The Ultimate Guide to the Best Cruise Songs
You’re packing your bags, excited to get on that cruise ship and explore the seven seas. It’s going to be a fun-filled cruise, all about relaxing and unwinding. You want it to be memorable. After all, you might not get many opportunities for cruises like this again!
Music has the ability to transport you to another place. It can help you forget about your worries, take your mind off of things, or even make you feel more energetic and ready to tackle the day (or a cruise!). There’s no better way to get in the cruise vacation mood than with a bunch of great songs. That’s why creating your own awesome cruise playlist is so important.
So, before you set sail, check out our list below of the best songs for your playlist. It includes some old songs, some new songs, and some all-time classic cruise songs to get you inspired.
Our Favorite Songs to Listen on a Cruise Ship
By Huey Lewis and Gwyneth Paltrow (2006)
If you’re going on a Mediterranean or Caribbean Cruise with your partner or spouse, this sweet, romantic track is a great addition to any cruise playlist. It could also be inspiring for young single people on the hunt to find true love!
The Love Boat
By Jack Jones (1977)
If you’re fond of show tunes and classic songs, this is the song for you! It was the theme song to the TV series of the same name and has a happy feeling that will appeal to nearly everyone.
My Heart Will Go On
By Celine Dion (1997)
Perhaps the most iconic cruise song of all time, this tear-jerker is sure to melt some hearts. It’s also a great track to slow-dance to.
By Engelwood (2017)
Many people enjoy cruising to something mostly instrumental, and this is the perfect song to add to your playlist of cruise songs for the more relaxed moments- like sunbathing by the pool.
By Harry Styles (2019)
When you hear this song, you’re bound to think of the beach immediately. We know we do! It’s perfect for enjoying a slice of watermelon by the ocean.
Best Day Of My Life
By American Authors (2014)
This is a great song to kill the nerves and get you psyched up for the trip ahead! Our expert advice is adding it to the start of your cruise playlist, or listening to it on the flight to your cruise destination.
Come Sail Away
By Styx (1977)
Here’s another old (but gold) track to add to your cruise songs. It’s slow and romantic, and would make an excellent song to listen to at the end of your vacation.
(Sittin’ On) The Dock Of The Bay
By Otis Redding (1982)
This is another classic track that is well worth giving a listen if you don’t know it already. It has been remade many times throughout the years, but we prefer the original. And, we think, so will you!
By Jimmy Buffett (1977)
If you like a bit of country music, you’re sure to love this song, too. Jimmy Buffett has also become quite synonymous with the Caribbean, and it would be a shame not to add one of his most famous songs to your cruise songs.
By Glass Animals (2020)
This song emits a relaxed vibe that’s perfect for having a friendly drink with other cruisers on the ship, or simply spending a lazy day in a sun lounger.
Under The Boardwalk
By Bruce Willis (1987)
Many people don’t know that this famous actor also had a music career under the alias Bruno! This is one of our favorite songs by the Pulp Fiction star, and perfect for listening to while sailing across the ocean.
By The Beach Boys (1988)
No cruise or beach playlist can ever be complete without at least one Beach Boys song. This one, specifically, is cruise-inspired – but any track by this iconic band will do.
By Earth, Wind & Fire (1978)
This song is all about living in the moment, being carefree, and having a good time – an excellent motto to have while going on a cruise.
Three Little Birds
By Bob Marley (1980)
This might be the ultimate feel-good track! It’s also great for listening while you think back on fond memories from your cruise once it’s over.
Beyond The Sea
By Bobby Darin (1959)
What a classic! Whether you add this version or the original 1946 track by Charles Trenet, this is a must-have in any cruise playlist.
Soak Up The Sun
By Sheryl Crow (2002)
This is a light, feel-good song that will make you think of warm summer days, cold pools, and sandy beaches.
Under The Sea
By Walt Disney Records from the Original Soundtrack: The Little Mermaid (1989)
If you’re planning on joining a dance class while on your cruise, this is a great song to have in your playlist for when you practice your moves! And, if you’re traveling with kids, this is a track they’ll enjoy.
Escape – The Pina Colada Song
By Rupert Holmes (1979)
Everyone knows the lyrics to this song, even if they don’t know it’s called “Escape”. This is one of those songs you hear in every bar, and there is something about it that makes it memorable. The upbeat tempo and the catchy chorus make this a great addition to your cruise songs playlist.
La Isla Bonita
By Madonna (1986)
La Isla Bonita is Spanish for “The Beautiful Island”, and the lyrics are all about falling in love on an island paradise. It’s another great song for couples traveling together, or for singles hoping to find someone.
Adventure Of A Lifetime
By Coldplay (2015)
Inspired by disco music, this song is all about feeling good, making it a great song to listen to on a cruise ship. It’s perfect for getting you in the groove while cruising, but also has a great message behind it about helping others feel good, too.
Somewhere Over The Rainbow / What a Wonderful World
By Israel “IZ” Kamakawiwo’ole (1990)
Whether it’s because this song was sung by a Hawaiian resident, or has the quintessential island sound you only get by playing the ukulele, no trip to the beach could be complete without relaxing to this track. We especially love this mash-up version, but the original is just as good!
By Desireless (1989)
While French synth-pop might not be everyone’s cup of tea, this song has beautiful vocals and an inspiring message about the adventure of travel – perfect to include in your cruise playlist before setting sail on your own voyage.
By Christopher Cross (1979)
Add this song to your playlist and listen to it while you’re sitting on the deck, looking out over the peaceful water. You won’t regret it!
By TLC (1994)
While this track has a much deeper meaning than simply having fun on a cruise, it’s undeniable that when you hear it, it makes you feel good. It’s perfect for sipping a cocktail on the deck.
Toes (In The Water)
By Zac Brown Band (2006)
Here’s another great track for fans of country music! It’s happy and fun, ideal for getting you in the beach mood.
Dancing In The Moonlight
By Toploader (1999)
The title of this one says it all! If you’re out on the deck at night, admiring the stars and lights of the ship with your partner, this track is perfect for dancing together.
No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems
By Kenny Chesney (2002)
Despite being one of the most famous modern country singers, Chesney still managed to make this song feel like a day on the shores of an island paradise. Put this on while you’re getting ready for a shore excursion or beach day.
By Frankie Ford (1959)
This song was top of the charts when it came out, and listening to this classic, we can see why!
By Flo Rida (2011)
If you’re planning on joining a party while cruising, don’t be surprised if you hear this one playing. It’s a fun dance track that remixes the excellent vocals of Christina Aguilera in the best way.
Two Pina Coladas
By Bles Bridges (1999)
If you’re looking for a slow, romantic cruise song, this country music track is perfect.
Ily (I Love You, Baby)
By Surf Mesa & Emilee (2020)
Even if you usually prefer the original versions of songs, there’s no denying that this is a great cover to put on while cruising or spending a fun day by the ocean.
By OMI & Felix Jaehn (2014)
This is an awesome dance remix of an already great track by the Jamaican artist. It’s another club favorite, bound to get you up off your feet. We can’t resist a good saxophone solo!
By The Mamas & The Papas (1965)
This is an ideal song for daydreaming about your upcoming cruise, or for the bittersweet feeling that comes with thinking back fondly to all your best cruise memories. Either way, it’s a cruise songs playlist must-have.
Island in The Sun
By Weezer (2001)
This is an unusually laid-back track by the U.S Alternative Rock band, making it perfect for listening while on your way to an island paradise or relaxing in the sunshine.
The Banana Boat Song
By Harry Belafonte (1956)
If you’ve ever watched Beetlejuice, you may remember this track. It was also favored improvisational riff by Freddie Mercury, and it’s a fun call-and-answer song to sing along to.
It’s Five O’clock Somewhere
By Alan Jackson & Jimmy Buffett (2003)
If you’re looking for an excuse to indulge in a cocktail a little too early in the day, why not switch on this song while you treat yourself to something tall and cold? We won’t tell anyone!
Red, Red Wine
By UB40 (1983)
This is another great song for having a drink, especially if you’re a wine lover. It’s bound to lift your mood instantly.
By Enya (1988)
If you’re looking for the perfect track while you set sail and embark on the journey of a lifetime, this is it! Who doesn’t love a good Enya track?
By OneRepublic (2022)
We all want some good vibes and a little bit of sun in our lives, and this is a great track to get you in the vacation mood before your trip.
Brown Eyed Girl
Van Morrison (1967)
This is a personal favorite of ours! Maybe you’re single and hoping to meet a beautiful brown-eyed stranger while on your cruise, or you’ve already found your brown-eyed soulmate. Either way, this is a really fun song to dance to.