Cruises are one of the most dynamic and awe-inspiring ways to travel. Back in the day, people imagined cruises as an opportunity for thousands of travelers to hang out on board together before stopping over on tropical islands. While these cruises still exist, the industry is far more varied than that now.
In fact, while nature-based cruises are becoming more popular, they’re only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to unique themes. As cruise-line producers look to craft the best experience for their demographic, themed adventures are getting more specialized and popular.
If you think you’ve seen it all when it comes to unique and imaginative cruise themes, then think again. We’ve compiled some of the most memorable trips available today, listed below.
When it comes to playing blackjack, most people prefer to stick to an online platform for added convenience and accessibility. Virtual casinos also tend to offer attractive welcome deals for newcomers. However, there are now cruise lines that specialize in casino gaming and, most specifically, card games like blackjack.
In fact, the card game is so popular that it’s become a staple onboard many large liners, including Carnival Cruises and Royal Caribbean Cruises. But for a more nuanced take on the game of 21, consider targeting a smaller cruise that offers table games, where you’ll find more experienced players.
Not all specialized cruises focus on an activity, like playing blackjack or discovering more about a person’s genealogy (see below). Instead, some are about bringing hobbyists together. This is the case for cat cruises, which offer a ton of different cat-themed activities, swag, and other cat-adjacent experiences.
While cats themselves aren’t allowed on board cat cruises like the Meow Meow Cruise, every effort is taken to carry their spirit. From the cruise’s comedy club to its massive IMAX theatre, travelers can expect an unforgettable trip.
Not all cruise travelers want to bask in the sunlight or pass the time with like-minded visitors. Instead, some are on a mission—and that mission might be to find hidden clues about their ancestry. These are highly customized cruise trips (on small liners) that allow travelers to take a more hands-on look at their personal and family history.
So far, most of these cruises have focused on areas like New England and the British Isles. The cruises work closely with professional genealogists to uncover factual information and use it to build a multi-day itinerary.
Not all cruises are austere. In fact, one of Japan’s biggest cruise liners, known as the Far East Reggae Cruise, is all about having a once-in-a-lifetime party experience. Naturally, the cruise is all about reggae music and traditions. However, organizers go a step beyond by bringing some of Jamaica’s most well-known artists on board.
Working together with Japan’s top reggae artists, this all-inclusive cruise includes all the events and hype that music fans would expect from a multi-day party. Produced by a group known as Mighty Crown and hosted on the country’s largest cruise ship, it’s an experience that won’t be forgotten in a hurry.
Above, we explored the Meow Meow Cruise—which is actually part of Carnival’s suite of cruises. The same goes for Norwegian Cruise Line, which recently rolled out Broadway features. This adventure includes some of the most talented Tony-award-winning stage actors in the industry.
They’re contracted to perform larger-than-life plays as the cruise sets sail. However, travelers are treated to more than a few performances; they’re also able to connect with the performers and creators. There are even karaoke events for those who want to show off their own vocal talents.
Cruises are known for being relaxing—and that’s taken to another level on crafting-first cruises. These take a variety of forms, including scrapbooking and knitting. Both examples are some of the most popular types of crafting cruises, which connect travelers to new ideas and fellow hobbyists—along with plenty of supplies and engaging activities on a multi-day itinerary. It’s a place to network, meet likeminded people, and enjoy no-frills views and crafting.