Imagine sailing with your favourite television performer, Michelin-star chef or athlete. It might sound far-fetched, but cruises that let fans get up close and personal with celebrities (dubbed theme or fan cruises) are actually quite common.
A number of cruise lines have teamed up with big names to offer special sailings for devotees. But brand partnerships aren't the only "backstage passes."
Charter companies also offer their fair share of options. These theme cruises have run the gamut from TV show tributes like "The Walking Dead" to concerts at sea, with specific bands such as the Backstreet Boys.
If you want to mix up your usual holiday routine, unleash your inner fan child or simply take your passion to the high seas, here are six cruises with celebrities you don't want to miss.
Editor's Note: Some of the following cruises might sell out. But that doesn't mean you're out of luck. Check to see if your desired cruise offers a waitlist; a new spot opens each time there's a cancellation. And keep an eye out for future cruises.
Pitbull's After Dark Party
Miami-born rapper and Latino heartthrob, Pitbull, will headline his first-ever After Dark Party cruise in March 2017, and it's exactly what you'd expect: lots of music, high energy and booty-shaking. The cruise, which takes place on Norwegian Pearl, will include two Pitbull concerts, a private beach party on Norwegian's own Great Stirrup Cay, a Q&A session with Pitbull and dance boot camp hosted by Pitbull's backup dancers.
Star Trek: The Cruise
Hosted by Sulu himself, the Star Trek cruise will boldly go where no man has gone before. Fans on one of two back-to-back Caribbean cruises in January 2018 will join a stellar lineup -- including George Takei (Hikaru Sulu), Brent Spiner (Lieutenant Commander Data), Levar Burton (Lieutenant Commander Geordi La Forge), Rene Auberjonois (Odo), Gates McFadden (Dr. Crusher) and Terry Farrell (Jadzia Dax) -- for a series of celebrity-hosted comedy shows, meet-and-greets, competitions and other themed events. Certain areas of Norwegian Pearl will also get a temporary futuristic makeover. Considering the Star Trek cruise? Here's what you need to know.
The '80s Cruise
Belinda Carlisle, Colin Hay (Men at Work) and Men Without Hats are only a few of the performers headlining the '80s Cruise on Celebrity Summit. Rocking big hair and neon spandex, '80s-lovers can enjoy concerts day and night as well as myriad themed activities such as costume parties, "Let's Get Physical" aerobics and Q&A sessions with the artists. Although no official meet-and-greet has been announced, the charter company hints there's a good chance you might run into one of your teenage celebrity crushes onboard. The cruise sets sail February 2017 and includes stops in Grand Cayman and Ocho Rios.
Comic Con Cruise
Take the convention fun to sea! On the Comic Con cruise, you can geek out with your favorite stars under the Caribbean sun. Join celebrities from comic-turned-movie "Guardians of the Galaxy," "The Walking Dead" and Netflix's "Stranger Things," as well as renowned comics, writers and artists. The cruise, hosted on Brilliance of the Seas in January 2017, will treat fans to panels and presentations from the cast members and creators, meet-and-mingle cocktail parties, dinner and a movie with Frank Miller, autographs and photo opportunities. Don't forget to pack your cape: the best cosplay wins a US$1,500 grand prize.
State of Origin Cruise
NSW fans will unite on P&O's 2017 Holden State or Origin cruise from Sydney on Pacific Jewel in May, while Queenslanders may prefer the departure from Brisbane on Pacific Aria in June. Rugby league legends will be onboard including Steve Price and Steve Mortimer. Fares include a bronze ticket and transfers to ANZ Stadium or Suncorp Stadium, seven nights of footy-themed entertainment, Q&A sessions, photo opportunities and a star-studded, post-game wrap-up.
The Walking Dead Cruise
Fans of AMC's "The Walking Dead" have another chance to meet their favorite zombie apocalypse survivors. The second annual Walker Stalker Cruise kicks off February 2017 onboard Norwegian Pearl. In addition to appearances by Norman Reedus (Daryl), Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Negan -- okay, maybe he's not your favourite), Chandler Riggs (Carl) and other stars, expect lots of gore and impromptu selfies -- as long as you can outrun the "walkers." Other highlights include Q&As, concerts, autograph sessions and a stop at the cruise line's private island, Great Stirrup Cay. To get a feel for what "The Walking Dead" cruise might be like, check out our recap and pictures of the first sailing -- complete with Daryl and Michonne cameos.
If these aren't the stars you're hoping to meet at sea, check out Cruise Critic's Theme Cruise section to see if your favourite celebrity is cruising anytime soon.