As the two actors Michael Elich and Christopher DuVal made a pass at each other with swords the audience was perhaps more nervous than usual. Stage fighting requires preparation but how do you prepare for the stage rocking back and forth with the movement of a cruise ship? The actors were performing one of three one act plays that were a part of the Shakespeare at Sea cruise. Shakespeare at Sea was a collaboration between the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and Insight Cruises and is part of a growing trend for theme based or education based cruises.
Theme cruises have two main advantages over a normal cruise.
- Interesting Activities – Instead of playing shuffle board, bingo or gambling in the casino imagine that you could fill the time at sea with whatever you personally find most interesting. If you are a baseball fan you can cruise with Ken Griffey Sr. and Andre Dawson. If you are a classical music fan you can attend concerts. If you are interested in science you can attend a cruise with writers from Scientific American.
- Interesting People – Imagine a cruise ship filled with people interested in the same things you are interested in. On the Shakespeare at Sea cruise we sat at dinner with other people in that program and had interesting conversations with interesting people. Obviously what interests you may be different from what interests me. I have considered a podcaster cruise and attended a Mac user cruise. Perhaps you would rather go on a Betty Boop fan club cruise
Adding a theme onto a cruise may add additional cost depending on the depth of the programming of activities. The Shakespeare at Sea cruise doubled the price of the cruise but for me more than doubled the value as well.
I have not found a great directory of themed cruises yet so if you have a hobby or interest try googling for that hobby and add the word “cruise”.
More information about theme cruising can be found in the Amateur Traveler Episode 113 – Theme Cruise to Panama (Shakespeare at Sea / MacMania).