Themed cruises invite guests to bring their interests onboard

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Theme cruises enable people to bring their hobbies and interests on vacation with them, or maybe try something new. Culinary slants are always popular, as are music and wellness. But whether you're into veganism or chocolate, there truly is a theme cruise for everyone.

Wellness

Costa's "Holistic Holiday at Sea" is designed to give guests "a true mind and body overhaul" aboard the Costa Fortuna on a March 30 Caribbean cruise from Fort Lauderdale. The health-and-wellness cruise, organized by A Taste of Health, is in its fifth year with Costa. The cruise features teachers and authors who hold workshops about vegan and macrobiotic cooking, shiatsu massage, meditation, cancer prevention and heart disease.

Elvis

Carnival Cruise Lines and Jazz Cruises have partnered to offer "The Elvis Cruise," celebrating the music and life of Elvis Presley on a four-day cruise from Jacksonville, Fla., on Aug. 30. Hosted by Jerry Schilling, a friend and confidant of Presley and author of the book "Me and a Guy Named Elvis," the cruise will include shows by artists who performed with Elvis, tributes to his career and activities such as Elvis-themed bingo.

Photography

Regent hosts a photography cruise on the Seven Seas Mariner on its Aug. 22 sailing from Vancouver to Seward, Alaska. Photographer Ken Haas, who wrote the "Travel Photographer's Handbook," will give a series of talks and lead workshops.

Tai chi

Crystal's "Mind, Body and Spirit" cruise from Nov. 19 to 30 will be led by Tai Chi and yoga masters, fitness expert Debbie Rocker and a health and prevention specialist from the Cleveland Clinic. The voyage will focus on health and wellness with daily fitness classes and seminars.

Foreign policy

Robert McFarlane, President Reagan's national security advisor from 1983 to 1985 and cabinet member for presidents Nixon and Ford, will speak, dine and tour with guests on the Seabourn Spirit on a 16-day cruise from Dubai to Singapore that departs on Nov. 20.

Baseball

From Nov. 10 to 17, current Detroit Tigers players Joel Zumaya and Curtis Granderson will be on the Carnival Triumph for a Caribbean cruise departing from Miami. A meet-and-greet, cocktail party and autograph session are planned.

Chocolate

Fran Bigelow, chocolatier and founder of Fran's Chocolates, will sail on Holland America's 12-day Black Sea and Egypt cruise on the Rotterdam. The cruise departs Piraeus, Greece, on Sept. 18. Bigelow will lead tasting events and hands-on cooking classes and demonstrations.

Murder mysteries

On a seven-day Royal Caribbean cruise of the Mexican Riviera, participants become part of a murder mystery that starts with a mysterious cocktail party on Sunday night and continues with clue-gathering over the next few days. The Vision of the Seas departs Los Angeles on Nov. 11.

Irish music and dancing

Norwegian Cruise Line doesn't typically do theme cruises, but it has put together a few for the Norwegian Majesty's cruises to Bermuda from Boston. The themes include two Irish Festivals at Sea in September, featuring Irish music and entertainment.

To contact reporter Johanna Jainchill, send e-mail to [email protected].

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