The beginning of the year marks the season of the increasingly popular and numerous music-themed cruises that depart from South Florida. They range from the obscure (cruises themed to singer-songwriters, or classic R&B), to the more pop-minded (John Mayer's and the Barenaked Ladies' trips), to the fusion-friendly (the Jam Cruise). There's been the Motley Cruise for hair band fans, and the Groove Cruise for upscale clubbers.
Now, here's the first cruise for a set possibly least likely to party in the sun: fans of underground garage-tinged rock and vintage soul. The inaugural Bruise Cruise
sets sail from Miami to the Bahamas next February 25 to 28, and if you've ever wanted to try to catch a Vivian Girl in a bathing suit, here's your chance.
That band, along with the Black Lips, the Oh Sees, the Strange Boys, and Quintron and Miss Pussycat, Ty Segall, and Turbo Fruits, as well as soul DJ Jonathan Toubin, are all set to entertain at sea.
One thing to consider: Like other music-themed cruises, this is really a specialty package within a larger cruise. It's not a private boat, but rather a ginormous Carnival cruise with the rest of the typical cruise crowd and assigned dining. However, Bruise Cruisers -- who are limited in number to 400 -- get their own special private activities.
These include shows by said performers every night, a vintage soul dance-off, plus special open bar cocktail hours, and a Miss Pussycat-performed puppet show at a pancake breakfast. How's that for a hangover cure?
Some caveats: Those open-bar cocktail hours are the only time you'll get free liquor. Like every other cruise, the price doesn't include alcoholic beverages on board (and you can only take one bottle of wine or champagne on with you, no hard booze). Like typical cruises, you'll get an assigned dinner table (although you could always order free room service), and all that other "classic" stuff.
If you were in the mood for an ocean getaway anyways, and have missed the bands' other recent shows around South Florida, it's a decent deal, especially since we're already close to the port. Again, the tickets are capped at 400, so think quickly and act by visiting bruisecruisfestival.com