Flashbacks From The Ultimate 80s Party ’22

By Steve Spears

Mark down 2022 as the year The 80s Cruise returned to the sea for a rock ‘n’ roll revivification. Our weeklong, time-traveling adventure aboard Royal Caribbean’s Mariner of the Seas kickstarted our hearts and gave us stories to share for another year – and a lifetime.

Passengers stormed the vessel in Port Canaveral with the intent of making up for two years away from cruising. Bartenders were slinging Miami Vices, Mai Tais and mixed drinks to the thirsty masses as Retro DJ Travis Bell and Jessie’s Girl got the party started on the pool deck.

New Romantic legends ABC, fronted by the always-suave Martin Fry, headlined the first night of concerts in the Royal Theater. Epic performances by The Human League, Cameo, Dire Straits Legacy, Night Ranger, Belinda Carlisle and Berlin would follow – each concert delivering a rollicking revival of 80s musical treasures.

The action in Studio B was so white-hot that we dared not let anyone skate on the ice surface below. Instead, artists such as Dramarama, Gene Loves Jezebel, Paul Young, John Cafferty and The Beaver Brown Band, and Strangelove prowled the stage above it – whipping the crowds into a frenzy during their sets.

There are so many other highlights to remember, including:

  • Setting the tone for this week-long party, Cruise Director JT Watters shocked us all in a “hot dog” Speedo at The 80s Cruise Sail Away Party.
  • ECP surprised us by bringing an unannounced band aboard who rocked the house: Living Colour!
  • 80s Cruise Alumni members Martin Mcloughlin and Linda Stout were named King and Queen of the Decade of Decadence Prom
  • During a roof-crushing Rock & Rap night, The Sugarhill Gang marched through the crowd to the pool stage singing “Apache” and played a set, before Living Colour’s rockin’ performance.
  • The T-Shirt Party with Modern English’s poolside concert brought back memories of their performance on the first-ever 80s cruise.
  • Night Ranger‘s band members all playing the drums at the same time during a middle-of-the-set celebration of percussion.
  • Original MTV VJs Mark Goodman and Alan Hunter celebrating the 40th anniversary of the cable channel – and playfully teasing each other over which of them was the “first VJ.”
  • The insanity of Camp 80s Day competitions like Bloody Mary Bingo with Modern English and Gene Loves Jezebel and the Camp 80s Cruise Challenge with Terri Nunn and Berlin, with Camp North Star winning the first ever Camp 80s Cruise Cup! And The 80s Cruise Toga Party with Trial By Fire in Studio B was the perfect way to cap off Camp 80s Day.
  • Sirius XM DJ’s Larry the Duck and Lori Majewski seemed to be everywhere on the ship. From introducing bands, hosting cocktail tastings, and going behind the music interviewing bands like ABC, A Flock of Seagulls, Jack Russell’s Great White, DSL Dire Straits Legacy, and Belinda Carlisle.
  • The legendary Pop Icon Costume Contest featuring Mr. Roboto, a “store full” of unemployed Blockbuster Video employees and a reimagination of Peter Gabriel’s “Sledgehammer” music video.
  • The 2022 80s Cruise Graduation featured a commencement speech to seniors by Belinda Carlisle, followed by a killer poolside concert with Dramarama.
  • The incredible door and window decorations.
  • With the bands sailing with us anything can happen on The 80s Cruise. Like Living Colour joining Berlin to perform “Highway to Hell.”

The 2023 voyage of The 80s Cruise is poised to join the six prior trips as yet another legendary chapter in our journeys back in time. They’ll be joined by Rock Hall of Fame nominee Devo, Bret Michaels, Kim Wilde (so rarely seen in North America) along with The Church, John Parr, Morris Day & The Time, Howard Jones, Living Colour, Jody Watley, The Smithereens (with guest vocalist Marshall Crenshaw), Vixen, Cutting Crew, Midge Ure, Autograph, China Crisis and EXTC.

We know the bands are gonna rock, but I can’t wait for the theme nights to be announced and to see what venues and bars get an 80s makeover. Most of all, I can’t wait to reunite with old pals and make new 80s obsessed friends aboard the Ultimate 80s Party- The 80s Cruise!

We set sail again from March 3-10, 2023 and we’re sailing out of Los Angeles for the very first time, so make your reservation for The Ultimate 80s Party! 

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