By Anita Dunham-Potter Travel columnist
updated 3/31/2008 1:53:04 PM ET 2008-03-31T17:53:04

Crazy about Elvis? Looking for a Star Trek fix? Want to shimmy bare-naked under the stars? Believe it or not, you can indulge these passions — and a host of others — on a cruise vacation. In honor of April Fools’ Day, I give you four of the craziest theme cruises to hit the high seas.

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The King of cruises
Imagine you’re lying back in a deck chair enjoying the ocean breeze when all of a sudden a man in a white jumpsuit and rhinestone cape starts singing Elvis Presley’s “Viva Las Vegas.” He’s then joined by more costumed Elvi swinging their hips as music blasts from the speakers. Welcome aboard the Elvis Cruise.

This August, Carnival Fantasy will host the second annual Elvis Cruise, a four-day voyage to New Orleans and Cozumel, Mexico. The program includes nightly Vegas-style shows celebrating the different phases of Elvis’ career. Elvis trivia contests, Elvis movies, Elvis-themed bingo and an Elvis tribute competition, the winner of which will receive a cash prize. It’s an all-around Elvis love fest.

For more information: Elvis Cruise

Hogs on the High Seas rally
On April 13, Royal Caribbean’s Vision of the Seas will be full of hogs — biker hogs, that is. Billed as good people and great times for a good cause, the Hogs on the High Seas biker rally will host some 2,000 motorcycle dudes and mamas from all over the U.S. How wild do things get? Well, the group will participate in such onboard competitions as the “belly wacker contest,” the “sexy senorita contest,” and the “topless hombre contest,” to name a few.

This is no stuffy, dress-up cruise; attire is strictly biker-style and that means jeans and leather — only! Even the waiters and waitresses get in on the act, donning their own biker apparel. These fun-loving hogs have heart, too; in fact they will donate a percentage of all money raised on board to the Hogs on the High Seas Kidney Dialysis Fund. The fund provides no-cost cabins, airfare, dialysis treatments and spending money for motorcycle enthusiasts requiring this life-altering therapy. Last year’s rally raised more than $110,000.

For more information: Hogs on the High Seas

Beam me up, Cruise Trek!
This sailing sci-fi adventure has taken Trekkies around the globe since 1991. This year, Cruise Trek is boldly going where no Trek convention has gone before: on a river cruise on the Danube.

Don’t be fooled. There’s a lot more to this cruise vacation than walking around with phaser guns. The cruise brings aboard actors from the “Star Trek” series to talk about the show, give presentations, sign autographs and mingle with guests. Entertainment is Trek-style and includes parodies of popular game shows (think “Match Trek” and “Wheel of Trek”). The program also includes contests and rituals known only to Star Trek fans. Yes, people do dress up in Trekkie costumes and Spock ears to role-play, but that’s what makes this cruise so out of this world.

For more information: Cruise Trek

Dare to bare
When Star Clipper’s Star Flyer sets sail around Tahiti in May, the first thing all 170 passengers will do is take off their clothes. Touting beautiful scenery and friendly folks who enjoy the warmth of the sun “au naturel,” this cruise is not for prudes.

Since 1991, Bare Necessities Tour & Travel has produced more than 40 clothing-optional cruises. The company says passengers can choose to be nude almost anywhere — in the pool, at the roulette table or while dancing to music. The two exceptions? In the formal dining room and while the ship is in port.

Bare Necessities has two other cruises planned for the 2008 season: one in the Mediterranean, the other around the Greek Isles. In 2009, the company has a “Homecoming Cruise” planned on the 2,100-passenger Carnival Legend. This is one cruise where you could care less if the airline loses your luggage.

For more information: Bare Necessities

Theme cruises are growing in popularity as they provide an entertaining and enriching venue for guests sharing the same interests. Best of all, the shared exuberance fosters an easy spirit of camaraderie, making for a great vacation and sometimes lifelong friendships.

Sound off! Do you have a comment, an idea, a complaint or a problem for Anita to solve? Send her an e-mail and you might find yourself in her next column. And check out her blog, ExpertCruiser.com.

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