My First Country Music Cruise Experience

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.

Wynonna Judd
Wynonna Judd and her band, the Big Noise, performed 2 shows on the main stage.

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.

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  1. Hi Mike,
    Sorry for the delay in my response. They’re trying to space out the times that people arrive so that you’re not all clumped up in a crowd for embarkation. 2pm is fine, although if you’d like, you can arrive earlier but you may have to wait around for a while. If you’re driving to the Port, then sometimes earlier is better so you don’t have to search for a parking spot in the structure. Have a great time!

  2. What is the earliest you suggest getting to the pier for the Pearl’s theme cruises. The Monsters of Rock Cruise is suggesting 2 pm. I think this is odd.

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