Neal McCoy is by now a regular on the Country Music Cruise. Performing for the third time, and already booked for the 2025 Country Music Cruise, the event has become a highlight for McCoy, year after year.
“They just keep inviting us back,” McCoy tells Everything Nash with a laugh. “And it really comes in handy because a lot of times we don’t have a lot of work in the wintertime, and we’ve worked it to where my family gets to come and not pay anything. So, it serves as a family vacation. And then there’s just a lot of great people on here.”
McCoy is part of an all-star lineup this year that includes Darryl Worley, Tracy Lawrence, Clint Black, Joe Nichols, Darryl Worley, Billy Dean, Home Free and more. More than being able to perform multiple times while on the Country Music Cruise, McCoy loves the chance to get to see his friends and peers take the various stages as well.
“We love being on here,” McCoy says. “StarVista has got it figured out. They know how to get everybody in and off really quick and they bring them so much talent that it’s almost hard for you to refuse. And no matter what they charge — I don’t even know what they charge, but whatever it is, it’s worth it because you get to see all kinds of acts from baby acts to middle acts, to people that are still doing good on the radio right now.”
McCoy is continuing a tradition he started in 2016 of saying the Pledge of Allegiance every day, even while onboard the Country Music Cruise.
“I started it in 2016,” McCoy explains. “Both of my parents were sick. And then shortly after I started, my dad died, and then the next year my mom died. I have been doing it in their honor, and I don’t know how I’ve been able to do it. I haven’t been so sick that I couldn’t do it, but somehow we’ve got through eight years of it.”
McCoy doesn’t know if he will continue saying the Pledge of Allegiance indefinitely, but he says he does have a goal in mind before he will even consider not making it part of his daily routine.
“We’re going to start with 3000,” he vows. “And that’s coming up in two months.”
McCoy’s freshman At This Moment album came out in 1990. In the 34 years since then, the Texan has continued to tour and make music, with no plans of slowing down anytime soon.
“I still feel great,” McCoy boasts. “I mean, I know I’m 65, but I don’t feel like it at all. It has been a wonderful career. I’m at a great spot in my life. We don’t play the radio games anymore, ’cause they’re not playing us. So we get to go, and if we want somebody to come back and say hello, then we just invite them back, and bring joy to people, and that is what we get a chance to do … It is wonderful for our psyche, and for the audience.
“If they’re feeling like they’re getting great entertainment, then when they leave and we load up and go somewhere else, it’ll be like we just came together for a family reunion, and now we’ve moved on,” he adds. “So just trying to get them to feel special and bring them good stuff every night. It does the same thing for us.”
The 2025 Country Music Cruise will depart from Fort Lauderdale on January 19, and head to Key West, Cozumel and Costa Maya, returning on January 26. Find more information at CountryMusicCruise.com.
All of McCoy’s music and upcoming shows can be found at NealMcCoy.com.