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Posted at 11:16 AM ET, 04/ 6/2010

The most inspired pop culture cruises, from 'Twilight' to Rick Springfield

By Jen Chaney

Perhaps you're in the process of trying to book your next vacation. And perhaps, like most aspiring travelers, you're thinking: I really wish I could go on a trip that in some way relates to the Backstreet Boys.

No problem. You can take the Backstreet Boys cruise, which sets sail in December.


Put down the guitar, Rick Springfield. It's time to cruise. (AP)

A little too '90s for your taste? Fine. Then go on the New Kids on the Block cruise. Or maybe the Elvis cruise. Or any one of these Tribute cruises -- to the Beatles, the Rat Pack, Michael Jackson, the '70s, Neil Diamond ...

Yes, it seems that no matter what your pop culture obsession is, you can pretty much find a cruise that celebrates it and, in some cases, even features the actual objects of that obsession.
But which ones are the most inspired? Come aboard with me and find out.

Alaska Twilight Cruise: Take your obsession with Bella and Edward to the high seas on this seven-day August cruise from Seattle to Alaska (with stops in Juneau, Sitka, Ketchikan and, on the way back, Victoria) with a ship full of Twi-hards.

Celebrities on the cruise: Some of the supporting actors from the "Twilight" films: Jodelle Ferland (soon to be seen as Bree in "Eclipse"), Alex Meraz (Paul) and Michael Welch (Mike).

Onboard activities: Q&A and photo opportunities with the actors, costume ball, movie screenings and trivia contests. A pre-cruise excursion to Forks, Wash., also can be arranged.

Perks that we hope are part of the cruise: An intense tug-of-war competition that pits members of Team Edward against Team Jacob; in honor of Robert Pattinson's Edward, a Brooders Drink Free night.

Kid Rock's Chillin' the Most Cruise: This sucker sets sail April 29 and goes from Tampa to Cayman Island and back. And it's hardly straight out the trailer: the ship that will undoubtedly keep the Bawitdaba bash rockin' is Carnival's Inspiration. But before you rush to book, you should know that it's sold-out. Which undoubtedly means another one will be planned in 2011.

Celebrities on the cruise: Multiple bands and artists, including Uncle Kracker and Guns 'N Roses cover band Appetite for Destruction. And, naturally, your host: Kid Rock.

Onboard activities: Lots of live music, lap dance classes for the ladies and, of course, Pimps & Hos Night.

Perks that we hope are part of the cruise: Incessant playing of Kid Rock's "All Summer Long"; a daily 6 a.m. wake-up call from the cruise host in which he shouts over the P.A.: "MY NAME IS KIIIIIID ROOOO-CK!!!"

Rick Springfield and Friends Cruise: Rick may be a "working class dog," but he also likes to play, which is why this is the third year he's hosting this cruise. The 2010 voyage is set for November, with stops in Nassau, Half Moon Cay and Grand Turk.

Celebrities on the cruise: Rick Springfield (duh), who will perform both plugged-in and unplugged and engage in "personal Q&A sessions"; other special guests have yet to be announced, but Richard Marx and MTV VJ Mark Goodman were onboard last year.

Onboard activities: Lots of Springfield concerts, cocktail parties and autograph sessions.

Perks that we hope are part of the cruise: A seminar entitled, "The Many Handsome Faces of Dr. Noah Drake"; a sing-a-long screening of "Hard to Hold."

'80s New Wave Cruise: Just in case the Rick Springfield Cruise isn't quite '80s enough for you, book this September adventure that sails (again, like almost all of these, on a Carnival ship) from Los Angeles to Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan and Cabo San Lucas. Tribute bands -- including The Cured, Rio (an homage to Duran Duran) and Depeche Mode saluters Blaphemous Rumors -- are the main event.

Celebrities on the cruise: DJ Richard Blade, who will host his own dance party on the boat.

Onboard activities: In addition to the concerts, there will be an adult '80s prom, '80s costume parties and new wave karaoke.

Perks that we hope are part of the cruise: A dip in a hot tub time machine.

Star Trek Cruise: Yes, this was inevitable. Trekkers can join this June journey to San Juan, St. Thomas and St. Maarten, onboard the Celebrity Solstice, and spend quality time with fellow Enterprise fans and stars from the series.

Celebrities on the cruise: Robert Picardo (the Doctor on "Star Trek Voyager"), Mirina Sirtis (Deanna Troi from "Star Trek: The Next Generation"), John de Lancie (Q from "Next Generation"), Chase Masterson (Leeta from "Deep Space Nine") and Rod Roddenberry, son of "Star Trek" creator Gene Roddenberry.

Onboard activities: Autograph sessions; TV episode and movie screenings moderated by "Trek" stars; lots of "Trek" chatter.

Perks that we hope are part of the cruise: Klingon language classes; the ability to beam from your cabin straight to the promenade deck.

The Betty Boop Fan Cruise: Perhaps the most random pop culture-related cruise in the history of sea travel, this one sets sail for the second time in January. The title is pretty self-explanatory, but just in case you didn't fully comprehend: everyone on board really loves Betty Boop. Stops include Key West, Grand Cayman and Jamaica.

Celebrities on the cruise: Technically Betty Boop, if someone dressed as a cartoon character counts as a celebrity.

Onboard activities: Betty Boop trivia contests, a fashion show and a pin-trading breakfast, for people who collect Betty Boop pins.

Perks that we hope are part of the cruise: None. Honestly, once the organizers came up with a Betty Boop pin-trading breakfast, they pretty much covered all their bases.

This is only the beginning. Surely we can come up with even more cruise ideas. For example, I'd like to embark on "The Office" Booze Cruise, featuring special on-board appearances by Creed Bratton and Leslie David Baker. And as soon as Andy Samberg's "I'm on a Boat" Cruise gets launched, I am so there.

By Jen Chaney  | April 6, 2010; 11:16 AM ET
Categories:  Pop Culture  
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Comments


Good choice to have the teeny-bopper-centric Twilight cruise on Holland America, a line so popular with senior citizens that the word "twilight" has a whole other meaning onboard.

-Snarky Squirrel

Posted by: 7900rmc | April 6, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

I've been on 4 cruises now put on by the same folks that do The Elvis and Kid Rock Cruises and they're absolutely a blast - I can't imagine doing a theme cruise for something other than music, though. I'm not sure how others are doing their cruises, but with the Sixthman cruises they're all chartered, so there's no worry about getting the old folks who think Twilight means something else :) (www.sixthman.net has info on all the different themed cruises they do, mostly music)

Jen, have you seen the Navy's version of "I'm on Boat"? Its pretty hilarious. I can't get to the link from work, but if you search on YouTube you should be able to find it pretty easily.

Posted by: franchiseinATL | April 6, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

How about a "Dancing with the Stars" cruise?

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | April 6, 2010 3:37 PM | Report abuse

A "Twilight"-themed cruise to a place where the sun never sets. I like it!

Posted by: northgs | April 6, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Does Chase Masterson wear her Dabo girl costume? She is also another fine graduate of The University of Texas at Austin.

Posted by: DorkusMaximus1 | April 6, 2010 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Can't decide between the Rick Springfield Cruise and the 80's New Wave cruise. Although the Star Trek one is also tempting.

Posted by: epjd | April 6, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse

I'm still trying to talk Heincer into hosting "Party On A Container Ship In The Gulf of Aden," but so far no luck.

Posted by: byoolin1 | April 6, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

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Posted by: itkonlyyourr | April 8, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

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Posted by: itkonlyyourr | April 8, 2010 11:29 AM | Report abuse

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