Rockin’ the Boat
2000+ people. Over a dozen musical acts. It’s the kind of thing that floats your boat
by Craig Anderton
I’m not really a cruise guy or even a fan of 70s rock, so it seems like I wouldn’t be the target demographic for the '70s Rock and Romance Cruise—to say the least. But when I saw the ads for this cruise pop up on Harmony Central, I was intrigued. That led to asking for and receiving an interview with the TimeLife people, sister company to StarVista LIVE who put these themed cruises together, and it was sufficiently interesting that I wrote an article about the backstory. What struck me was how the people behind these cruises are totally into music. These aren’t just attempts to cash in on peoples’ memories, but celebrations of the music associated with particular eras or genres—and as long as they produce revenue, they can keep doing more. There had already been Flower Power and Soul Train cruises this year, with a Southern Rock one slated for 2018.
But while I may not be into cruises per se, I am an experience junkie. And I am a music guy to the core, and overdue for a vacation by about 18 years…so I boarded a plane to Fort Lauderdale to see what was in store.
Spoiler alert: I had a really good time, both for the reasons you might think…but also for some reasons I was not expecting at all.
Interestingly, before going on the cruise, an associate at Gibson had gone on a themed music cruise from a different company on a different cruise line. She got back a few days before I left, so I was hoping to hear “Yeah Craig, it was so cool, you’re gonna love it!” But she said the food was bad (although it sometimes reached below average), and she got seasick, so she had to take anti-motion sickness pills…which meant she couldn’t drink, and she’d paid in advance for a drink package (cheaper than buying a drink at a time). Her summary: “It was kind of like going to the dentist for oral surgery. I had a painful experience, and paid a lot of money for it. Although at least with a dentist, you end up better than when you went it.”