With a few changes in the final lineup for Rock Legends Cruise II it may seem different than the original Rock Legends Cruise, but the experience will be just as awesome.
The first cruise featured ZZ Top, George Thorogood, Johnny and Edgar Winter, Steppenwolf with John Kay - and many other great bands. But Rock Legends Cruise II, coming January 10, 2013, will feature truly legendary singer Paul Rodgers (from Free and Bad Company) along with Foreigner, Kansas, 38 Special, Bachman Turner Overdrive, Creedence Clearwater (Revisited), Atlanta Rhythm Section and many, many more great bands.
Rock Legends Cruise II will be four solid days of unmitigated rock ‘n roll requiring the largest cruise ship ever fully chartered for a music cruise; Royal Caribbean's 155,000-ton, 4000-passenger Liberty of the Seas.
New Bands for Rock Legends Cruise II
Making his first appearance at sea will be Paul Rodgers - lead singer and founding member of the bands Free and Bad Company. Rodgers sang the songs "All Right Now," "Fire and Water," "Can't Get Enough of Your Love" and "Feel Like Makin' Love." He was also in The Firm with Jimmy Page and took over when Freddy Mercury of Queen passed away too soon. He has toured with Eric Clapton, Paul McCartney, Jeff Beck and more.
Having worked with so many legendary guitarists I was dying to see who Rodgers would have in his shipboard band. I finally saw the manifest for his entourage and there were listings for guitarist Howard Leese, a founder of the band Heart, Markus Wolfe as second guitar, Todd Ronning on bass and Rick Fedyk on drums.
Another "first time at sea" act will be Foreigner - one of the most popular classic rock bands of all time with over 70-million record sales. Their hits include "Feels like the First Time," "Cold as Ice" and "I Want to Know What Love Is" and those were just on the first album; "Double Vision" and "Waiting for a Girl like You" followed.
More bands just added to the marquee include Kansas who recorded "Dust in the Wind" and "Carry on My Wayward Son." Members of the Atlanta Rhythm Section are best known for the song "Spooky," and classic tracks like "So Into You" and "Imaginary Lover.” Creedence Clearwater Revisited is the latest lineup singing the classic songs "Susie Q," "Lodi," "Proud Mary," "Down on the Corner," "Fortunate Son" and "Who'll Stop the Rain?" The band includes the original Creedence Clearwater Revival rhythm section of Stu Cook and Doug Cosmo along with singer/guitarist John Tristao, lead guitarist Kurt Griffey and multi-instrumentalist Steve Gunner.
Bachman Turner Overdrive sold over 30-million records in the 1970s including "Takin' Care of Business," "You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet" and "Moonlight Rider." Bachman and Turner have just reunited after almost 20 years apart. Blue Oyster Cult had hard rock hits with "Don't Fear the Reaper" and "I Love the Night."
Also new to the Rock Legends Cruise II lineup is 38 Special who sold more than 20-million copies of the 1980’s hit song "Hold on Loosely." They have played with other Southern Rock bands for the "Simple Man Cruise" a separate yearly event from Atlanta's Sixthman Productions featuring Lynyrd Skynyrd.
One of my favorite bands of all time will be on this cruise.
In fact, while the first Rock Legends Cruise skewed heavily towards Southern Rock, RLC II has a broader appeal – but you will still gets bands like Molly Hatchet, Marshall Tucker, Artimus Pyle and more. Black Oak Arkansas - one of the truly original "Southern Rock" bands will be on this cruise for the first time.
Bands Returning to the Rock Legends Cruise
Several of the Southern Rock icons that were on the first Rock Legends cruise will return: the Marshall Tucker Band, Molly Hatchet, The Artimus Pyle Band;. Other great classic rock bands returning for the second cruise include Pat Travers, Foghat and Devon Allman's Honeytribe.
A band called the Kentucky Headhunters that is gaining a tremendous amount of popularity lately will be on for the first time. SwampDaWamp and Whiskey Myers are also newer bands in the same vein.
The complete talent lineup for Rock Legends Cruise II includes Foreigner, Paul Rodgers, Creedence Clearwater Revisited, Kansas, Bachman & Turner, 38 Special, The Marshall Tucker Band, Blue Oyster Cult, Foghat, Molly Hatchet, Kentucky HeadHunters, Atlanta Rhythm Section, Pat Travers Band, Melvin Seals & JGB, The Artimus Pyle Band, Black Oak Arkansas, Royal Southern Brotherhood, Devon Allman's Honeytribe, SwampDaWamp, Whiskey Myers, Citizens Band Radio and The Blue Lords.
How Good Can it Get?
Rock Legends Cruise I was intended as a one-time “charity ball" for the Native American Heritage Association, but the plans just kept getting bigger and bigger until finally no one knew how it would all turn out. Then on the last night we all experienced a mutual Woodstock-style realization - we were making rock 'n roll history, but had been too much in the moment to see it.
Then Billy Gibbons, lead guitarist for ZZ Top, summed it up best on stage during their final show on the final night by saying "I'm not really sure what has happened here, so why don't we just get the captain to turn the ship around and do it all again."
And that is exactly what I plan to do - next January 10, 2013 when the Rock Legends Cruise sails again. I already have my reservations in place.
I also need to mention how amazing a music cruise can be – with the close proximity and uninterrupted access to the venues and the musicians, who share the same deck and dining establishments with you the whole time. Getting autographs and even having conversations with your musical heroes is easy. And so is getting “home” each night with no driving, parking other logistics.
If you’re thinking about it now here’s my advice: it's never too soon to book. Music cruises that become regular events start small, but within a few years they are filled by repeaters who book a year in advance or more. These cruises don't even have to advertise. This may be the last you hear about it – until it’s over.
Go to Rock Legends Cruise for more information.
Paul Motter is the co-founder and editor of CruiseMates.com cruise travel guide.
Paul Motter is the editor of CruiseMates.com, an online cruise guide. Follow him on Twitter @cruisemates.