Paul Gauguin

Specialty cruises

Specialty cruises

Our neighbor refuses to cruise.

It's all about eating, getting fat and being trapped at sea with lots of strangers, she says.

Not necessarily so, though you can chow down if you wish. But beyond that, it can be a feast for the soul too. Theme cruises make it possible to sail with like-minded folks who share your passion for, well, nearly anything, immersing yourself in camaraderie, learning, workshops and fun, often accompanied by top-notch lecturers. The gamut of themes runs from ballroom dancing, baseball, jazz, gardening, quilting and culinary cruises to nude cruises and "cougar" adventures for older women in search of younger men.

With so much available,...