Rather than cheesy-grinning, chest-wigged sub-Tom Jones impersonators thrusting their crotches at all and sundry, the music will be provided by some of the hottest names in rock.
Picture some of the coolest bands in the US. Now picture a cruise ship. Those pictures aren’t exactly the most obvious ones to mix together, are they?
But on 17 April the VH1 Best Cruise Ever will be docking in Cayman. The ship will be loaded with thousands of rock and alternative fans, all getting crazy in the company of a host of bands including 3 Doors Down, Shinedown and Lifehouse.
The ideal is to transform the Carnival Inspiration into a floating rock festival. There are a host of events from morning to night, including performances from a dozen bands on several different stages. The cruise, which departs from Tampa on 15 April, is the brainchild of Sixthman Events in association with music channel VH1.
Owner of Sixthman Events, Andy Levine, says that the concept of a floating music festival isn’t new – his company has been behind over 20 others in recent years. However, the VH1 Best Cruise Ever is unique in its line-up.
“It’s our first cruise with really cool alternative rock bands on there and it’s shaping up really well,” he says.
The four-day trip is billed as ‘the ultimate music lover’s getaway’ and will have non-stop concerts as well as VH1-themed activities and contests and the chance to hang out with acts that also include Carolina Liar, Finger Eleven and Safetysuit.
The ship also has all the usual on-board bells and whistles including a massive tropical resort-style swimming pool, many different and cool bars, restaurants, a full casino and 24-hour room service.
There will also be special themed nights, competitions and all manner of contests for cruisers to enter.
And, of course, rather than cheesy-grinning, chest-wigged sub-Tom Jones impersonators thrusting their crotches at all and sundry, the music will be provided by some of the hottest names in rock.
The core demographic, says Andy, is adult professionals between 25 and 40 who love both music and travel.
It is a section of the community that has disposable income and the time to take off work for a one-off special shindig – the kind of people who still love to have a good time under controlled conditions.
“They come and have a party with a whole load of people – and you don’t have to drive home. It’s going to be something else,” says Andy.
Sixthman music cruises are also scheduled to visit Cozumel, Bahamas and Belize. But the company’s boss is definitely a fan of Grand Cayman, where the boat will be docking for some eight hours.
“Everyone loves it – Cayman is such a beautiful place. It’s always a big preference for us but sometimes there’s not enough room or too many regular scheduled ships for us to get in to dock.”
Whilst on shore, the bands and fans are getting ready to visit some of Cayman’s famous tourist attractions including Stingray City, Rum Point and Seven Mile Beach, although there are unlikely to be any on-island performances due to logistical and work permit issues.
Last year, Sixthman visited Cayman with Lyle Lovett and Emmylou Harris and in 2008 with alternative rock group Barenaked Ladies.
Sixthman events coming to Grand Cayman the rest of the year include a cruise with Kid Rock on 1 May and on 4 September a music cruise headlined by new country artist, Zach Brown.
Tickets are going fast for the event and start at US$649 per person for an interior cabin based on four sharing. WH
For more information, head to www.vh1bestcruiseever.com