Playbill Travel Now Booking Seth's Big Fat Broadway Cruise | Playbill

Playbill Travel Playbill Travel Now Booking Seth's Big Fat Broadway Cruise

The January 2025 cruise to the British Virgin Islands, the Dominican Republic, and St. Kitts will feature Tony nominees Liz Callaway, Leslie Rodriguez Kritzer, and Tony Yazbeck.

Playbill Travel is now the official travel agency for Seth's Big Fat Broadway Cruise, the tri-annual cruises created by SiriusXM Broadway host/Playbill columnist/actor/musician Seth Rudetsky and his husband, producer James Wesley Jackson.

Click here to book a cabin on Seth's Big Fat Broadway Cruise.

Described by Rudetsky as "theatre camp at sea," the next voyage is scheduled for January 11–18, 2025, departing from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, before visiting St. Kitts/Nevis, British Virgin Islands, and the Dominican Republic. Performers aboard the Celebrity Apex will fittingly include three Tony-nominated Broadway celebrities: Liz Callaway (Miss Saigon, Baby), Leslie Rodriguez Kritzer (Spamalot, Beetlejuice), and Tony Yazbeck (On the Town, A Chorus Line).

Liz Callaway, Leslie Rodriguez Kritzer, and Tony Yazbeck

Rudetsky tells Playbill that attendees love the interactive nature of the cruises. In addition to his signature concerts with the various Broadway stars—where the actors answer Rudetsky's detailed and often-humorous questions and also perform numerous signature tunes—passengers have the rare opportunity to perform with the Broadway artists.

"At the end of the week, we do a variety show," Rudetsky explains. "So all the stars perform together, but also the passengers can if they want to. They work all week preparing, and then they join the stars on their signature songs. When the late, great Chita Rivera was on board, we did 'All That Jazz' with the passengers doing the backup… And when Judy Kuhn did the cruise, we did 'One Day More'; she was Cosette, Adam Pascal was Jean Valjean, and the passengers were everyone else. The passengers get to join the stars as they literally recreate their big numbers while performing with them!”

He's yet to decide which songs Callaway, Kritzer, and Yazbeck will perform, adding, "That's sort of the fun part—figuring out what the big signature group number is going to be!"

Beth Leavel singing with passengers

Passengers also have the chance to be part of a broadcast of Rudetsky's SiriusXM radio program, Seth's Big Fat Radio, and take a performance master class with Broadway's greatest fan.

"Every time I do a master class, it's supposed to be just me teaching, but it always winds up with the stars joining me, because they really get a kick out of it. Even though it's supposed to be my master class, they horn in on my territory," Rudetsky laughs. "Faith Prince was my co-teacher, Beth Leavel was my co-teacher…You don't have to perform, but the passengers just get a kick out of watching, even if they're not performing."

On days when the ship is not docked in one of the visiting ports, passengers of Seth's Big Fat Broadway Cruise can typically enjoy three different events per day.

"It will be my master class, a deconstructing show, and one of the actor concerts. Another day might be Broadway Bingo—because I love Broadway Bingo—a Q&A with the passengers and the stars, and then my radio show. We always make sure there are plenty of events when we're not docked."

Seth Rudetsky and Kerry Butler with passengers

Rudetsky also stresses the camaraderie that exists during these week-long cruises, along with the opportunity for passengers to have as little or as much togetherness as they choose.

The theatre group, which usually numbers between 75 and 200 people, "have a separate part of the dining room," Rudetsky explains. "So we get to eat together, and if you want to hang out more, you can, but you can also go off on your own if you want." There are many excursions possible, but there is one that is a mainstay of each trip. "Because James and I are so obsessed with animals, we go as much as we can to an animal shelter every time we go. And, James and I are always suckers! In Puerto Rico, we wound up adopting Matteo. During our Aruba cruise, we adopted Chrissy. When we went to Alaska, there wasn't a dog shelter… but we went to a sanctuary that saves baby bears."

Seth Rudetsky and James Wesley Jackson

When asked whether Rudetsky has any other favorite memories from his time leading these cruises, he exclaims, "Oh, my God! Yes, definitely! Chris Fitzgerald had just done Barnum, so he taught everybody how to juggle. So we did 'Join the Circus,' and the passengers learned how to juggle. We had Anika Larsen, who had been in Avenue Q, and brought her own puppets, and she taught people puppet work. And then we sang 'Save' from Smokey Joe's Café because she does it so well, and the passengers did all the backup on the puppets…Lillias White doing 'Aquarius,' with everybody doing back up, was another highlight, and then Beth Leavel doing the master class with me and just getting up and being so physical and amazing with everybody." 

At that moment, one could hear the wheels turning in the encyclopedic Broadway mind of Rudetsky, who pauses and adds, "When Tony [Yazbeck] comes, I'll ask him to do a tap master class with everyone! We really tailor each cruise to who our stars are, and they are really great about interacting with the passengers."

Rudetsky also shares that the Broadway performers often give previews from upcoming shows. Leavel gave a taste of The Devil Wears Prada prior to its original production, while Tony winners James Monroe Iglehart and Bonnie Milligan gave sneak peeks of What a Wonderful World: The Louis Armstrong Musical and Kimberly Akimbo, respectively.

In addition to the performance aspect, Rudetsky says passengers can also partake in "scuba diving, snorkeling, helmet diving, every other thing that's on the cruise.…And, you know, my favorite is the nonstop eating," he jokes.

Celebrity Apex

Included in the cruise price are accommodations, all meals including group dinner, Broadway star concerts, performing with the stars, Seth's Big Fat Broadway Radio Show, autograph sessions, master classes, specialty events, daily activities, a beverage package, Wi-Fi, and gratuities.

Playbill Travel can also assist passengers with their flights between their gateway city and the final destination and help protect a passenger's vacation investment against any medical emergencies before or during the vacation for those who purchase Trip Cancellation and Interruption Insurance. Pre- and post-cruise plans are also available for those who would like to extend their vacation.

Playbill Travel is also currently booking Playbill's Official FringeShip and Floating Hotel at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Playbill has chartered Ambassador Cruise Line’s Ambition, a sustainable, luxurious, and modern cruise ship that will be docked at Leith August 8-15. Carrying up to 1,300 guests in cabins and suites, the beautiful and recently renovated Ambition features an array of cabin sizes and luxury amenities for all on board. The Palladium Theatre for larger-scale special events will offer performances exclusively for guests staying on the ship. Featuring a line-up of specialty acts, concerts, and more, the FringeShip will be a center for theatre and fun throughout the festival.

Playbill Travel is also booking Playbill's Broadway in the Greek Isles cruise, which sets sail June 25, 2025, and continues through July 2. Passengers will experience Grecian luxury and style as they explore the world-famous Aegean Sea, the Greek Isles, its islands, emblematic heritage, and towns. Broadway artists who will perform on board the elegant L’Austral by Ponant Luxury Cruises will be announced at a later date.

To reserve a cabin on the upcoming Big Fat Broadway Cruise, call Playbill Travel at (866) 455-6789 or click here. Visit for more information on other vacation destinations.

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