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BellaOnline's Cruises Editor

Country Music Theme Cruises Hit a High Note

Music theme cruises, such as the popular Country Cruising music festival at sea, offer the best of all worlds. These special events give guests the opportunity to get cruise with and hear performances by their favorite stars, meet other fans with the same interests, and relax at sea. In addition to the outstanding entertainment - the shipboard dining, amenities and ports of call make the theme cruise experience hard to beat.

Designed to be the largest country music extravaganza at sea, Country Cruising will feature exciting performances by Trace Adkins, Montgomery Gentry, Wynonna Judd, Neil McCoy and over 20 other country music entertainers. On this cruise, guests will have the opportunity to attend more than 100 live events including concerts, late night parties and small jam sessions with their favorite stars while sailing to some of the most beautiful destinations in the Western Caribbean. There are no additional ticket charges for the performances – all the musical entertainment and events are included in the price of the cruise.

Country Cruising will be held January 12-19, 2014 on the Norwegian Pearl. The full ship charter’s custom itinerary was designed to include some of the Western Caribbean's hottest ports of call. The ship will sail from Miami, Florida on a 7-night cruise to Ocho Rios, Jamaica; George Town, Grand Cayman; and Cozumel, Mexico with three full days at sea.

While the music and destinations are fantastic, the cruise experience itself is also a huge draw. Country Cruising is being held on Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Pearl, a gem of a ship that features a wide range of dining and entertainment options. While it could be hard for country music fans to break away from the all-star entertainment to go bowling at sea, try rock climbing or play on the Wii interactive gaming system in the atrium, the Pearl's dining line-up will likely hit the top of the charts with Country Cruising guests.

Dining on this cruise is certainly one of the highlights. The Norwegian Pearl has several main dining rooms. The large Summer Palace dining room features aft windows, perfect for those who fancy a water view. Indigo, a smaller standard dining room is located mid-ships. Dining in these two venues is included as part of the Country Cruising cruise fare. Guests can dine freestyle as they wish or at the same time each evening.

While the food in the main dining room is delicious, Norwegian Cruise Line is also known for its extensive choice of specialty restaurants. It would be hard to cruise on the Norwegian Pearl for seven nights and not try at least one. Reservations for alternative restaurant dining can be made in advance of your cruise or once you’re on the ship. If you have your heart set on a specific dates, times and dining experiences – make your reservations early.

Here are a few of the dining experiences that Country Cruising guests can enjoy while sailing on the Norwegian Pearl:

* Cagney's Steakhouse: This restaurant serves up mouthwatering steaks such as a 16-ounce T-Bone, 12-ounce Rib Eye or a 10-ounce New York Strip or Filet Mignon along with all your favorite sides. Don't miss Cagney's Fries made with white truffle oil and parmesan cheese. Salmon Oscar, Double Cut Lamb Chops and Vegetarian Saffron Casserole are also on the menu, as are yummy appetizers and desserts. A $30 per adult cover charge applies. Children dine for half-price.

* Le Bistro French Restaurant: From the decor to the menu, Le Bistro is all French through and through. Start your meal off with French Onion Soup or Escargot and then move on to such classics as Coq au Vin, Bouillabaisse, and Filet de Porc. Naturally, the profiteroles, chocolate napoleon and vanilla creme brulee are scrumptious. A $20 per adult cover charge ($10 for children) applies.

* Moderno: Barbecued meats are the specialty at this Brazilian-style meat-fest churrascaria. Diners control how much they're served with green and red chips. Green means "keep bringing it on" while red tells servers "please stop - I've had enough!" There's a huge salad bar here to accompany the ten different cuts of beef, lamb, pork and chicken served. A $20 per adult cover charge applies. Children dine for half price.

* Teppanyaki: This Japanese grill-style restaurant is sort of like "Benihana at Sea." Each evening, chefs put on a show while cooking meats, fish, poultry and vegetables on an iron "Teppan" grill. This is one of the most popular restaurants on the ship and seating is very limited, so it sells out quickly. A $25 per adult cover charge ($12.50 for children) applies.

* Lotus Garden Asian Restaurant: Step into a world of Pan Asian delights in this restaurant, serving Japanese, Chinese and Thai dishes including Peking Duck Crepes, Kung Pao Chicken, Cantonese Scallops, Orange Peel Beef and more. A $15 per adult cover charge ($7.50 for children) applies.

* La Cucina Italian Restaurant: Traditional Italian dishes take center stage here, including pastas with seven sauce choices, specialty pizzas, and entrees such as Chicken Parmesan, Seared Salmon, Ribeye Steak Florentina, Ossobuco, and Vegetable Lasagna. The tiramisu, ricotta cheesecake and flourless chocolate torte offer a perfect Italian ending for your meal. A $15 per adult cover charge applies. Children dine for half price.

* 24/7 Pizza: Want pizza delivered fresh to your table, your favorite bar or even to your stateroom - any time of day or night? This Norwegian Pearl restaurant has it covered. Just ask your server or call room service for delivery. A $5 per guest charge applies.

* Sushi and Sashimi Bar: Located in the Lotus Garden Asian Restaurant, this little restaurant serves up a variety of sushi and sashimi including yellow fin tuna, big eye tuna, salmon, yellowtail and octopus. Prices are a la carte.

* Blue Lagoon 24-Hour Food Court: This is the place to go if you want a quick bite, any time of the day or night. The Blue Lagoon serves up burgers, stir-fry items and light fare - all free of charge.

For free of charge casual dining, including breakfast and lunch, there's also the Garden Cafe and the Great Outdoors Cafe on the aft deck. Those lounging by the pool will want to check out the nearby grill serving hamburgers, hot dogs, salads and desserts. And, of course, every guest needs to try the free room service at some time during their cruise.

Hot country artists, delectable dining, a beautiful ship, and memorable Caribbean ports of call make an outstanding vacation combination. If you're a country music fan, you definitely won't want to miss this.


For more information on Country Cruising, visit www.countrycruising.com. Those with questions or seeking more information can contact the Country Cruising hosts, Flying Dutchmen Travel, by phone at 800-248-7471 or 707-546-1212 or info@countrycruising.com.

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