It was an idea almost too good to be true: Bonnie Tyler singing “Total Eclipse of the Heart” during the first total solar eclipse to cross the U.S. in 99 years — on a cruise ship.
But somehow, Royal Caribbean International pulled it off, largely because they thought of it first. The Miami-based cruise line reached out to Tyler last September, just before calls started coming in to book the singer at other eclipse-themed functions.
She agreed and the stars lined up. The announcement of Tyler’s eclipse performance snagged headlines and even a Twitter moment last week.
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At about 2:45 p.m. Monday, as Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas sailed into the eclipse’s path of totality east of the Bahamas, Tyler and pop band DNCE belted out the 1980s power ballad. Above, the bright Caribbean sky had turned a dull gray.
DNCE front man Joe Jonas sang with Tyler during a shortened version of the song, cut from its original almost eight minutes to about two minutes and 40 seconds — the time the sun would be completely covered in the sky by the moon.
Tyler told CNN earlier in the day that “Total Eclipse of the Heart” is an evergreen, go-to karaoke song that “gets more attention now with a total eclipse of the sun.”
The 5,484-passenger Oasis of the Seas was sold out for the voyage, which left from Port Canaveral on Sunday. Cruise line spokeswoman Tracy Quan said the last suite on the ship sold Thursday for $15,000.
Most guests who booked the cruise did so without knowing Tyler would be the “special guest” Royal Caribbean has been teasing. Her performance was announced Wednesday.
“We have had unprecedented reactions from media, social media and consumers,” Quan said via email. “We are astounded about how much positive response the news has generated.”
The cruise line is hoping the “Total Eclipse” sailing has drawn more attention to cruising, furthering the line’s efforts to attract travelers new to cruising.
“Without a doubt the publicity surrounding our event has brought Royal Caribbean closer to the hearts and minds of those who haven't considered a cruise vacation,” Quan said.
Around the nation, millions of travelers flocked to the path of totality — the areas where the sun’s total coverage by the moon was visible — from Oregon to South Carolina.