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Jason

November cruise to rock Caribbean

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Party with REO Speedwagon, Journey and Styx

By SPUD HILTON, San Francisco Chronicle, Associated Press

CRANKING IT UP: Three of the five original members of REO Speedwagon, including lead vocalist Kevin Cronin, above, will be featured on a Carnival cruise next month.

Talk about rockin' the boat.

Carnival Cruise Line is dusting off three of the biggest megabands from the late '70s and early '80s — Journey, Styx and REO Speedwagon — to perform for a weeklong Caribbean cruise in November.

And, yes, there will be some original band members.

According to Carnival, Journey will have all its original members except lead singer Steve Perry, who has been replaced in recent years by Steve Augeri.

THEME SAILINGS

Among cruise lines' special programs:

• Chocoholics: The annual "Chocolates in Paradise" cruise will depart Fort Lauderdale Dec. 6. Passengers on Radisson Seven Seas' Voyager will sip drinks and eat desserts made with chocolate. Chefs will also espouse the emotional and health benefits of chocolate. Access www.rssc.com.

• Race mania: The Rusty Wallace NASCAR cruise leaving New Orleans Dec. 5 on the Carnival Conquest will include race-themed trivia contests, autograph sessions and visits with Wallace. Access www.carnival.com.

• Showboat: Show Boat Cruises will launch its first season Jan. 3 with a seven-day sailing along Mexico's Pacific Coast on Holland America's Ryndam. Entertainers include Michael McDonald, Tom Scott and Eddie Money. Access www.showboatcruises.com; call 866-927-6732.

-- CHRONICLE NEWS SERVICES

Original Styx guitarists James Young and Tommy Shaw will lead that band, while three of the five members of REO Speedwagon's first lineup will be on hand: Bruce Hall on bass, Neal Doughty on keyboards and Kevin Cronin on lead vocals.

Each group will play private concerts on the 2,760-passenger Carnival Triumph, and band members will be available for question-and-answer sessions.

The package also includes rock 'n' roll cocktail parties and sales of band memorabilia.

The three bands have sold a combined 100 million records.

The Carnival Trumph will depart Miami Nov. 27 and will return on Dec. 4.

Call the "Rock 'n' Roll Holiday Escape" hot line at 866-236-6696. Or consult a travel agent.

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WOW! I loved all three of these bands; even saw REO and Journey in concert back then. If Steve Perry was still with Journey, I'd be ready to book this cruise in a minute...but I LOVED Steve Perry, and without him, well...let's just say I'd want to see Steve Perry! This will be an AWESOME cruise though!!

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