Setting sail around the Caribbean, Mexico, and Alaska is just part of the fun of family cruise vacations. Add in the copious amounts of food and live entertainment and you get a virtually all-inclusive cruise vacation where you barely have to do any planning at all. But while standard cruises are plenty of fun, there’s something to be said for special themed cruises, too.
Themed cruises run the gamut from family-friendly cruises to adult-oriented cruises and on themed sailings you can meet other cruisers with similar interests all traveling together on the same ship. Here’s a look at the themed cruises offered by the major cruise lines to help you decide if there’s a sailing out there that appeals to your unique interests.
Best Themed Cruises for Every Interest
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1. Disney Cruise Line (DCL)
Setting sail on any one of Disney Cruise Line’s five cruise ships is like a Disney-themed vacation at sea. But for an extra dose of Disney, Disney Cruise Line (DCL) also offers officially themed cruises virtually year round, and the options are pretty spectacular for families.
Every January through early March, Pixar characters take over select seven-night sailings out of Port Canaveral with Pixar Day at Sea. Super hero fans can celebrate all things Marvel with a themed cruise day on select five-night cruises from Fort Lauderdale with DCL’s Marvel Day at Sea.
In September and October, many of Disney’s cruise ships get into the spooky spirit with Halloween on the High Seas; and in November and December, Christmas comes early with DCL’s Very Merrytime Cruises. Each of Disney’s themed cruises includes character meet-and-greets, themed entertainment, and delicious themed treats.
2. Royal Caribbean
Known for its cruise ship water parks and over-the-top ships that have something for everyone in the family, Royal Caribbean takes a similarly all-in approach to themed cruises. The cruise line hosts a variety of themed cruises each year, including a Star Trek cruise, an ’80s cruise, and a motorcycle cruise, among other themes. These themed cruises with Royal Caribbean each sail just once per year, so if you want to get on the ship and mix and mingle with other fans, you’re going to want to book early.
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3. Celebrity Cruise Line
Luxury cruise brand Celebrity offers a variety of themed cruises that set sail throughout the year. You can bump elbows with the celebrities on the line’s President’s Cruise, which this year will set sail on June 23, 2024, for six nights aboard the Celebrity Beyond.
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Other specialty cruises offered this year include sailings themed around wellness, music, food, the holidays, and LGBTQ+ cruises. Each of the cruise line’s music cruises is dedicated to one genre, including a perennially popular Jazz cruise that’s been a Celebrity tradition for more than 20 years.
4. Norwegian Cruise Line
Laidback Norwegian Cruise Line hosts music and festival cruises throughout the year. Highly sought-after artists headline some of the most popular themed sailings. Besides music, Norwegian Cruise Line also brings together nurses, Broadway aficionados, and wrestling fans for voyages themed just to their interests. These themed cruises sell out fast, but Norwegian offers a waiting list for those who would like to join.
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5. Princess Cruises
While the options are not as plentiful as on some other cruise lines, the themed cruises offered by Princess Cruises are still worth considering. This year, themes include love and romance, nature and adventure, magic and illusion, and culinary delights.
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6. Holland America
Foodies salivate over Holland America‘s culinary cruises, which go to destinations in the United States, Canada, and the Caribbean. Each themed cruise focuses on a different aspect of the culinary arts with a famous chef onboard. Past themed cruises have included pastry and chocolate with Jacques Torres and sushi with Chef Andy Matsuda. The sailings include demonstrations from the chefs, tastings, and over-the-top dinners where you can meet the chefs themselves. You can check out all of Holland America’s current specialty culinary cruise offerings here.
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