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Brilliance of the Seas – Monsters of Rock Cruise Feb. 2-7


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Brilliance of the Seas – Monsters of Rock Cruise Feb. 2-7


 


 


 


Most likely if you have  been hanging around Matt’s daily Periscopes lately you have heard me boasting about my wife’s and my annual pilgrimage to sunny Florida or Los Angles for the Monsters of Rock Cruise. This will be number 5 for us. For the first time ever, it will be held on a Royal Caribbean ship, Brilliance of the Seas, and I figured I’d share with everyone  for a couple of reason. First of all. it is a RCCL cruise. Second it is a 100%  buyout/charter so things are run a little different, and third and most importantly (to me) it is an 80’s rock n’ roll cruise.


 


 


 


Being a charter you will not find any dress code. It’s a sea of black concert t-shirts and hiked up mini shirts in the MDR. BINGO will not be played, port shopping seminars won’t happen and the sexiest man and Belly flop competition are the furthest things from anybody’s mind.  We came to rock out! Even the drink package is ‘worked differently’ (more on that later)!


 


 


 


My wife and I will be flying to Tampa from San Antonio the prior like all good and well behaved cruiser should.


 


 


 


The cruise happenings will actually start the night we arrive at a club in downtown Tampa a stone’s throw from the Port. Vince Neil, the front man of the 100 million record selling band Motley Crue will perform this  Pre-Cruise Party. He will also perform on the ship. 


 


 


 


 


 


Our itinerary will be:


 


 


 


Wednesday - February 1, 2017 - Optional Pre-Cruise Party


 


 


 


Thursday - February 2, 2017  -  Depart – Tampa, Florida  4 pm


 


 


 


Friday - February 3, 2017 - Day at Sea


 


 


 


Saturday- February 4, 2017 - George Town, Grand Cayman - 7 am - 3 pm


 


 


 


Sunday - February 5, 2017  - Cozumel, Mexico - 11 am - 6 pm


 


 


 


Monday - February 6, 2017 - Day at Sea


 


 


 


Tuesday  - February 7, 2017  -Arrive – Tampa, Florida -7 am


 


 


 


Who doesn’t love 80’s rock? From the cheesiness of teased hair to the heart pound sound coming from their interments, it’s always ‘nothing but a good time’.  


 


 


 


 


 


The listing of bands to perform (each at least twice) are… as of todayâ€


 


 


 


Vince Neil


 


Cinderella’s Tom Keifer


 


QUEENSRYCHE


 


NIGHT RANGER


 


STYPER


 


TNT


 


KIX


 


SLAUGHTER


 


DANGER DANGER


 


D*A*D


 


SOTO (JEFF SCOTT SOTO ~ TSO, MOVIE ROCK STAR, YNGWIE, BRIAN MAY BAND)


 


Y&T


 


LYNCHE MOB (GEORGE LYNCHE of DOKKEN)


 


KILLER DWARFS


 


SAIGON KICKS


 


ELECTRIC BOYS


 


THE ANSWER


 


BEASTO BLANCO


 


INGLORIOUS


 


BLACK N’ BLUE


 


FASTER PUSSYCAT


 


TORA TORA


 


GIRLSCHOOL


 


JOHN CORABI (MOTLEY CRUE, THE SCREAM, UNION)


 


KIP WINGER (WINGER)


 


JOEL HOEKSTRA (FOREIGNER, WHITESNAKE, NIGHT RANGER, TSO, MOVIE ROCK OF AGES)


 


HEAVEN’S EDGE


 


PARADISE KITTY (ALL FEMALE GnR TRIBUTE BAND)


 


 


 


Hosted by            EDDIE TRUNK (NY DJ AND EX RECORD COMPANY A&R GUYS


 


                                COMEDIAN DON JAMISON


 


                                COMEDIAN JIM FLORENTINE


 


                                & LUC CARL XM RADIO DJ, FITNESS BUFF, AND LADY GA GA’S EX


 


 


 


As usual, we will barely sleep!! Some days the shenanigans start at 10 AM and goes well past midnight…..for 5 days !!


 


 


 


In a way, this is a Super Bowl Cruise! Being that the SB will be played in Houston while we are sailing around the waterways of the Western Hemisphere. We had custom made football jerseys with our name on the back that replicate the logo Monsters of Rock is using this trip.


 


 


 


 The MORC folks have set up theme night which we tend to ignore. Themes in the past have been Prom Night, Pajama Night,  Pimps and Hoe’s…. Yeah I know…what are we 10 yrs old!!!  A few people get into it, but it is not our thing. We are busy watching the musical acts!!


 


 


 


Our stateroom is going to be a junior suite. This category and above are considered VIP staterooms and come with several perks a standard stateroom will not afford you. With VIP you get special check in that is considered different than the Crown & Anchor check in on traditional cruises, but essentially the same thing. You always get a balcony stateroom even with the lower category VIP staterooms. You get Early Access to all theatre shows so you can have first choice of being against the stage or any seat in the theater.


 


 


 


 On the Monsters of Rock cruises, there are meet and greets for every band where you can rub elbows with each band member and take pictures and an occasional autograph. VIP lets you get to the head of the line which is great because you can be standing in line for hours to meet your favorite rock star on board without it. We go for the VIP just to make life a little easier.


 


 


 


Many band members will also be very laid-back and hang out in the Windjammei’r, on the pool deck, in the Centrum, or even Casino. Most of them have had their Hay Day and have checked the ego at the door.


 


 


 


Last thing I will talk about in this post is the special drink package that MORC has arranged with Royal Caribbean. For $360 you get 60 drink tickets. These can be split like my wife and I do, or even given away to anyone you wish to buy a drink for. NOT everyone in the stateroom is required to purchase. Each ticket can get you a cocktail or adult beverage up the value of $12. If you go over $12 they will just ask for two drink tickets. I did the math on this one and there is no doubting that it is an excellent deal ...$360.oo/60 tickets is $6 each drink. It’s hard to find a deal like that on land. Almost makes me mad that the regular price a drink package on traditional cruisesare so much more.


 


 


 


Well, that is all for now.  I will update as my vision sees fit. I will post more posts and pictures during the trip thanks for reading. @Motleybrue AKA Mike Taylor


 


 


 


 


 


www.MonstersofRockCruise.com


 


 


 


 

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Awesome! I'm excited to follow this one along - I love Brilliance and I think a rock charter would be INSANELY fun (for me, anyway... my fiance doesn't share my affection for rock music). I'd love to take part in one someday. I once boarded Independence following up a heavy metal charter, and it was funny to see the sea of faded black band t-shirts and tired hungover faces waiting for their transportation away from port. That said, it was a total pain embarking because the stage tear down took longer than it normally would and some of the late night partiers (from what I understand) refused to leave the ship. 

 

ANYWAY... Super excited for you and looking forward to following along! :) 

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That said, it was a total pain embarking because the stage tear down took longer than it normally would and some of the late night partiers (from what I understand) refused to leave the ship.

Refused to leave or unable to leave because of the late night partying? ;)

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Sounds like a great time and what a line up!!!.....

 

Couple of real good ones there I would enjoy!.......and sounds like my kind of party cruise!

 

I'll have to keep my eyes open for 2018 and what's out there. I know Carnival did some of these type things a cpl years ago...but I believe it was just one act/band on each cruise.

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DAY 1


 

 


 

We slept in longer than expected after a crowded Pre-party at Ferg’s and a long awaited favorite dinner at Tijuana Flat in downtown Tampa last night.  8:54 to be exact and with free breakfast on the line we beat it to the lobby for fresh waffles and watery OJ.


 

Using Lyft we arrived at the Port of Tampa roughly 10:30. Being that we Opted for the VIP option the Agent offered  we were offered VIP check-in. This was basically  C&A check-in and the boarding ticket we given actually said Crown and Anchor with the #5 on it. We were third in line. From there we got on another line inside the terminal to pick up our drink package. Consisting of 60 business card size coupons allowing one $12.00 drink per coupon and we started using them right away. As we approached the end of that line our number was called so we boarded right after receiving our drink package coupons. A twenty minute process in total. Previous years in Miami on MSC and NCL it to 45 minutes to two plus hours for the same process. Three cheers for RCCL!!!!


 

I want to back up just a minute here.  In regards to bringing your allotted 2 bottles of wine. We brought our two and could have brought 20 as long as they were group in two’s. NO ONE asked which two belonged to who.


 

Once onboard we were greeted with complimentary champagne and hit the R BAR (Something Pacific was my drink (included)).  While sitting there we booked and “dolphin experience†excursion and looked for lunch. We ended up at the Windjammier and ordered two Premium Patron Margaritas from Rita’s Cantina. $12.00 EACH and we used the drink Package.


 

We headed to the room Just to get rid of the carry-ons and check out what a Jr. Suite has to offer. On the way we made some new friends and checked out their larger suite Cabin 1562 .  Our cabin is what I call an accessible size cabin.  1 ½ the size of a traditional cabin given to folks who need the extra room, but in our case a suite accompanied with a doorbell and all. Marble bathroom floors and a full size tub which is set higher than any tub I’ve seen. My poor little wife had to take a running start just to get in the thing!!!  Me, being 6’3’’, had not even a millimeter of room. My head was right at the ceiling.  Not complaining just a little odd.


 

Time for the sail-away party. Tonight’s was different from any you have been to in the past. The theme for today was "Black out at Seas" so many black shirt....well, except me. I had no clue and I was wearing RED...lol


 


  Kip Winger was on the pool stage. I was in Periscope mode for this. Find me at Motleybrue on periscope for my scopes. Winger is famous for song like She's Only Seventeen, Madeline, Heading for a Heartache.


 


Next up, Ted Poley and Danger Danger in the Pacifica Theater.  It was filled to capacity, But with out VIP Credentials we were right against the stage.  Danger Danger is know for songs Naughty Naughty and Bang Bang. Sounds silly but look em up on YouTube they are good and from NJ!!! always a plus :/


 


Tonight, we skipped the MDR and snacked along the way. I tried the roast beef sandwiches at Park Café In the Solarium and the were my 'go-to' the rest of the cruise. We lost count of the drink count and were already dipping into tomorrow's allotment of drink tickets.  I broke out one of our bottles of cheap red wine and carried it to the next show and swigged out of it as needed.


 


Next show we caught the tail end of the Lynch Mob show. George Lynch is the guitarist from the band Dokken.


 


Somewhere around this time my beautiful wife lost steam, or got mad at me for talking to everybody around us except her and headed to the stateroom.   She missed an excellent live performance of Night Ranger...(Don't' Tell Me you Love me, Sister Christian, Still Rocking America).  Lead singer, Jack Blade, is also the Lead singer of the Dam Yankees and they performed two DY songs....Coming of Age and High Enough.  Love me some Night Ranger.  Seen and met these guys several times over the years.


 


The night is not over yet!!!


 


I made my way to the casino solo.  I allot myself $100.00 to gamble each time we cruise & once it is gone...IT'S GONE. sometimes I luck out sometimes not.  Tonight it went quick.  $100.00 on BLACK  and it was gone in 15 seconds BOOO RED!! (In my defense this strategy, last cruise, worked twice in a row and I walked with $400.00 in 2 minutes.


 


Now back to the Pool Deck to see the last band of the night Black N Blue at 12:45 AM. I was exhausted as the show started, & I made it though half the set and had to call it a night.  Black N Blue made it late to the 80's scene and I know them for the song Hold on to Eighteen.


 


Next up day two Theme: Wild West on the High Seas


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Once again we got up late, and we made our way to the Windjammier before it closed. They omlete station was closed so we settled for whatever was left. The wife had a mimosa and I had a mediocre Bloody Mary. 

 

 

First thing up for today was the meet and greet with Night Ranger, Queensryche( Jet City Woman), Tom Keifer( the lead singer from Cinderella), and a band called Disneyland after Dark from England. The meet and greets are basically photo opportunities where each group poses with you and a professional photographer takes pictures. These pictures are available on a website within a couple weeks. You can either order prints or you can download the image onto your computer and do as you please. This is one of the pluses of having VIP status where we get to be first in line. This saves hours sometimes. 

 

 

After the photo experience we probably had lunch and hung by the pool, had drinks with friends, and then headed to the Pacifica Theater for Stryper ( calling to you, honestly, always there for you, to hell with the Devil). VIP also offers you head of the line privileges. Sometimes you want to be right up front sometimes you want to sit in the last row. Today we sent the last row right by the bar.

 

 

At 4:30 it was back to the Viking Crown Lounge for meet and greet number 2 for the day. This  consisted of be still Beasto Blanco (which is the same band as the bulletboys back in the day), Faster Pussycat( poison ivy, shut up, bathroom wall), John corabi band (John is the other lead singer for Motley Crue back in 1992 to 1997) (Hooligan's Holiday, Man in the Moon, Misunderstood), and Paradise Kitty a female tribute band for Guns and Roses. Once again VIP goddess of the front of the line

 

 

We caught part of Kip Winger's set, and saw part of the Paradise Kitty set, which was very crowded and hard to see for my five foot three wife. We went ahead had dinner in the main dining room and got ready for what I feel was important, the Vince Neil show. Drink count for the day.... I have no idea we were ahead of curve on drink tickets and dipping into the next day's tickets each day, but I figured with the excursion we had tomorrow we would not be using our drink tickets for there was free open bar at the Dolphin Excursion. Just what you want drunk people messing with dolphins.

 

 

The Vince Neil set was a little disappointing. Basically the same said he did at the pre-cruise two days earlier. He switched up two songs and played for about an hour. Then, of course as what most self-centered rockstars do, he got off the boat the next day and didn't stay for the rest of the cruise... which I feel like all performers were expected to do. Beats me :( It'll probably be the last time I ever see him live. He also did not participate in the meet and greets.

 

 

Set:

 

Red hot 

 

Same Old Situation

 

 don't go away mad just go away

 

 home sweet home 

 

Wild Side 

 

Girls Girls Girls

 

 Kickstart My Heart

 

The guitar player Blando did two songs from Led Zeppelin as a guitar solo thing

 

 

If you ever want to see a incredible drummer look up Zoltan Chaney. He is real  good &  the drummer for Vince Neil and for the band Slaughter. Look him up on YouTube he's crazy, and good

 

 

Every night after last performance I always go to the Windjammer and do a midnight snack. Usually consists of pizza and whatever is left over in the Windjammer. I was hoping for Honey Stung Chicken as  we hear so much about it RoyalCaribbeanBlog.com. A funny note here, I think they took all the room service menus out of the cabins. I didn't see one anywhere. I'm guessing a lot of thse performers ordered room service a lot and room service was busier than usual because of that. I always saw servers running up and down the deck 10 with room service carts. Funny thing is  last day as we were leaving our room I saw a bunch of room service menus stacked against the wall at the end of the hall. So I guess my thought process was correct.. .maybe

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Day three:

 

 

Date we started off early as we arrived at Georgetown, Grand Cayman first thing in the morning. I've been the Grand Cayman in 2005 but don't remember it at all. I was not drinking then so I don't remember why but I just don't remember Grand Cayman. My wife collect shot glasses from Hard Rock Cafes from all over the world. She's been in the Navy Reserve for 28 years and has been able to experience many different places in the world. Having a liking for Hard Rock she, goes to Hard Rock Cafes, and gets a simple shot glass.

We had no real plans to do anything any excursions while in Grand Cayman for we have one booked tomorrow in Cozumel. We just went to a bunch of the different shops along the front Road by the port. She did go into Diamonds International, of course,and bought something... earrings I think. By about 12:30-1:00 o'clock we were back on the boat and having lunch at the Windjammier with Margaritas from Rita's Cantina....an everyday tradition so far.

 

Concert lineup for today I feel was a little thin. At 4:30 we had meet and greet with bands Black and Blue Danger Danger, Slaughter (up all night sleep all day, fly to the angels) and Y&T (summertime girls).

 

We did see Stryper a second time at the Pool Stage on Deck 11. After dinner we wanted to go see Tom Keifer - lead singer Cinderella. A common theme on Rock cruises is being late. They call it rock and roll time. Well it pisses me off... whatever. We waited for 45 minutes in line for the Tom Keifer show in the VIP line and doors still had not opened. We decided for leave, for we have seen Tom Keifer and or Cinderella many times. We opted to go see the band D-A-D also known as Disneyland After Dark. We've seen them two years ago in Miami just before the Monsters of Rock Cruise and found them to be interesting. So we went to the pool deck and watch them play. After this, once again, the night gets fuzzy I don't remember seeing any other bands on the list that I have. So I'm guessing you went to sleep early after hitting the Windjammier one more time.

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Day 4 Sunday February 5th 2017.

 

Today we're in Cozumel Mexico. We were docked at the international Pier which is the northernmost dock / Pier. We opted for a dolphin Excursion booked through Royal Caribbean the day we embarked. The Excursion provider offered many different packages with dolphins. We opted for the dolphin experience which was $60 cheaper than the dolphin swim. The swim was the same as Encounter except a dolphin got to drag you through the water for about 30 feet ...not my idea of excitement for an extra 60 bucks. Probably not fun for the dolphin either ...to drag my 240-pound ass across the pond. It was fun we thought we'd have more time there but we truly didn't. I think they kind of dragged out the eating portion of it so that you didn't use their other facilities, swimming pool, stingrays encounter, kayaks or snorkeling equipment. Transportation to and from the dock was provided by the Excursion company via a taxi. We did opt for a small photo package. I figured once-in-a-lifetime deal.

 

We did run by the Hard Rock Cafe in Cozumel looking for a shirt for me but did not get one nor a shot glass because we got a shot glass on our last Cozumel trip on Brilliance of the Seas on our honeymoon in 2015. One stack on board we did run to the Windjammer for a late lunch and margaritas at Rita's Cantina.

 

Band lineup for the day also slim consisted of the rock and roll residency, Faster Pussycat, John corabi, and Y&T

 

This was also Super Bowl Sunday and the band Rock and Roll Residency played the halftime show on the pool deck. This band consists of members of other bands and they basically play cover tunes.

 

After the last band, we went for a couple drinks, a trip to the Windjammier, and then off to bed.

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What's the sound quality like at these performances? I haven't been to many "small venue" shows apart from a couple when I was in college (Spin Doctors, The Fabulous Thunderbirds), but at least with those the sound was atrocious due to a bad mix of poor acoustics in the place they performed, plus speakers / sound gear that just didn't seem set up right for the environment (too loud / boomy).

 

I'd hope that on a ship where they regularly have live performers in the pubs and whatnot, that they'd take the time to set up good spaces apart from the main theater that sounded good for the audience.

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