Every year for the past several years, I have gone on a cruise known as The Rock Boat. This is a week-long cruise where approximately 30 bands are on board, and there are concerts every day from about 12 noon until 3am.
This year I had not been planning on going – I chose instead to use the money for the my 10 day trip out West to Las Vegas, Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon National Park, Zion National Park, and skiing at Brianhead (we are leaving for this trip in less than 2 weeks!). The past few weeks leading up to the cruise I had a lot of people trying to talk me into going.
Luckily, having been on the trip so many years before, I know quite a few people onboard. 5 days before the cruise was leaving, I emailed some people to see if anyone knew of an empty spot in a cabin. On Thursday, someone replied and said their friend had an available spot! I got very lucky and was able to find a plane ticket leaving in less than 48 hours for only $200! I wasn’t expecting to find such a good deal with such sort notice, but that sealed the deal! I booked the ticket and made the arrangements for the spot in the cabin, and left for Miami on Saturday morning.
A lot happened over the 5 days, but the following are what I considered to be the highlights of the trip:
- Green River Ordinance – By far my favorite discovery of this cruise. I had heard some friends from Texas talk about them before, and I had liked their CD, but it wasn’t until seeing them live that I was hooked. I definitely plan on seeing them whenever they make it through Atlanta, and picking up their new CD when it comes out in February.
- Aslyn – Even though she lives in Atlanta, Aslyn has played only one show in the past year in Atlanta. She brought her new CD on the boat with her, and I haven’t been able to stop listening to it since I got back. Really. I bought about 6 CDs but haven’t listened to any others besides Aslyn’s.
- Stephen Kellogg & The Sixers – I’ve been a fan of these guys for a while now, and their set last year on TRBVIII was one of the standout performances. I think they caught everyone by surprise with their main room show. This year, everyone was ready for them and their shows were some of the most attended. It was interesting to see everyone singing along and knowing all the words to the songs, whereas last year very few people had even heard of them. Every time I see these guys they get better and better, and their shows on the boat were some of the best. They give 110% every show.
- Catching up with old friends – I’ve met a lot of people on the cruise over the past few years, and unfortunately, I don’t get to see some of them in between Boats. It’s always fun to catch up with people!
For a change, even though I took my camera, I took no pictures! It was nice to not worry about that for once! We had a port stop at Nassau in the Bahamas, but I chose to sleep in instead of getting off the ship. We were also scheduled to stop at Half Moon Cay (Carnival’s private island), but it was a tender port, and in the 9 years of The Rock Boat, it has never made a tender port. We even tried to re-port there the next day, but the weather was still not cooperating.
The dates for next year have already been announced (Jan 7-11), with a port stop in Cozumel. My booking time is Monday morning. As of this time we are not sure if we’ll be booking yet (I know, I know), but my pre-sale token lasts for a few weeks (if I win big in Vegas, I’ll definitely be back in that case ;)) I hear Australia is nice that time of year though……