Lynyrd Skynyrd have signed on host and curate the 2012 Simple Man Cruise, a floating rock ‘n’ roll party set for Oct. 27-31 on Norwegian Cruise Line’s newest luxury liner, the Pearl. The cruise, which sets sail from Miami, will feature about a dozen different bands rocking the ship, including Skynyrd, the Doobie Brothers and up-and-coming Southern rockers like Blackberry Smoke and the Dirty Guv’nahs.

“The infamous Simple Man Cruise isn’t stopping at number 5 — we’re back and heading into the second half of an amazing decade,” reads a promotional note. “The sixth cruise is already promising to be the event of the year with an amazing lineup, a gorgeous ship, and a southern rock family adventure … get ready to cruise through the ocean with four full days of live music on various stages around the ship, and stops at two different party spots in the Caribbean – don’t forget your sunscreen!”

Meanwhile, the Doobie Brothers’ management has released a statement regarding the status of drummer Michael Hossack and touring bassist Skylark, who have both been sidelined since 2010 due to unrelated health concerns. “Michael Hossack is improving slowly … He’s still working on health issues but getting better. We will keep you updated on a regular basis,” reads the statement.

“Skylark visited the band at their Las Vegas gig in January,” it continues. “They got to hang out and it was a good time. He is improving daily, but is not able to travel or go on tour yet.” Thus it is not yet known if either will be able to join the Doobies on the Simple Man Cruise, but it sounds like both of them are making steady, if slow, improvements. Get well soon, Michael and Skylark!

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