By Mahagony Sylvester, Investigative Reporter…..

Jamrock Reggae 032014 marked the inaugural year of the Welcome to Jamrock Reggae Cruise which was solidly overbooked, a sign of the growing popularity of innovative themed cruises aimed at reaching more diverse travelers that share common interests. Building on last year’s overwhelming success, the organizers led by Damion Jr. Gong Marley have collaborated with Norwegian Cruise Line to do back-to-back cruises (a 100% increase over last year). This gives Reggae fans the option to do one of two 5-day cruises from Miami to Jamaica – the headquarters of Reggae (Ocho Rios, Montego Bay, Falmouth), and diehard Reggae lovers the opportunity to enjoy 10 days of non-stop Reggae.

The Welcome to Jamrock Reggae Cruise website beckons, “Come experience some of the World’s top tier Reggae artists as they perform in multiple venues throughout the beautiful Norwegian Pearl cruise ship. In addition to multiple Live Concerts, there will be numerous Sound Systems blazing the vibes All Day and All Night throughout the cruise. – excerpt from the Welcome to Jamrock Reggae Cruise website.

Jamrock Reggae 04Another key aspect of this Reggae-themed cruise is the Jamaican/Caribbean cuisine that will be widely available – jerk chicken, ackee ‘n’ saltfish, steamed and escoveitch fish among other delicacies.

Based on the ethnic demographics of last year’s Reggae Cruise, this Reggae niche market largely constitutes members of the Caribbean diaspora who “were raised” on Reggae and other Caribbean beats. These Caribbean people also happen to be likely more aware of Reggae artistes apart from Bob Marley and his family, therefore appreciating the wide scope of what is defined as Reggae. That said, the organizers noted that 48% of the cabins sold for the 2014 cruise were bought by Reggae fans living outside of North America, representing 50 countries spread across Asia, Australia, Europe, Central America, South America and the Caribbean.  As far back as 18 months ago, over 200 persons were on the waiting list for the 2015 Welcome to Jamrock Reggae Cruise.

Jamrock Reggae 01It’s good to witness the gradual evolution of themed cruises. The increasingly competitive environment demands greater levels of ingenious specialization on the part of businesses in order to maintain relevance, foster growth and enjoy success. Specifically as the cruise industry matures, there is hardly an itinerary that has the capability to appeal to all members of the cruise market in similar ways. In-depth study of cruise consumers is crucial to determining what appeals to them effectively; what inspires passengers to invest hundreds or thousands of dollars in a floating ‘all-inclusive’ vacation – in this case, a floating Reggae Festival on a Big Ship with no Commotion.

Jamrock Reggae Cruises 2015: November 30 – December 5; December 5 – 10.

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See highlights of 2014 Welcome to Jamrock Reggae Cruise below: