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tim bower


Sea creatures beware! A passel of rockin’ vessels will soon set sail in search of warmer waters and private islands, using instruments to chart the course. For music fans who want to get away, there’s no better option than to book a trip on one of the myriad rock cruises that take to the high seas each year. And lest you think you’re not the type, fear not: There’s a ship to suit every taste. Here are a few of the most anticipated rock cruises slated to frighten fish this spring.

Monsters of Rock Cruise, Feb. 25 to 28
Artists: Cinderella, Tesla, Kix, Keel, Stryper, UFO, Y&T, Firehouse, among others
Itinerary: The hair-metal vessel (aka the MSC Poesia) embarks on a four-day journey, making a pit stop in Key West before docking in Nassau, Bahamas, for a full day.
Concerts: Most artists perform twice — once electrically and once acoustically.
Extras: A War Stories Q&A session hosted by Eddie Trunk of VH1 Classic’s That Metal Show. Passengers can also compete in a “You Think You Can Shred?” guitar-solo competition or scuba dive with members of Cinderella, Firehouse and Bang Tango.
Price: $769 to $1,699
For more information: www.monstersofrockcruise.com

311 Caribbean Cruise 2012, May 10 to 14
Artists: 311, plus up to 15 special guests
Itinerary: The Carnival Destiny departs Miami en route to the private island of Half Moon Cay, where it docks for two days.
Concerts: 311 performs twice.
Extras: Right as the ocean liner is pulling away from its Miami port, 311 performs a Sail Away Show that lasts for a solid two hours.
Price: $799 to $2,599
For more information: www.311cruise.com

The Rock Boat XII, March 1 to 5
Artists: Sister Hazel, the Freddy Jones Band, Vertical Horizon, the Alternate Routes, among others
Itinerary: The Carnival Elation departs the Big Easy headed for Cozumel, Mexico, with no stops along the way.
Concerts: Artists perform three of the four nights — many of them simultaneously — across five stages, with each set lasting between 60 and 90 minutes between noon and well after midnight.
Extras: There’s no backstage! Passengers can eat dinner, go deep-sea fishing, ride dune buggies and double down at the casino with artists.
Price: $519 to $1,399
For more information: www.therockboat.com

Oldies but Goodies Doo Wop Cruise, May 12 to 19
Artists: The Five Keys, the Orioles, the Charms, the Swallows, the Solitaires, Johnnie & Joe
Itinerary: The Norwegian Gem departs the Big Apple and heads south, making daylong stops in Port Canaveral, the private Bahamas island of Great Stirrup Cay and Nassau.
Concerts: Each artist plays one 12- to 15-song set, then plays again during a jam session.
Extras: Three meet-and-greets, a rock ’n’ roll trivia contest, a sock hop and a doo-wop talent show
Price: $799 to $1,958
For more information: www.mlccruises.com