16 Of The Most Bizarre Things You Didn’t Know You Could Do On A Cruise

June 23, 2015

What do you think of when you think cruising? Luxury? Fine dining? The ocean? A really big ship?

If you answered yes to the above then don’t worry, that’s what most people would answer (and in all fairness so would we!)

For a small but growing minority however a cruise holiday brings to mind very different images…. Rock concerts, martial arts tournaments, tattoos, crosswords or even cougars (gulp!)

Confused? We wouldn’t blame you. You may be wondering what any of those have to do with cruising and the answer would be…. A theme cruise. This type of cruise, centred and themed around a hobby, interest or activity has gotten more and more popular in recent years as cruise lines try to attract a new type of clientele in to trying a cruise.

Not heard of these kinds of cruises before? Not sure if they’re for you? Then read on to find out more!


Clothes optional

To start with the (perhaps) most surprising of the bunch. It might take you back a bit to know that you can choose cruises that embrace your inner exhibitionist but they’re actually really popular. Whether you want to enjoy the freedom to swim in your birthday suit or just wander around the decks as nature intended this might be the cruise for you.

We recently wrote about ‘nakationing’ (as it’s known) and if you’re interested you can learn more here.

Couple At A Nudist Camp


From New Kids on the Block to Kid Rock

Millions of people go to music festivals every year but how many have ever thought of doing it at sea do you think? Plenty of lines host week long party cruises with famous musicians, entertainers and comedians all laid on. For example, every year Norwegian Cruise Line host a “Kid Rock’s Chillin’ The Most Cruise.” Whilst it’s not one for everyone, the rockers amongst you should head on board to rock on down!

Kid Rock


Car keys (or room card) in a bowl time

For the prudish amongst you we suggest you skip this bit and head straight on to reading about Zumba cruises.

Still here? OK then…

Swinging cruises have become quite popular in recent years with them being advertised on a whole host of ‘specialist’ websites. Not to worry though – you can’t book it ‘accidentally’ (despite what your other half may try to convince you of). These cruises are always on a full charter basis which means a private company will have bought ALL the cabins and will then put on the theme and re-sell the cabins via their own website.

For the curious amongst you all the crew on-board are volunteers as well during these sailings.

Interested? We’ve more information on swinging cruises here

keys in a  bowl


Dance like there’s no one watching

The Zumba dance phenomenon and fitness bug has become a huge hit in recent years so it was only a matter of time before it hit the waves. Royal Caribbean now offer Zumba cruises with over three hundred classes available delivered by a team of 130 of the best instructors from the Zumba industry. You’ll enjoy a Zumba private party on Labadee (Royal Caribbean’s private island), take themed classes from around the world and try Aqua Zumba in the pools! If all the exercise gets too much for you, you can always just enjoy the music with a cocktail! (We won’t tell anyone!) Ready, sweat, sail…!



I think you’ll find I CAN walk here!

We all know there are plenty of opportunities to stretch your legs on a cruise, (whether you want to go to the gym, enjoy the jogging track or even learn to trapeze!) but for those of you that love a wander on land a ramblers themed cruises might be perfect for you! These holidays arrive at destinations that have a great opportunity for exploration in areas of natural beauty in Fred Olsen’s “Ramblers Cruise & Walk Holidays.”



Wax on, wax off Daniel san!

You might remember that we reported on a martial arts cruise not that long ago in which ten fights where held in cages on-board. You could bet on the outcome, watch the battles and meet the fighters afterwards. You can read more about martial arts cruises here.

cage fighting


Young men needed…. Apply within

Before we tell you about Cougar cruises maybe we’ll need to let you know what a cougar is…

The ‘official’ definition (according to Wikipedia anyway) is a slang term that refers to a woman who seeks sexual relations with considerably younger men.

Several cruise lines (including Royal Caribbean) host annual cougar cruises out of America with the intention of affluent, older women meeting young, available men.



Have you got green thumbs?

Although some ships such as Royal Caribbean have Central Park on-board and Celebrity have real lawns you still can’t just go and dig up the flower beds… However, you can travel to locations that showcase stunning gardens. Madeira and the Canary Islands for example host beautiful gardens and you can listen to talks from experts such as Steve Brookes and Charlie Dimmock.


To tattoo or not to tattoo…

Fancy some ink to commemorate your cruise? Royal Caribbean have previously hosted an Ink or Swim cruise, letting passengers get tattooed on their journey by top tattoo stars. Guests included Tatu Baby from Ink Master and Amy Nicoletto from LA Ink. As well as showcasing their tattoos in tattoo contests guests can enjoy beach parties, bikini competitions and ice shows!

Think this might be for you? You can read up on them here…



Nature Watching

Although not quite as surprising as nudist or cougar cruises, nature watching cruises are actually really popular. There’s a huge variety of nature cruises and a vast range of animals to see. If you’ve ever wanted to go whale watching, go visit a colony of penguins or if you’ve just wanted to see the weird and wonderful creatures of the Galapagos – you can! Some nature watching cruises (such as Celebrity’s expedition cruises) allows you to come face to face with the rarest animals in the world. You’ll embark on inland hikes, snorkelling on Black Beach on Isla Santiago and enjoy a nature themed range of shore excursions. So get those binoculars at the ready!

Did you know? If you don’t fancy going all the way to the Galapagos, you can even go nature spotting around the coast of Scotland.

Whale Watching


Four down, eight letters

Crossword cruises might not be setting the world on fire but they promise “both mental and physical games.” Sea days turn into gaming sessions with word games, creating your own crossword and – you guessed it – solving crosswords! Don’t forget your dictionary…

Whilst we admit this might not be everyone’s cup of tea Holland America host an annual crossword tournament with entrants coming in from the whole world over. (Yes really!)



Dance the night away

For those of you who love the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing, why not try a Strictly Come Cruise? Join your favourite dancing stars on P&O, attempt the footwork in workshops and dance the night away in competitions. Some of the competitions will even be judged by Craig, Arlene and Anton, with a winner being crowned in the grand finale.



Happy (Chinese) New Year

Plenty of cruise lines offer itineraries based around the Chinese New Year and it gives you the chance to join in the spectacle. Enjoy the street parties, watch the fireworks and experience all the razzmatazz that comes with it….

There’s nothing in the world quite like the festive atmosphere of Chinese New Year!

Holland America, Princess Cruises, Celebrity and Windstar all offer Chinese new year themed cruises.

Just pick up the phone to one of our specialist cruise consultants to get yours arranged.

Chinese dragon


Are you a dog or cat person?

Have you ever wished you could sail on a cruise with your beloved moggy? Technically the furry felines aren’t allowed on-board but you can wear a t-shirt with your cat on instead…. Organised by cat enthusiast Anna Conway, the “meow meow” cruise is one for cat lovers everywhere. You can share cat photos with fellow passengers and some guests choose an excursion which allows them to volunteer in a cat shelter.

Hosted annually on Carnival cruise ships this one is definitely not one for dog lovers!

cat person


Apparently this is really a thing…

Quilters everywhere will be delighted to know that there are a vast range of itineraries available for quilters cruises. Each cruise includes educational seminars from award winning instructors for quilters of all ages and abilities…

All on-board for some “sew-cialising” then!

Hosted on-board Holland America ships these cruises go to locations as diverse as Alaska, Indonesia, the Panama Canal and the Fjords (just make sure you stop quilting long enough to see at least a few of the sights!)



Elvis is alive!

Uh huh, huh!

Yes Elvis fans you read that right! An Elvis cruise is more than possible!

You can watch tribute acts croon away, compete in Elvis trivia quizzes and even have a go on the mike yourself. You can also enjoy a kind of “Elvis treasure hunt” as you look out to spot Elvis sightings on-board. Love me tender…

(It’s Fred Olsen that organise Elvis cruises in case you’re thinking of booking this by the way…)



Do you like the sound of any of these themed cruises? If you could create your own themed cruise what would you do?

Let us know in the comments below…