Raise your hand if you can't get enough of "The Walking Dead" and binge-watching past episodes in between seasons just doesn't cut it. (Slowly raises hand.)
If you're like us, then the thought of sipping frozen umbrella drinks alongside Norman Reedus (Daryl), Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Negan), Michael Cudlitz (Abraham) and other cast members on a cruise to the Bahamas sounds like a pretty epic vacation. Spoiler alert: The second annual Walker Stalker Cruise, which took place February 3 to 6, 2017, on Norwegian Pearl, offered just that -- with themed games and plenty of opportunities to meet and snap selfies with your favorite zombie apocalypse survivors.
While another Walker Stalker Cruise has yet to be announced, you can still get a taste of the experience with some of our favorite moments from the 2017 sailing. Here are 12 pictures from The Walking Dead cruise that will cure any withdrawal and have you adding an undead sailing to your wish list.
- But first, let me take a selfie.
- Fun and approachable stars make for epic meet-and-greets.
- Getting to know the fans -- in and out of the autograph sessions.
- Cruise games with a morbid twist.
- Cold bodies could use a little vitamin D.
- Questions, answers and zero filters.
- "Night of the living" cosplay contests.
- And the winner is ...
- A nod to the zombie nurses.
- Crew can have fun, too.
- Sleeping is overrated.
On a cruise ship full of "walkers," it's only fair that all passengers are prepared to fight in case of a zombie attack. The Walker Stalker Hardware Store was propped up in the atrium on embarkation day, and soon became one of the most popular hangout spots (and photo ops) on the ship. By nightfall, the space was replaced by a stage for concerts and karaoke.
Cruisers jumped right into the fun with a sail-away party hosted by DJ Soulman and "The Walking Dead" trivia and autograph-and-selfie sessions with the stars. Fans were given a choice of paying for autographs or selfies (or both) -- from which proceeds were donated to charities selected by the actors themselves. Not surprisingly, most opted for the selfies.
Contrary to how some might envision a typical autograph session, the organized meet-and-greets on this cruise were fun, relaxed and far from rushed. The stars were approachable, and voluntarily went to town with fans' phones. (Norman Reedus' selfie game is on point!)
To ensure all fans had a chance to meet their favorite stars -- and avoid overbearing wait times -- autograph sessions were staggered throughout the cruise. Still, long lines were inevitable. That was especially the case with Norman Reedus and Jeffrey Dean Morgan, who spent a little extra time mingling with fans and occasionally photo-bombing each other's selfies. Michael Traynor, who plays Nicholas on the show, even hosted a zombie pub crawl around the ship. Meanwhile, Michael Cudlitz took his own approach, spontaneously inviting fans to meet him at the cigar lounge for a casual, "off the schedule" toke.
Cruising staples like karaoke and the belly flop contest were offered during the day; only on this sailing, they were given a morbid twist. Karaoke parties were hosted by zombie DJs, while strong-stomached belly flop participants plunged into a pool of "blood and ligaments" as Alanna Masterson (Tara) and Walker Stalker Con founder James Frazier judged their performances.
Sunshine, palm trees and lounge chairs awaited passengers, both alive and undead, at Norwegian's private island, Great Stirrup Cay. While many used the downtime to recoup and revitalize, others opted to keep the party alive with a competitive game of flip cup and an Apocalypse Bowl (zombie flag football) on the beach.
Panels were held on the pool deck around the clock, and in typical Walker Stalker fashion, they involved lots of laughs, very-near tears and plenty of F bombs. Norman Reedus, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Tom Payne ("Jesus" on the show) and others took questions from fans who congregated along the stage and in the hot tubs. One bold fan even hopped in the pool for a better view. A lively energy filled the deck, and it quickly became clear how devoted the cast members are to their fans.
Nightly costume contests were hosted by Chandler Riggs, Katelyn Nacon (Enid) and the show's executive producer, director and special effects makeup designer, Greg Nicotero. Couples, families and friend groups alike showed off their best zombie ensembles and character impersonations onstage, while the audience judged.
... "Trick" Grimes, whose eerie resemblance to Rick Grimes had passengers stopping him for pictures. Honorable mention: this couple's morbid take on Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice."
Because we couldn't leave them out.
Fans weren't the only ones to dress up. Norwegian Pearl's captain and the ship's officers also got in on the fun. Luckily, no appetites were spoiled during their visit to Cagney's Steakhouse.
To cap off the night, fans let loose at the Spinnaker Lounge for a silent disco party, in which everyone dances to music via headphones that can be set to two different DJ-run stations (as opposed to loud speakers). Chandler Riggs even made a surprise cameo, spinning tunes on one of the stations. The energy was contagious, and those who filled the room instantly relinquished any chance of sleep that night.