The 7 Most Profoundly Depressing Celebrity Cruises
If you're like me, stop. Stop that. No good will come of this. Do you know how often I eat mac and cheese and burritos alone? Gods, it's sad. But that said, I also have this curious fantasy to go on a cruise, and I've had it for as long as I can remember. I can't say why; something about the idea of a hotel on the water just appeals to me. This fantasy took a bit of a hit when that Carnival cruise turned into a floating outhouse this past spring, but in theory it's still something I'd enjoy if I could afford a room that's bigger than a breadbox and be drunk the whole time.
For my part, any old cruise will do, but it turns out there are a lot of cruises out there that are selling themselves based on the appeal of having celebrity guests. Why float along ankle deep in your own poop when you could be ankle deep in the poop of the guy who played the dad on Charles in Charge, assuming he's still alive? Why indeed. And while I can wrap my head around the appeal of going on a cruise with the Suicide Girls, or maybe a highly inebriated and angry Dolph Lundgren, there are some celebrity cruises that are mind-blowing simply because they exist at all.
Few things are more appealing than the idea of being on the open sea, fresh salt air in your lungs, the world stretched out before you, and a racist Southern chef sharing tales and recipes for butter-fried butter McButternog and butter-infused fatback buttersteaks with you and the rest of the passengers.
Numerous cruises get cancelled each year because there's not enough interest, including a horror cruise that would have included Alice Cooper, Candyman, Kane "Jason" Hodder, and director of John Dies at the End Don Coscarelli. That cruise didn't sell enough tickets, but Paula Deen is booked through 2014. What a sick world we live in.
"Y'all black folk know howta swim? I fried up your life jackets yesterday!"
For anywhere from $1,700 to $6,800, you can watch Paula Deen critique another chef's cooking, watch her kids cook stuff, and join her for a Pajama Brunch. Go on, picture that. You're sailing the ocean blue with Paula Deen and you're both in your pajamas. She shifts in her seat, the air wafts up her pajama leg, and a sound like a distant foghorn chills you to the bone. That's one of the seven signs. Such a thing only exists in God's blind spot and will wither the healthy gonads of any under 65 who dare attend.
I find the fact that Paula Deen doesn't actually cook on the cruise kind of strange, like if you went to basketball camp hosted by Michael Jordan and all he did was put in a DVD of Blue Chips and maybe answer questions about his favorite mascots, but what do I know? Maybe the cruise is mostly centered on Deen making black guests wear tuxedos and look like Civil War-era servants. If anyone has attended, please let me know.
This cruise becomes exponentially more hilarious when you realize I didn't make it up and it's the same R. Kelly you're thinking of. R Kelly, the man whose most recent fame was achieved by serving as a throwaway reference to pissing his own bed in a Macklemore song.
R. Kelly is famous for two things. The lesser source of his fame is a music career that is still kicking to this day because, as Chris Brown fans will assure you, any soulless, shit-encrusted twat waffle will still be idolized by scores of fans so long as he can produce albums and look marginally attractive, regardless of his sordid illegal proclivities. The more noteworthy source of his infamy is, of course, his penchant for golden showers. Oh, and the fact that he's a serial pederast. People keep forgiving him for that despite evidence of, what, three underage girls that we know of? Yes, well, let's all go on a cruise with him.
In fairness to good sense, the R. Kelly cruise was cancelled, but not for the reasons you think (piss-based or pederast-influenced reasons). The cruise was cancelled because R. Kelly wasn't going. He says he was never paid for the gig and apparently isn't the sort of fellow who volunteers to sing on the high seas. The cruise line should have just told him there were a bunch of 15-year-old girls with really dry skin on board and the matter would have settled itself, but hindsight is 20/20.
Because obviously there's a Star Trek cruise, I figured I'd toss it in here because there are actually competing Trek cruises. You could choose to saddle up with Cruise Trek or Star Trek Cruise, both of which boast celebrity guests and maybe green ladies to hold your hair back as you barf overpriced shrimp into the Adriatic.
Cruise Trek has an admirable list of past guests, including Wil Wheaton, who's currently enjoying a fame renaissance and is someone I would legitimately like to meet. He must love being trapped on a boat with people who would pay for a Star Trek-themed cruise, presumably for the very reason that they're trapped on a boat and thus their celebrity crush will be forced to endure them, at least for a little while.
"Pronounce my name like Stewie on Family Guy, then try to touch me. I love that."
Choosing a cruise without prior knowledge of guests is a bit like a game of Russian nerd roulette, as past cruises have had guests like Robert Picardo, the doctor from Voyager, and even James Doohan (hopefully before he died), who played Scotty in the original series, which would probably be cool guests for a Trek fan to meet. On the other hand, some cruises included a script coordinator and Richard Biggs, who played a character on Babylon 5, which is kind of like Star Trek if you squint.
As for onboard entertainment, aside from ogling Trek actors and questioning them on technical details as The Simpsons has taught us nerds are wont to do, what can you look forward to on a boat with the crew of a Starfleet vessel? How's this sound? "We were treated to sassy readings ..." That's a quote right from the cruise website. Sassy readings. I want to name a band that and have them go on tour with One Direction and then take over the tour bus and destroy us all: "Sassy Readings Bass Player Goes Mad, Drives One Direction into Gulch."
Can you even begin to fathom anything quite so soul-satisfying as being at sea with the inspiration for the Kraken, Karl Rove? Apparently political cruises aren't entirely rare, but to get such a noteworthy political figure to share your light appetizers in the lounge is almost unheard of.
Now, before you think this is a partisan entry, remember that no one likes Karl Rove. Not Democrats, not Republicans, not even the Tea Party, and those guys love everyone. Karl Rove has pretty much alienated himself from the world thanks to his election night mental breakdown and also the fact that he may be a mountain troll. Of course this cruise took place before the election, and suites were only $14,000, so it was certainly geared to a certain kind of person (the kind who would spend $14,000 to be at sea with a mountain troll, for instance), but I can't stress enough that Karl Rove before the election was actually the same man he was on election night. He's always had that loose a grasp on reality. He's like Satan's deadbeat brother who can't do anything right.
As you might expect, Rove wore a jacket all the time and pants you'd best describe as "trousers," because the man knows how to party. To further emphasize this, the cruise had scheduled time to smoke cigars and drink cognac, because sitting on a sinister throne and laughing maniacally didn't play well with focus groups.
I find it ironic that you could get Kid Rock so close to water when it seems like maybe he's a little reticent to approach anything that would potentially slough off a layer of his oily charm to begin with, but here we are. Maybe his cabin is hermetically sealed in case the boat sinks so he'll be encapsulated in his filth bubble until rescuers arrive.
Kid Rock's Chillin' the Most cruise features not just a header image of Kid Rock dressed as Evel Knievel on a rocket bike with a teenage runaway, but also on-ship bowling and, judging from the promo video for 2013's cruise, many fat guys doing belly flops. I'm not sure what else you need to sell you on a cruise, but there also seems to be an abundance of cigars, shots, and guys doing the devil-horn gesture at the camera, and to top it all off, Kid Rock wearing a hoodie on a tropical beach, because why not?
I watched promo videos for three years' worth of these cruises and they were ironically all exactly the same: a music video for a Kid Rock song that cut in scenes of women in bikinis who probably know what tobacco tastes like with their hands in the air, swimming, and an overall sense that someone definitely brought herpes onto the boat.
If you're aware of what Duck Dynasty is, you may be asking yourself the same thing I asked when I heard that this cruise was taking place -- Duck Dynasty fans are allowed on boats? This was followed up by my curiosity about how willing said fans would be to approach such a large machine without jabbing at it with a pitchfork or a torch. The crew must just love this idea to pieces.
"Now you listen here, Mr. Boat Driver, if I wants to poop out your fancy port hole, I will."
Duck Dynasty is basically The Beverly Hillbillies made real -- some beards with funny voices attached created a duck call and, inexplicably, by selling a thing that imitates the sound of a duck, became millionaires. Makes you feel like a massive failure, doesn't it? So these guys are now famous because A&E put them on TV and they pretend to be "real" all the time while not hamming it up for the camera in any way because maybe this is the one reality show where that happens. You never know. Point is, the show is targeted to rednecks and hillbillies. I don't mean that in an insulting way, that's actually their demographic, and, as the stars themselves show, just because you're a redneck doesn't mean you can't be well-off enough to afford a cruise, or even a cruise ship. It does, however, mean that having your cruise dedicated to redneckery is kind of a ridiculous idea. Because it so obviously is.
Special bonus for those who need more than the ZZ Top of duck calls: American Idol winner Scotty McCreery will also be on the cruise. Remember that if you're an Idol hopeful. One day you might win and then be banished to a hillbilly boat ride. Mmm, positive life choices.
Right away I can see a lot of people rushing to the defense of this idea. KISS is a classic band, they're gods of rock and roll. They have the KISS Army! Surely a KISS cruise would be awesome, right? I will accept this onslaught with grace because I have an ace up my sleeve. I have irrefutable proof that what you believe is not true. That what you want to be the reality of this cruise is not the reality at all. My weapon to strike down the very idea of this cruise has a name, and it is Gene Simmons.
"I'm exactly as awful as my haircut implies. And your mom would still do me."
Before anyone knew who Gene Simmons was, KISS was the shit. KISS was the musical version of humping on a roller coaster on the back of a dragon, or whatever it is the kids think is cool these days. And then Gene Simmons and his helmet-like hair got a reality show, and you found out he would brand urns and cancer drugs with the KISS logo if he could make a buck off of it, and he became sad. And then, even more disturbing, someone released a video of Simmons having sex in a hotel room and it was so devoid of life, it made the Paris Hilton sex tape look like a meth- and coke-fueled passion circus. Gene Simmons has Brillo pad hair and humps like an ottoman that someone put in the freezer. He's a disgrace.
Go on the KISS cruise and, at best, you'll get through a boat trip without having to watch Simmons try to pick up an old lady or seeing Peter Criss cry his kitty makeup off. That's the best you can hope for.