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30 best songs for your cruise playlist

woman listens to music on her AirPods while on vacation

If you’re cruising soon and love listening to music, we recommend starting a cruise playlist. Whether you’re looking for songs to relax to by the pool or pump yourself up while getting ready for the day, we have the perfect playlist for you. We have included 30 songs (organized by year of release) for everyone to enjoy, baby boomers and millennials alike.


Pro tip: If you haven't heard of a particular song from this list before, play it during your cruise vacation. After your cruise when you hear that song on the radio or elsewhere, it will remind you of your vacation!

1. Surfin' USA

Artist: The Beach Boys

Year: 1963

Featured lyric: We're waxing down our surfboards / We can't wait for June / We'll all be gone for the summer / We're on surfari to stay / Tell the teacher we're surfin' / Surfin' U.S.A.

The Beach Boys Surfin' USA

2. One Love

Artist: Bob Marley & The Wailers

Year: 1977

Featured lyric: One Love! What about the one heart? One Heart! / What about the- Let's get together and feel alright

One Love by Bob Marley

3. Margaritaville

Artist: Jimmy Buffett

Year: 1977

Featured lyric: Wastin' away again in MargaritavilleSearchin' for my lost shaker of salt / Some people claim that there’s a woman to blame / But I know it’s nobody’s fault

Margaritaville by Jimmy Buffett

4. Come Sail Away

Artist: Styx

Year: 1977

Featured lyric: I'm sailing away / Set an open course for the Virgin Sea / 'Cause I've got to be free / Free to face the life that's ahead of me

Come Sail Away by Styx

5. Night Fever

Artist: Bee Gees

Year: 1978

Featured lyric: Night fever, night fever / We know how to do it / Gimme that night fever, night fever / We know how to show it

Night Fever by Bee Gees

6. Escape (The Piña Colada Song)

Artist: Rupert Holmes

Year: 1979

Featured lyric: "If you like piña coladas / And getting caught in the rain / If you're not into yoga / If you have half a brain

Escape (The Piña Colada Song) by Rupert Holmes

7. Celebration

Artist: Kool & the Gang

Year: 1980

Featured lyric: We're gonna have a good time tonight / Let's celebrate, it's all right

Celebration by Kool and the Gang

8. Let's Groove

Artist: Earth, Wind & Fire

Year: 1981

Featured lyric: Let this groove get you to move / It's alright, alright, alright / Let this groove set in your shoes / So stand up, alright, alright

Let's Groove by Earth Wind and Fire

9. Vacation

Artist: Go-Go’s

Year: 1982

Featured lyric: Vacation, all I ever wanted / Vacation, had to get away / Vacation, meant to be spent alone

Vacation by the Go-Go's

10. Red Red Wine

Artist: UB40

Year: 1983

Featured lyric: Red red wine, you make me feel so fine / You keep me rockin' all of the time

Red Red Wine by UB40

11. Girls Just Want to Have Fun

Artist: Cyndi Lauper

Year: 1983

Featured lyric: That's all they really want / Some fun / When the working day is done / Oh, girls, they wanna have fun

Girls just want to have fun by Cyndi Lauper

12. Hot Hot Hot

Artist: Arrow

Year: 1983

Featured lyric: Me mind on fire, me soul on fire / Feelin' hot hot hot / Party people, all around me / Feelin’ hot hot hot

Hot Hot Hot by Arrow

13. Walking on Sunshine

Artist: Katrina and the Waves

Year: 1985

Featured lyric: I'm walking on sunshine, whoa / And don't it feel good?

Walking on Sunshine by Katrina and the Waves

14. Kokomo

Artist: The Beach Boys

Year: 1988

Featured lyric: Ooh I wanna take you down to Kokomo / We'll get there fast / And then we'll take it slow

Kokomo by the Beach Boys

15. Don't Worry, Be Happy

Artist: Bobby McFerrin

Year: 1988

Featured lyric: In every life we have some trouble / But when you worry you make it double / Don't worry, be happy

Don't Worry Be Happy by Bobby McFerrin

16. Somewhere Over the Rainbow

Artist: Israel Kamakawiwoʻole

Year: 1990

Featured lyric: Oh, somewhere over the rainbow way up high / And the dream that you dare to, why, oh why can't I, I?

Somewhere over the Rainbow by Israel Kamakawiwoʻole

17. Island in the Sun

Artist: Weezer

Year: 2001

Featured lyric: On an island in the sun / We'll be playing and having fun / And it makes me feel so fine / I can't control my brain

Island in the Sun by Weezer

18. Soak Up the Sun

Artist: Sheryl Crow

Year: 2002

Featured lyric: I'm, I'm gonna soak up the sun / I'm gonna tell everyone to lighten up

Soak Up the Sun by Sheryl Crow

19. No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems

Artist: Kenny Chesney

Year: 2002

Featured lyric: Been dreaming of gettin' away since I don't know / Ain't no better time than now for Mexico

no shoes, no shirt, no problems by Kenny Chesney

20. It's Five O'Clock Somewhere

Artist: Alan Jackson ft. Jimmy Buffett

Year: 2003

Featured lyric: Pour me somethin' tall an' strong / Make it a "Hurricane" before I go insaneIt's only half-past twelve but I don't care / It's five o'clock somewhere

It's Five O'Clock Somwhere by Alan Jackson

21. Party in the U.S.A.

Artist: Miley Cyrus

Year: 2009

Featured lyric: Got my hands up, they're playing my song / I know I'm gonna be okay / Yeah, it's a party in the U.S.A. 

Party in the USA by Miley Cyrus

22. Knee Deep

Artist: Zac Brown Band ft. Jimmy Buffett

Year: 2010

Featured lyric: Knee deep in the water somewhere / Got the blue sky breeze blowing wind through my hair / Only worry in the world is the tide going to reach my chair

Knee Deep by Zac Brown Band

23. On the Floor

Artist: Jennifer Lopez ft. Pitbull

Year: 2011

Featured lyric: Dance the night away / Live your life, and stay young on the floor

On the Floor by Jennifer Lopez

24. Fireball

Artist: Pitbull ft. John Ryan

Year: 2014

Featured lyric: I was born in a flame / Momma said that everyone would know my name

I'm the best you've ever had / If you think I'm burning out, I never am

Fireball by Pitbull

25. Summer

Artist: Calvin Harris

Year: 2014

Featured lyric: When I met you in the summerTo my heartbeat's soundWe fell in love / As the leaves turned brown

Summer by Calvin Harris

26. The Night is Still Young

Artist: Nicki Minaj

Year: 2015

Featured lyric: I never worry, life is a journey / I just wanna enjoy the ride / What is the hurry? It's pretty early / It's okay, we'll take our time

The Night is Still Young by Nicki Minaj

27. Vacation

Artist: Dirty Heads

Year: 2017

Featured lyric: A-a-ayy, I'm on vacation / Every single day 'cause I love my occupation / A-a-ayy, I'm on vacation / If you don't like your life, then you should go and change it

Vacation by Dirty Heads

28. Heat Waves

Artist: Glass Animals

Year: 2020

Featured lyric: Sometimes, all I think about is you / Late nights in the middle of JuneHeat waves been fakin' me out / Can’t make you happier now

Heat Waves by Glass Animals

29. Friday (Dopamine Re-Edit)

Artist: Riton & Nightcrawlers ft. Mufasa & Hypeman

Year: 2021

Featured lyric: Feelin' it, feelin' it, feelin' it / Every Friday, Saturday, Sunday / Endless weekend, on a wave, yeah

Friday (Dopamine Re-Edit)

30. I'm Good (Blue)

Artist: David Guetta & Bebe Rexha

Year: 2022

Featured lyric: I'm good, yeah, I'm feelin' alright / Baby, I'ma have the best night of my life / And wherever it takes me, I'm down for the ride

I'm Good (Blue) by David Guetta and Bebe Rexha
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