Day 5: Zip lining in DR, The Stowaways, Belly Flops, Corey Glover, Shayne Smith & More
A jam packed fifth day of the cruises began with an early start. ShipRockers woke up early for all kinds of excursions – the one we chose was a zip lining adventure. We conquered our fear along with singer and performer Lilith Czar and tour manager Katie who were also part of our zip lining crew.
Elias Soriano and some members of Nonpoint were also part of the group. The trip was even more special for Soriano, a homecoming of sorts, since he is of Dominican heritage.
The 40 minute trip each way to and from the zip lining spot was just as memorable as zip lining through the forest and across the ocean. After the adrenaline rush we were treated a lunch of grilled chicken, rice and beans, salad and tilapia.
During the four hour excursion there was just enough time left to take in some sun and lay on the beach with a Pina colada served inside a pineapple. We had to be back on the boat by 2 p.m. – it wasn’t enough time in the Dominican Republic, it’s such a beautiful place and I wish we had more time to explore the island.
During the cruise week American Musical Supply and The Music Experience had a lounge setup with instruments for ShipRockers to come in and play like rockstars. The lounge also hosted several rounds of a 30 Seconds to Shred guitar shredding competition.
Back on the Carnival Magic after the day in Dominican Republic, as The Stowaways prepared to take the stage, the finalists of the 30 Seconds to Shred Competition presented by AmericanMusical.com took the stage for their final battle.
Sammy Love and Luke Lytle had a dueling guitar solo battle and the audience chose Love as the winner in the end. It was a fun way for the two to have their true rockstar moments onboard the ship.
Back on the Carnival Magic, the Stowaways performed their final set. One highlight was the hilarious Fronz from Attila in a white fur coat and cigar belting out “Bawitdaba” by Kid Rock – the pairing of him and that song was a match made in ShipRocked Heaven.
Dead Sara vocalist Emily Armstrong was also hysterical as she came out onstage nonchalantly eating a banana. Armstrong blew minds with her rendition of “Seven Nation Army” by the White Stripes and Nirvana’s “Come As You Are.”
After the awesome Stowaways set, the notorious Belly Flop competition took place and crowned a new champion, Timmy who bared it all and left little to the imagination in order to beat the reigning champ! Back over on the Deck Stage Giovanni and the Hired Guns wow’d ShipRockers with a Spectacular set!
Fans filled the Aft Lounge for the always popular Artist Q&A featuring Parkway Drive’s Winston McCall, Suicidal Tendencies Mike Muir, Chris Motionless from Motionless in White, Bad Omen’s singer Noah Sebastian, Stowaways member Leo Morachelli, Dead Sarah’s Emily Armstrong and a very tipsy Hyro The Hero. The Q&A was fun and insightful, it’s a place for fans to get to know about these artists on a different level and they certainly did after this session!
The artists answered personal questions about what led them to be musicians and their pre-show rituals. One of the most raw and emotional moments came during the Q&A when the bands were asked how they handle conflicts within the band.
Winston from Parkway Drive spoke about the personal issues that led to the band almost breaking up last year. He spoke about how they had gone through tough times personally and ultimately the band went to therapy together to be able to stay together and come out stronger on the other side. And we are so happy they stayed together!
Living Colour vocalist and official Stowaway Corey Glover had one of the most memorable shows on the cruise as he performed on a small elevated stage in the Atrium lobby. You don’t always get to hear everyone including Lamb of God’s Randy Blythe sing their heart out in unison to Prince’s “Purple Rain.”
Throughout this entire cruise, keyboardist Tyson Leslie stole the show with his impeccable skills on the keys and this time was no different. His talent empowers The Stowaways and any performer he graces the stage with!
Nothing More blew the roof off the theater during their final show. Jonny Hawkins took the Viking theme to heart as he took the stage with literal horns up!
Over in the packed aft lounge comedians Mike Abrusci and Shayne Smith entertained ShipRockers with lots of funny and personal stories. The set was a nice break from all of the music and both Abrusci and Smith are talented enough to have their own sets on the cruise.
Headliner Falling In Reverse performed their first set on the Deck Stage. Unfortunately, for Falling In Reverse fans frontman Ronnie Radke joined the cruise late and got on the ship while we were docked in the Dominican Republic. Allegedly, during sound check fans in front of the stage were not able to take photos or video of the band warming up after being “shooed”away by band management, according to one ShipRocker.
Aside from the above, fans of Falling In Reverse genuinely enjoyed the lively set from Radke and the band. His voice delivered as he belted out old and new tracks. The energy was cranked up as they performed and so was the energy from their fans. Unfortunately, the set was too short (under and hour?) according to fans who wanted more Radke!
Day 6: Meet and Greets, Bad Omens, Wargasm & More
ShipRockers enjoyed the last Sea Day Brunch of the cruise and then it was on to long waits for some special meet and greets. The morning session included Falling In Reverse, Nonpoint, Afterlife and Grandson. The afternoon session had Nothing More, Ayron Jones, Bad Omens and the many members of The Stowaways!
Red Jumpsuit Apparatus kicked things off on the Deck Stage but then it was all about incredible female performances. The badassery of Lilith Czar took hold next and Lacey Sturm belted out tunes on the deck as well!
Memphis May Fire and Suicidal Tendencies also unleashed their final shows on the Deck as well. A newer favorite Fame On Fire kicked things off over in the Theater. Dead Sara’s Emily Armstrong teamed up with Joey Morrow for a very special show in the Atrium Lobby stage for a memorable set. Grandson also came out for an acoustic Badflower cover during the atrium set.
Speaking of memorable, Bad Omens unleashed an absolutely mind-blowing set in the Theater. The band is a true gem for ShipRockers who weren’t familiar with them before the cruise. Vocalist Noah Sebastien has one of the most unique and best voices on the boat and his vocals went from smooth and buttery to venomous in the blink of an eye.
It was truly a special performance. “Seeing Bad Omens changed my life,” one security guard by the name of Kevin Ramer said. He has been a Bad Omens fan for a long time but the sets from the band on the cruise really moved him, us, and many other ShipRockers. Watch out for Bad Omens on the high seas and on land!
Motionless in White closed out the Theater stage and made it feel like a tiny club show. It was packed with new and old fans, the performance and crowd was out of this world.
Over on the Deck Stage Falling In Reverse closed things out. The set was exactly the same as the previous night and apparently when fans asked for an encore, they played the last song another again (deep sigh). To his credit, frontman Ronnie Radke performed despite having a hoarse voice. He was also aware enough to realize that if he cancelled ShipRockers would not be happy. He told the crowd they would knock down his door or abandon ship and he’s probably right.
When Falling In Reverse was first announced it was polarizing from the jump. When we asked fans in the front row about their experience we also got different opinions. Some diehards said “Ronnie could do no wrong” other fans were also delighted to meet the band and said all of the members were sweet during the meet and greet. Other Shiprockers said the band was impersonal and cold, while some fans skipped the meet and greet all together and chose to enjoy their brunch instead.
Some ShipRockers considered the headliners and last performers of the day to be the eclectic, amped up duo of Wargasm. The British rockers certainly gained some new Shiprockers as fans!
As we sailed back to Port Canaveral Florida, we were sad to see ShipRocked 2023 come to a close. It was fun from beginning to end! ShipRocked 2024 has been announced so we will be patiently waiting for the line-up, Cookie’s outfits, ridiculous amounts of soft serve, Carnival’s chocolate melting cake and most of all memorable moments with unforgettable people!