The best songs for your cruise ship playlist

As anyone who has been on a cruise knows, the music on the ship can make or break your experience. While some ships have great DJs and live bands, others stick to pre-recorded music that can get old fast. If you’re in charge of the music on your next cruise, make sure to mix things up with a variety of genres and artists to keep everyone happy.

The type of music you play on a cruise ship can have a big impact on the overall atmosphere of the trip. Up-tempo, energetic songs will get passengers out on the dance floor and help them to work up an appetite for dinner. If you want to create a more relaxed atmosphere, then softer, slower songs may be more appropriate. At night, you might choose to play some classics that passengers can sing along to as they enjoy a drink at the bar. Ultimately, the best way to select cruise ship music is to consider the overall tone that you want to set for the trip. By carefully curated your playlist, you can ensure that your music sets the perfect mood for your cruise.

The mood you want your music to set on a Caribbean cruise

While the Caribbean is known for its relaxed and laid-back atmosphere, there’s still a lot of variety in the types of moods that can be found from one island to the next. When choosing music for a Caribbean cruise, it’s important to consider the overall tone that you want to set for your trip. If you’re looking for a party atmosphere, then upbeat reggae and calypso are sure to get passengers on their feet and dancing. For a more romantic vibe, smooth jazz and Bossa Nova provide the perfect soundtrack for sunset strolls on the beach. And if you’re just hoping to relax and soak up the sun, then some mellow island tunes are all you need to set the right mood. No matter what kind of atmosphere you’re hoping to create, there’s sure to be some perfect Caribbean music to match.

Grand Turk. Photo by Karen Chow

Music for Cruising the Norwegian Fjords

If you’re planning a cruise to the Norwegian Fjords, one of the first things you’ll need to decide is what kind of music to pack. While the scenery alone is enough to take your breath away, the right soundtrack can enhance the experience and make it even more memorable.

There are a few factors to consider when choosing the best music for your Norwegian Fjords cruise. First, think about the type of atmosphere you want to create. Do you want something relaxing and mellow to enjoy while sailing through tranquil waters? Or are you looking for something a little more upbeat to get you excited for days spent exploring onshore? Second, consider the length of your cruise. If you’re only sailing for a few days, you might want to focus on packing a few key songs that will really set the mood. But if you’re embarking on a longer voyage, you’ll have more time to explore different genres and styles of music.

Cruising through the Norwegian Fjords
Cruising through the Norwegian Fjords in 2016. Photo by Karen Chow.

Norwegian cruises offer a wide variety of destinations and activities, so there’s no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to choosing the perfect playlist. However, we’ve put together a list of some great songs that are perfect for setting the tone on a Norwegian cruise. Whether you’re looking for something soothing or upbeat, these tunes are sure to get you in the cruising spirit.

List of Songs for Cruise Ship Playlist

Here are some suggestions for songs to include on your cruise ship playlist:

  • Margaritaville – Jimmy Buffett
  • Cha Cha Slide – DJ Casper
  • Wouldn’t It Be Nice – Beach Boys. The Beach Boys are a California rock band formed in 1961. They are one of the most influential rock bands of all time. They are known for their vocal harmonies, adolescent-oriented themes, and singing about surfing and living the good life. They drew inspiration from older pop vocal groups, 1950s rock and roll, and black R&B music to create their unique sound. Under Brian’s direction, they often incorporated classical or jazz elements and unconventional recording techniques in innovative ways. The Beach Boys began as a modest commercial success with their first few singles, but they achieved international stardom with the release of “Good Vibrations” in 1966, which was their first number one hit in Britain. From there, they had a string of hits that defined the California sound and made them one of the most popular bands of the 1960s. Even as their popularity waned in the 1970s, the Beach Boys continued to record and perform to dedicated fans all over the world. Today, they remain an iconic American band with a timeless sound.
  • Three Little Birds – Bob Marley. Bob Marley is one of the most iconic and influential musicians of all time. Born in Jamaica in 1945, Marley rose to fame in the 1970s with his unique blend of reggae, ska, and rocksteady. His political and spiritual message, delivered through his music, resonated with people all over the world. Marley is credited with helping to spread the Rastafarian movement and he remains an inspiration to many. He died of cancer in 1981, but his music continues to live on and he is considered one of the greatest musical artists of all time.
  • La Isla Bonita – Madonna
  • Feel Alright – Steve Earle
  • My Heart Will Go On – Celine Dion. Celine Dion is a Canadian singer who gained international fame in 1996 with her album Falling into You. She is best known for the song “My Heart Will Go On,” which was featured in the film Titanic. The song became a worldwide hit, reaching number one in several countries. Dion has sold over 200 million albums and won five Grammy Awards. She is one of the best-selling artists of all time.
  • Sea Cruise – Frankie Ford
  • The Times They Are A-Changin’ – Bob Dylan
  • A Change Is Gonna Come – Sam Cooke
  • Sloop John B – Beach Boys
  • Island in the Sun – Weezer – This is one of my favorite songs of all time. Definitely in the top 5. It just gives me a feeling of ease and relaxing on the beach.
  • Under the Sea – The Little Mermaid soundtrack
  • Kokomo – Beach Boys
  • Cruisin’ – Smokey Robinson. Smokey Robinson is an American singer-songwriter, record producer, and former lead vocalist of The Miracles. He is one of the most successful solo artists of all time, with hits such as “Tracks of My Tears,” “The Tears of a Clown,” and “Cruisin’.” He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987.
  • Come Fly with Me – Frank Sinatra
  • I Can’t Help Falling in Love with You – Elvis Presley
  • Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay – Otis Redding
  • Don’t Worry, Be Happy – Bobby McFerrin
  • The Wanderer – Dion
  • I’m a Believer – The Monkees
  • Fun, Fun, Fun – Beach Boys
  • Sail Away – David Gray
  • On the Road Again – Willie Nelson. Willie Nelson is an American musician, actor, and activist. He is a country music legend with hits such as “Crazy,” “Red Headed Stranger,” and “On the Road Again.”
  • The Banana Boat Song (Day-O) – Harry Belafonte
  • Rock the Boat – The Hues Corporation
  • I Hope You Dance – Lee Ann Womack
  • The Gambler – Kenny Rogers
  • You Are The Sunshine of My Life – Stevie Wonder
  • Lean on Me – Bill Withers. Bill Withers is an American singer-songwriter and musician who achieved fame in the 1970s with hits such as “Ain’t No Sunshine”.


So whether you’re looking to get everyone dancing or just want to set the perfect atmosphere, be sure to include these songs on your cruise ship playlist.

Carnival Victory cruise ship. Photo by Karen Chow

Music-Themed Cruise

If you love music, there’s no better way to enjoy your favorite tunes than by taking a music-themed cruise. These cruises are becoming increasingly popular, as they offer passengers a chance to see the world while enjoying their favorite type of entertainment. There are a variety of music-themed cruises available, ranging from rock and roll cruises to country music cruises. No matter what your taste in music, you’re sure to find a cruise that’s perfect for you. In addition to live performances by top musical acts, most music-themed cruises also offer a variety of other activities and events designed to keep passengers entertained. From dance parties to trivia contests, there’s something for everyone on a music-themed cruise. So if you’re looking for a fun and unique vacation experience, be sure to check out a music-themed cruise. You’re sure to have a blast!

Keeping the Blues Alive at Sea

March 13-17, 2023. Miami to Puerto Plata

Ports of call: Miami, Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic

Keeping the Blues Alive at Sea – March 13-17, 2023

There will be multiple Joe Bonamassa performances, and unique collaboration shows.

Joe Bonamassa is a world-renowned blues guitarist, and watching him play is an unforgettable experience. He has a unique style that combines elements of rock, jazz, and blues, and he is one of the most talented guitarists in the world. Seeing him play on a cruise ship was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and I will never forget it.

Port of Miami from the cruise ship. Photo by Karen Chow

The Outlaw Country Cruise

February 21-27, 2023. Miami to the Caribbean.

Ports of call: Miami, Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas, and Cozumel, Mexico.

The Outlaw Country Cruise – February 21-27, 2023

Are you ready to set sail on the high seas with your favorite Outlaw Country artists? Then book your spot on the Outlaw Country Cruise, departing from Miami on February 21, 2023. For one week, you’ll enjoy live music from some of the genre’s biggest stars, as well as opportunities to explore the beautiful Caribbean islands. There will also be plenty of chances to mingle with other fans and enjoy some of the best food and drink at sea. So whether you’re a die-hard fan or just looking for a fun-filled vacation, don’t miss out on this year’s Outlaw Country Cruise.

This year’s lineup includes The Mavericks, Lucinda Williams, Steve Earle & The Dukes, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Old 97s and many more!

The Kiss Kruise

Sailing 1: October 24-29, 2022

Sailing 2: October 29-Nov 3, 2022

Ports of call: Miami, Cabo San Lucas, and Ensandada, Mexico

The KISS Kruise – October 24-29, 2022 | October 29 – November 3, 2022

The renowned KISS Kruise XI is sailing for two unique experiences at sea this fall. They are sailing aboard Norwegian Jewel for two weeks of non-stop KISS fun.

Both sailings will feature live performances by KISS, and other top rock bands, as well as a variety of other activities designed to keep passengers entertained. From dance parties to meet-and-greet opportunities with the band, there’s something for everyone on the KISS Kruise. So if you’re a fan of the band or just looking for a fun-filled vacation, be sure to check out this year’s KISS Kruise. You won’t be disappointed!

Groove Cruise

Groove Cruise is a music themed cruise that creates amazing experiences for people who love dance music. They do this by connecting people and celebrating life together.

Groove Cruise Cabo: October 19-24, 2022, Norwegian Jewel, LA to Cabo

Groove Cruise Miami: January 19-23, 2023, Celebrity Summit – Miami to Labadee

Groove Cruises | Dance Music Festivals & Themed Cruises

The 80s Cruise

Behind the drum set at the 80s cruise in 2022. Photo by Kevin Rankin

March 3-10, 2023

Royal Caribbean’s Navigator of the Seas

Ports of call: Los Angeles, Ensenada, Cabo San Lucas, Puerto Vallarta,

The 80s Cruise – The Ultimate 80s Party

Over 50 concerts and performances, including Devo, Bret Michaels, The Church, Kim Wilde, and Howard Jones.

The 80s music themed cruise is a great way to have a blast while reliving the best music of the decade. This cruise allows you to enjoy all of your favorite 80s hits while sailing the open seas. You can attend themed parties, dance to live DJs, and sing your heart out at karaoke. There are also plenty of opportunities to dress up in your best 80s fashion. Whether you prefer spandex or leg warmers, you’ll have a blast dancing the night away on the 80s music themed cruise. So dust off your dancing shoes and get ready for a party that you’ll never forget.


If you’re looking for a fun and unique vacation experience, be sure to check out a music-themed cruise. You’re sure to have a blast! Music-themed cruises offer passengers the chance to see their favorite artists perform live, as well as enjoy other activities and events designed to keep them entertained. So if you’re looking for a vacation that will let you dance the night away, a music-themed cruise is the perfect option for you.

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