Country cruising in the Caribbean.
When I was asked to cover this country music theme cruise, I didn’t know what to expect. After all, my familiarity with country music came to a crescendo post-Urban Cowboy when Waylon and Willie were in vogue. I didn’t even know who Trace Adkins was, except for his bio that I read pre-cruise.
From the moment I stepped onboard the Norwegian Pearl, I knew this would be a fun week ahead. Why? Everyone was in a great mood, many of the performing artists mixed and mingled with the passengers at embarkation and there was music everywhere. Country, of course.
Flying Dutchman Travel has been organizing full-ship charters for theme cruises for several years and has the entire process, whether it’s a music or culinary theme cruise, down to a science. There were 28 bands and no less than 4 show lounges for live country music, 11 a.m. until after midnight. Meet and Greet photo opportunities were planned so that everyone could have a chance to meet their country music idols up close and personal.
The headliners were of course, Trace Adkins, then Wynonna (remember The Judds?), Montgomery Gentry, Neal McCoy, Lonestar and Love and Theft. I vaguely remembered Wynonna Judd from a few decades ago, and Lonestar from their hit, “I’m Already There” played post-9/11. Otherwise, all of the artists were new to me.
While I attended every headliner show (there were 2 each night in the main theater) I wasn’t able to catch every single performance; it would be impossible. But it was fun to simply roam around the ship, pass through each musical venue and spend a few minutes to listen to who might be the next country music star.
Despite the Trace Adkins debacle, Flying Dutchman Travel and Country Cruising have arranged a “make-good” for everyone aboard the ship who expected Trace Adkins to perform during the week’s cruise. Guests from this cruise can email [email protected] to request two complimentary tickets plus a backstage meet and greet to a Trace Adkins concert nearest them, once Adkins is back on the road and touring again. Pretty nice compensation, IMO.
I’m the editor and creator of CruiseMaven.com, a solo traveler cruising the world on waves and wheels, collecting recipes along the way. I hope my articles and photos entertain, advise and inspire you to travel the world without flying. Take a breath…stop for a local meal and a glass of wine along the way.