Wednesday, April 21, 2010
...the VH-1 Best Cruise Ever that it is. Remember my post from last week?
On my flight home yesterday, I contemplated long and hard just how I was going to write up this four part series without getting too long-winded and boring the hell out of you precious readers. But by the time I landed back in Philly, I figured it would be best to just tell the stories as it happened chronologically like I always do...starting with Day 1.
We got up at the butt crack of dawn and flew into Tampa from Philly International on Southwest (which I will NEVER fly again). Upon arrival, we stood in the taxi line to get to the dock when I noticed a couple behind us holding the VH-1 BCE folder. I asked them if they wanted to split a cab, which they agreed to do. By the time we pulled into port, we had already started becoming cruise buddies. Crazy thing is that this random couple lives not too far from us in PA, so we are going t try to hang out around here sometime soon. Let me introduce them because you are going to be hearing about them a lot during this series:
Steve and Cathy - welcome to the blog! I used some of your pics btw.
Jules and I watched Carolina Liar play a couple of songs on the Lido Deck as the ship departed. Let me mention now that the guys from Carolina Liar were our deck neighbors. They stayed in rooms a few down from our cabins, which we learned as soon as we ran into them as they finished playing their Lido Deck performance. We walked right by them as we ducked into our rooms. When I closed the door I told Jules, "Those dudes next to us are in Carolina Liar. We're staying next to Carolina Liar?" She had no idea that was the band members because she thought they were just partygoers off to an early start of drinking. They were downing some brews in the hallway, completely sweaty after their set and wearing only their briefs while they just chilled out. In fact one of the members was sporting a banana hammock. I'm serious...it was hilarious. And I'm not knocking these guys either because they were some of the most down to earth and friendliest guys on the entire cruise. I felt that we talked to these guys a zillion times.
The Carolina Liar send-off performance from the Lido Deck balcony.
I love those guys on more of a personal level now and couldn't have asked for better rock-n-roll neighbors. They'll be mentioned more throughout the series. If you don't know about Carolina Liar, check these vids out:
Show Me What I'm Looking For
I'm Not Over
Before the evening shows began, Jules and I waited three hours for my bag to arrive at our cabin. This allowed us to have some interesting encounters during the interim with passengers who got boozed up early on.
First, we shared an elevator with a drunk guy who had his ear plastered to his cell phone. He lost reception so he started yelling into the air, "That's my daughter, man! That's my fucking daughter, man!". Obviously he was not a rocket scientist because he was so taken back that he lost phone reception...in the middle of the damn ocean no less. Haha.
Next, we got in line for guest services to find my bag and we were forced to stand behind a dude who looked liked he had a combination of booze, idiocy and amphetamines all working at the same time, if you know what I mean. His girlfriend, who he was playing tonsil hockey with, was wearing a white bikini floss thong. It was a horrible sight and reminded me that I was sober and needed to start drinking fast. Why is this a bad thing you ask, especially since you all know how huge of a fan I am of the female species? The answer is simple. Her ass looked like this...
...Her ass looked like busted eggs. Two busted eggs.
Next we move from breakfast food to after-dinner drinks as Jules and I caught the end of the Parachute show in the Candlelight Lounge. Jules got a pic with the lead singer Will. Back in January, we saw them in concert with SafetySuit at the World Cafe Live in Philly.
Speaking of SafetySuit, Jules recognized someone from her Twitter circle (Amy) standing by the stage before the SafetySuit show. She introduced herself and her husband Chad, whose MGMT shirt piqued my interest.
Amy and Jules
A real nice surprise was that besides music and sports, Chad was a horror/zombie movie fan. So of course we got along like peas and carrots (or should I say like French and Fries) and I told him about ETMC and the horror blogosphere. As the cruise went on, Chad and Amy would go on to hook us up with great positioning in line for some of the best concerts.
Me and Chad. We saw every major show (minus Doors) with Amy and him.
Right before the show started, we chatted with VH-1 Top 20 Countdown host Jim Shearer who was hanging out behind us in front of the stage. We BS'ed with him for a few minutes learning about him and telling him about what bands we came on to see. Jim was a real nice and personable guy, which is refreshing to see because in my TV background, most on-air talent are self-entitled dicks. But not Jim. He told me that he was a former blogger, which I was interested in learning more about.
Jim Shearer: On-Air Talent and Party Animal
As usual, SafetySuit rocked the house with a great show. We were able to quickly say hello to frontman Doug Brown and lead guitarist Dave Garofalo before heading off to the 3 Doors Down show, which we realized we were close to being late for. Here's some pics from the SafetySuit show:
Dave and Doug
SafetySuit rocking out!
I have to take a quick timeout to mention that as bad ass as SafetySuit's show was, this performance had one of the most awkward moments I have ever seen and experienced at any live show. Towards the end, some chick in the audience gave Doug something that looked like either a jelly bracelet or a hairband while he was in the middle of singing a song. Either way, it was freakin' weird but uber-hilarious for everyone else in the crowd.
To learn more about SafetySuit, click here.
We made it on time for the 3 Doors Down concert and sat down in our "lovely" seats. 3 Doors Down's two performances in the Paris Lounge were the only concerts with ticketed seating, so the ticket you received was where you were sitting. Check out our "awesome" seats...
Actually the seats weren't as bad as the picture makes them out to be, but they still were pretty awful. However, the performance was top-notch as the band played their biggest hits for over 90 minutes. My favorite songs by them are Kryptonite (of course), Loser, Not My Time and Here Without You. After missing them in concert for so many years, it was cool to hear these songs in a concert environment. Brad Arnold's voice sounded simply incredible live, just like I was listening to a CD. There's not much to say besides that, except that Steve and Kathy got WAY better seats. Check out their view:
Yes I'm jealous.
After the 3 Doors Down concert, we headed back towards the Candlelight Lounge and ran into Jeremy from SafetySuit. We talked with him for a little while about golf, the new CD and something funny he did during the 3 Doors Down concert.
Then we dipped into the Candlelight Lounge to see a band that I learned about a couple weeks ago on the VH1 Best Cruise Ever CD, 7daybinge. VH-1 sent all passengers a CD containing a song by each performing band and one song I loved on there was called "End of the Road" by them. It led me to listen to more of their songs on youtube and made their live performance a "can't-miss" for me. As I expected, 7daybinge's harder rock sound that translated into even harder-sounding live. I instantly became a fan and put their CD on my shopping list. Check out some of their songs here:
End of the Road
Jules and I in the Candlelight Lounge during 7daybinge's setup
After this concert, we also made two new friends who had been hanging with Chad and Amy earlier: Jes and Amanda. You are going to hearing a lot about all four of these people because along with Steve and Cathy, they were our cruise crew. Check out Jules' self portrait work:
This is Amanda...
...and this is Jes. I love these two sisters.
So after some serious vodka inhalation and six coronas, it was time to hit the Lido Buffet for some late night munchies and it call a night. Or should I say early morning? It was like 4am.
Stayed tuned for part two coming up later on. Trust me, things are just getting started and get way more exciting than this. I won't spoil anything here.
And a side note for my friend Nick who watched my expensive fantasy baseball team in my absence, I told you I would pay you back with some goodies, so this random cake-cutting picture is for you, big guy...
We have to tell this chick about cake-cutting copyright infringement.