When the 2020 voyage of The 80s Cruise promised plenty of rock ‘n’ roll, we didn’t know it’d be a literal promise. The 7-day party in our Tubular Time Machine is over, but the memories will last a lifetime. We hope you saved some photos to prove to future generations that all of our stories from those epic days are absolutely true.
This year’s cruise marked the largest lineup of artists to date and so it required a ship large enough to hold all the action. The Explorer of the Seas was chosen for the challenge, and it delivered. A new concert venue — Studio B — was built on top of the ship’s ice rink and provided a very cool (literally) way to see nightly concerts. A myriad of bars gave us nearly 24/7 karaoke opportunities, and the ship’s promenade was transformed into an 80s mall. What an amazing touch!
Of course, when The 80s Cruise pulled into port on March 15, 2020, it was more than just a return from a radical week immersed in the greatest decade ever. It felt like we hit fast-forward into a world upside down and still changing by the minute. While on the ship, we were mostly able to tune out the news of the day and focus on the fun. Kool & The Gang, Taylor Dayne and the Legendary Wailers joined the cruise at the last minute and dazzled audiences all week.
(Seriously, who doesn’t have a selfie with one of the members of Kool & The Gang? They were out and about on the ship all hours of the day!)
Speaking of fan interaction, The Jets brought their parents along for the trip, and mom and dad stayed busy chatting with guests and telling tales of raising the family of musicians. It was adorable.
There are so many highlights to remember, including:
- Cruise director J.T. Watters leading the passengers in a defiant and fun-loving oath to have fun as the ship departed the Port of Miami.
- Incredible sets with the booming voices of Taylor Dayne and Patty Smyth.
- Berlin’s Terri Nunn bringing an audience to tears while talking about her parents during their Q&A on the Stuck in the ’80s podcast.
- The water in the pools splashing a dozen feet into the air as the ship made its way through rocky waters.
- SiriusXM DJs Larry the Duck and Lori Majewski leading movie screenings and amazing interviews with the artists and Original MTV VJs.
- That crazier-than-ever Pop Icon Costume Contest featuring an actual “baby in the corner” from “Dirty Dancing,” more than a few nearly-naked Chers and an all-green (and also fairly bare) slave dancer from “Return of the Jedi.”
The 2021 voyage of The 80s Cruise is poised to join 2020 as yet another legendary chapter in our journeys back in time. DSL Dire Straits Legacy — sidelined this year due to travel restrictions — is on the bill, as well as headliners The Human League, ABC, 38 Special, Berlin, Belinda Carlisle, Morris Day & The Time and many more. And if you’ve looked at the ship’s itinerary, you’ll see St. Patrick’s Day falls in the middle of the 2021 cruise. You’ll be green with envy if you miss this epic sailing.
(Steve Spears is the co-host of the Stuck in the ’80s podcast and a trivia emcee along with co-host Brad Williams onboard each voyage of The 80s Cruise. Listen to their podcasts on your favorite app or at www.sit80s.com)