even to land-based resorts. Among the most unique facilities are outdoor theaters, zip-lines, multi-deck waterslides, surf simulators, fly simulators, rock-climbing walls, ice-skating rinks, trampolines, circus schools, bumping cars, racing tracks, bowling alleys, mini-golf, arcades.
  • What are the benefits of the family cruising? Family ship cruise vacations are convenient (no cooking, cleaning, rentals, changing hotels-restaurants, 24-hour room service, casino gaming and duty-free shopping, numerous close to home departures / saving airfare), all-inclusive (accommodation, meals, alternative menus, entertainment, activities, pools-Jacuzzis, theaters, libraries), care-free (supervised programs, age-based activities shipboard and ashore), adventurous and cheaper than most beach resorts.

KIDS-FREE cruises for ADULTS (tips)

Although most vessels have dedicated to children onboard facilities (clubs, playrooms, pools, supervised activities) kids usually run free, hang out in stairwells, ride the elevators and generally annoy elder passengers. Many companies offer entirely "kids-free" cruises or voyages with a smaller number of children - mainly by picking itineraries and ships less attractive for families.

  • Luxury ships are smaller and geared to adults, but also expensive. Some premium companies provide kids programs and babysitting.
  • Avoid peak-season travel.
  • Book balcony suite to reduce time in public spaces.
  • Brands like NCL Norwegian, Cunard and MSC have top-deck located luxury cabin complexes to maximize privacy. This "ship-within-ship" concept features suite and villa residents with exclusive access to a private sundeck with swimming pool, restaurant, nightclub, fitness and lounge facilities, butler service.
  • Spa suites are another "fewer kids" option also offering as perks premium brand spa products, unlimited access to VIP spa facilities, healthy-food restaurants, even cabins and suites with whirlpool baths, complimentary treatments, fitness classes, thalassotherapy pool.
  • Small-ship cruises fit into smaller, less-known ports and deliver crowd-free days ashore. Hurtigruten ships are shore-hugging and visit 34 ports on coastal routes over six or seven days. They give an opportunity to start exploring non-touristy call ports.
  • Small-ship cruises on smaller boats, as well as river cruises,  are also not so kids-friendly due to lack of "modern fun"  facilities, less traditional and longer itineraries, smaller cabins, not cheap fares.
  • World Cruises and Grand Voyages (longer than 2-weeks itineraries) attract repeat (older) travelers and fewer families. Repositioning voyages (RepositionCruises.com) are seasonal, always one-way and often change regions, which results in the cheapest fares and kids-free experience. Less traveled routes and exotic destinations (Indian Ocean, Africa, Far East, Arctic and Antarctica, South America) attract fewer families.

Adults-only cruise ships

There are cruise ships advertised in companies' brochures as "adults-only" and not allowing any kids at all.

  • Most river cruise lines have minimum age requirement 12-13 yo and discourage 8- yo kids. Deals are inclusive of drinks (beer-wine-soda at dinners); tours, Wi-Fi, bicycles (ashore), some include also airport transfers, alcoholic beverages, gratuities, in-cabin minibar.
  • P&O Cruises UK has 2 such vessels - Arcadia and Oriana.
  • Saga Cruises targets exclusively passengers over 50 yo, with deals inclusive of all meals (any restaurant dining), gratuities, Wi-Fi, drinks (wine with lunches and dinners), bus transfers.
  • Viking Ocean has a minimum age requirement 18 yo. Deals are inclusive of 1 excursion in each call port, shipwide dining, Wi-Fi, self-serve laundry; drinks (wine-beers-soda during lunches and dinners, all-balcony cabins.

Senior Cruises

It’s not too late for a first cruise after 55. Reaching a certain age doesn't mean you won't be able to enjoy a cruise vacation. More and more ships cater to senior travelers. The children-free peaceful atmosphere and calm travelers of similar interests and ages might be the right choice for you. There are few senior cruises each year. Many lines advertise these types of cruises but don't specialize in providing an all-senior model, and generally, seniors find themselves onboard among a younger crowd. Most senior passengers prefer senior river cruises and smaller ship cruises as compared to huge 2000+ passenger ships. The reason is that these offer a more intimate and quieter atmosphere.

Most senior cruises feature onboard lecturers to peak the interest. A loud party atmosphere is not common. Seniors prefer to relax and learn while traveling. Many lines advertise senior cruises on older ships which means fewer passengers and environment free of partying all night. Senior cruises are cost-effective because lines charge less. A growing trend with these types of cruises is senior adults taking along adult children - family reunion style for senior cruises. Children who are middle-aged are less likely to act like kids and prefer relaxing while they travel with senior adult parents.

Theme Cruises 2020-2021 schedule

In the following table are listed all themed voyages (full-vessel charter) scheduled by major cruise line companies. Ship links redirect to CruiseMapper's ship wiki page.

Note: As full-boat (voyage) charters, these are charter party deals - between the shipowner and the charterer (tour company). This means you can't book independently, but only through the ship-chartering company.

Companies / ShipsThemed VoyagesRegionsDeparture Ports and Dates

Azamara Cruises

Azamara Journey

Azamara Quest

Azamara Pursuit

  1. (Journey) "Desire Greek Islands Cruise"
  2. (Pursuit) "Olivia Greece, Cyprus & Israel Luxury Cruise"

Mediterranean

  1. (Sept 26, 2020) 7-night roundtrip from Piraeus
  2. (Oct 17, 2020) 7-night roundtrip from Piraeus

Carnival Cruise Line

Carnival Legend

Carnival Liberty

Carnival Sunrise

Carnival Magic

Carnival Conquest

Carnival Pride

  1. (Pride) "The Unsung R&B Cruise"
  2. (Liberty) "Singing At Sea Cruise"

Mexico

The Bahamas

Bermuda

  1. (Oct 11, 2020) 7-night roundtrip from Baltimore
  2. (Feb 1, 2021) 4-night roundtrip from Port Canaveral

Celebrity Cruises

Celebrity Constellation

Celebrity Equinox

Celebrity Infinity

Celebrity Summit

 

  1. (Infinity) "Groove Cruise Miami"
  2. (Infinity) "The Jazz Cruise"
  3. (Infinity) "Blue Note At Sea"
  4. (Infinity) "The Smooth Jazz Cruise 2021 Sailing 1"
  5. (Infinity) "The Smooth Jazz Cruise 2021 Sailing 2"
  6. (Summit) "Vacaya Caribbean Cruise"
  7. (Infinity) "Ultimate Disco Cruise"
  8. (Infinity) "Rock And Romance Cruise"

Mexico

The Bahamas

Haiti

Caribbean

  1. (Jan 7, 2021) 4-night roundtrip from Miami Florida
  2. (Jan 16, 2021) 7-night roundtrip from Miami Florida
  3. (Jan 23, 2021) 7-night roundtrip from Miami Florida
  4. (Jan 30, 2021) 7-night roundtrip from Miami Florida
  5. (Feb 6, 2021) 7-night roundtrip from Miami Florida
  6. (Feb 13, 2021) 7-night roundtrip from San Juan
  7. (Feb 22, 2021) 5-night roundtrip from Miami Florida
  8. (Feb 27, 2021) 7-night roundtrip from Miami Florida

Costa Cruises

Costa Mediterranea

  1. (Mediterranea) "16eme Jazz En Mer"
  2. (Mediterranea) "La Croisiere Rock"
  3. (Mediterranea) "XIXeme Festival Musique En Mer"
  4. (Mediterranea) "Marti Croisiere Musicale"

Mediterranean

-

Disney Cruise Line

Disney Fantasy

Disney Wonder

  1. (Wonder) "Disney Vacation Club Member Cruise"
  2. (Fantasy) "Turner Classic Movies Cruise"

Alaska

The Bahamas

  1. (Aug 24, 2020) 7-night roundtrip from Vancouver
  2. (Oct 4, 2020) 6-night roundtrip from Port Canaveral

Holland America Line

ms Oosterdam

ms Nieuw Amsterdam

ms Veendam

ms Nieuw Statendam

ms Volendam

ms Eurodam

  1. (Eurodam) "Legendary Rhythm And Blues Cruise #35"
  2. (Eurodam) "Malt Shop Memories Cruise"
  3. (Eurodam) "Soul Train Cruise"
  4. (Nieuw Amsterdam) "The Country Music Cruise"
  5. (Eurodam) "Sandy Beaches Cruise 27"
  6. (Nieuw Statendam) "Legendary Rhythm And Blues Cruise #36"

Mexico

The Bahamas

Caribbean

Pacific Coast

  1. (Oct 25, 2020) 7-night roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale Florida
  2. (Nov 1, 2020) 7-night roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale Florida
  3. (Jan 17, 2021) 7-night roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale Florida
  4. (Jan 24, 2021) 7-night roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale Florida
  5. (Jan 31, 2021) 7-night roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale Florida
  6. (Jan 31, 2021) 7-night roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale Florida

MSC Cruises

MSC Armonia

MSC Seaview

MSC Orchestra

  1. (Armonia) "Salsa Cruise"

Brazil

Mediterranean

The Bahamas

  1. (Oct 25, 2020) 7-night roundtrip from Miami Florida

NCL Norwegian Cruise Line

Norwegian Pearl

Norwegian Jade

  1. (Pearl) "The Broadway Cruise"
  2. (Pearl) "Keshas Rainbow Cruise"
  3. (Pearl) "The Melissa Etheridge Cruise"
  4. (Pearl) "SS Neverender Cruise"
  5. (Pearl) "The Kiss Kruise X"
  6. (Pearl) "Keeping The Blues Alive At Sea VII"

Caribbean

Bahamas

Bermuda

Mediterranean

Europe

  1. (Oct 10, 2020) 4-night roundtrip from New York
  2. (Oct 16, 2020) 4-night roundtrip from Miami Florida
  3. (Oct 20, 2020) 6-night roundtrip from Miami Florida
  4. (Oct 26, 2020) 4-night roundtrip from Miami Florida
  5. (Oct 30, 2020) 5-night roundtrip from Miami Florida
  6. (Mar 8, 2021) 4-night roundtrip from Miami Florida

Ponant

Paul Gauguin

  1. (Paul Gauguin) "CruiseBare Bali To Fiji"
Indonesia, PNG

-

Royal Caribbean

Anthem Of The Seas

Independence Of The Seas

Empress Of The Seas

Explorer Of The Seas

Freedom Of The Seas

Jewel Of The Seas

Brilliance Of The Seas

Enchantment Of The Seas

Mariner Of The Seas

Radiance Of The Seas

Serenade Of The Seas

  1. (Anthem) "Sail Away With Jane McDonald"
  2. (Anthem) "Stages The Musical Theatre Festival At Sea Cruise"
  3. (Anthem) "Throwback The Ultimate Festival At Sea"
  4. (Serenade) "Cruisin Country 2020"
  5. (Serenade) "Bravo Cruise Of Performing Arts 2020"
  6. (Brilliance) "Flogging Mollys Salty Dog Cruise"
  7. (Mariner) "Bliss Cruise"
  8. (Empress) "Aventura Dance Cruise"
  9. (Brilliance) "Country Cruising Cruise"
  10. (Independence) "Ubersoca Cruise I"
  11. (Independence) "Ubersoca Cruise II"
  12. (Radiance) "Rock The Boat 2020"
  13. (Brilliance) "High Seas Rally Cruise"
  14. (Independence) "Welcome To Jamrock Reggae Cruise"
  15. (Independence) "The SuperCruise XIV"
  16. (Freedom) "Love Like You Mean It Cruise"
  17. (Independence) "Monsters Of Rock Cruise"
  18. (Brilliance) "Temptation Caribbean Cruise"
  19. (Independence) "Rock Legends Cruise IX"
  20. (Explorer) "Buckeye Cruise For Cancer 2021"
  21. (Anthem) "Philadelphia Eagles Fan Cruise"

Caribbean

Bahamas

Mexico

Grand Cayman

New Caledonia

Europe

Mediterranean

  1. (Sept 20, 2020) 7-night roundtrip from Southampton UK
  2. (Sept 27, 2020) 4-night roundtrip from Southampton UK
  3. (Oct 1, 2020) 3-night roundtrip from Southampton UK
  4. (Oct 5, 2020) 8-night roundtrip from Sydney
  5. (Oct 13, 2020) 7-night roundtrip from Sydney
  6. (Nov 5, 2020) 4-night roundtrip from Tampa Florida
  7. (Nov 6, 2020) 7-night roundtrip from Port Canaveral
  8. (Nov 8, 2020) 6-night roundtrip from Miami Florida
  9. (Nov 9, 2020) 5-night roundtrip from Tampa Florida
  10. (Nov 9, 2020) 5-night roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale Florida
  11. (Nov 14, 2020) 5-night roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale Florida
  12. (Nov 24, 2020) 7-night roundtrip from Brisbane
  13. (Dec 3, 2020) 7-night roundtrip from Tampa Florida
  14. (Dec 5, 2020) 5-night roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale Florida
  15. (Jan 16, 2021) 8-night roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale Florida
  16. (Feb 7, 2021) 7-night roundtrip from San Juan
  17. (Feb 8, 2021) 5-night roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale Florida
  18. (Feb 11, 2021) 5-night roundtrip from Tampa Florida
  19. (Feb 18, 2021) 4-night roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale Florida
  20. (Feb 21, 2021) 5-night roundtrip from Miami Florida
  21. (Mar 21, 2021) 7-night roundtrip from New York

Silversea

Silver Spirit

Silver Shadow

  1. (Spirit) "Inspirator Cruise"
  2. (Shadow) "Inspirato Cruise"
  3. (Shadow) "Inspirato Cruise"

Mediterranean

Greece

-

Star Clippers

Royal Clipper

  1. (Royal Clipper) "CruiseBare Adriatic Odyssey 2020"

Mediterranean

  1. (Aug 1, 2020) 14-night roundtrip from Venice

Virgin Voyages

Scarlet Lady

  1. (Scarlet) "Atlantis Virgin Caribbean Cruise"

Mexico

The Bahamas

-

Windstar

Wind Surf

Wind Spirit

Star Breeze

 

  1. (Wind Spirit) "Olivia Tahitian Intimate Luxury Cruise"
  2. (Star Breeze) "Olivia Australia and Great Barrier Reef Luxury Cruise"
  3. (Wind Star) "Olivia Costa Rica and Panama Canal Luxury Cruise"

Europe

French Polynesia

  1. (Sept 3, 2020) 7-night roundtrip from Papeete
  2. (Nov 29, 2020) 11-night from Cairns to Melbourne
  3. (Jan 16, 2021) 7-night from Puerto Caldera to Colon

Australia Cruises to Nowhere

Lines:

  • P&O Cruises Australia
  • Carnival Australia
  • Royal Caribbean

Ships:

  • Food and Wine"
  • "Comedy"
  • "Classic Festive"
  • "Australia Day"
  • "Weekend Sampler"
  • "Australia Getaway"

NSW Australia

Victoria Australia

Queensland Australia

New Zealand

various departures from homeports

Adelaide

Brisbane

Sydney

Melbourne

Auckland NZ

Over the last years, the interest in theme cruises has grown considerably. And this is an area within the cruise industry which is going to develop more and more in the future. Be up-to-date with your theme cruise deals search and let the public know about your trip. Themed cruises offer enjoyable activities- they offer everything the shipping line brings to the table, but with added value- their programming. And don't forget to check out our top-page links for more themed cruise specials.

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