I gave you a warning a few months ago that I was about to embark on the Weezer Cruise. I’m a little late with the review, but the cruise was way too much fun to not tell you about it.
It was also my first cruise! Thankfully, Stephanie is more of a cruising expert than I am, but I felt like I was missing out on a big area of travel. I’m still far from an expert, but also wanted to share my initial thoughts on cruises.
My vacation buddy Allison gave a great day-by-day breakdown of the cruise on her blog (see here, here, here, and here), so I won’t get into too many details, but wanted to give you my general impressions of going on a cruise, and, more specifically, going on a music cruise.
Here are my highlights of going on a music cruise:
- Definitely one of the most memorable musical experiences I’ve had. I’ve loved Weezer since the mid-90’s and seen them numerous times, but on the cruise we saw them play all their biggest hits and a lot of their rare B-sides in two different venues (once on the deck and once in the ship’s theater). Everyone there was a huge fan, which made it that much more fun.
- The other bands there were amazing, too. Apparently the cruise organizers asked Weezer to suggest other bands that might be a good fit to join them on a cruise, and then chose from that list. This meant that another one of my all time favorite bands Ozma was playing. We also saw the band Sleeper Agent for the first time, which I’m absolutely loving right now! In short, it was what I’d imagine it’s like going to a huge music festival without all the dirt, camping out, and other inconveniences.
- Access to the bands was great! We had our picture taken with Weezer, and got to chat with a few members of Weezer while in line for food or just wandering around the ship. During the first few days we’d recognize band members and sort of whisper among ourselves, but we got used to saying hi to them, chatting, and generally getting to hear that they were having as much fun as we were. I missed out on this, but Allison even ended up on a snorkeling tour with Rivers Cuomo, the lead singer of Weezer!
- Activities. The cruise was on a Carnival ship, but the bands and activities were run by Sixthman, a whole company dedicated to music cruises. They did a great job catering the activities toward a Weezer loving audience. We had ugly sweater night, mustache night, Weezer trivia, an 80’s Prom Night, a cocktail making contest, and shuffleboard (which Allison and I were atrocious at…any shuffleboard aficionados please leave tips in the comments!) We also both got picked to be part of a Q&A session with Weezer. I never really understood cruise activities and the notion of packing a fancy dress to do formal night on a boat, but these activities were all fun and definitely designed for this cruising audience.
So now that we’ve covered why the Weezer cruise was great, what about cruising in general?
Let’s do the pros first:
- It was easy. Anyone who’s planned a vacation with friends knows how tricky planning can get. With this, we just decided that we both wanted to go, picked what sort of room we wanted (note: we went with a pretty basic room and were pleasantly surprised by its size), and off we went. Once we were there, we could easily split up and meet up later. I usually love picking through the options and finding the best of everything there is to see and do in a place, but for once it was really nice not to think about those things!
- It was relaxing. I’m awful at relaxing on vacations. It seems wrong to sleep in or nap when there are new things to see and do. This was by far the most relaxing vacation I’ve had.
- All-Inclusive. It was really nice to have everything included. It was a little weird in the beginning to comprehend that there were pizzas and chicken fingers available 24/7 and we never had to pay for them, but not having to think about how much you were spending on each meal was a nice change. (Note: we did have to pay for sodas and alcohol. People complained about the prices, but honestly, they were no worse than what I regularly pay in DC for drinks.)
- Being on a boat! I worried about being sea-sick, but it wasn’t an issue at all. There’s just something fun and different about being on a huge, floating resort!
Ok, so to round out the cruise review, I think there’s some notable cons, too:
- Docking locations. We stopped in Cozumel. Maybe Cozumel’s great, but where we stopped was just a very touristy port area with souvenir shops and Mexican food. Granted, I did have the best mango margarita ever, but the stop didn’t add much to the trip. Maybe doing an Alaskan or European cruise would offer more in terms of ports, but I wasn’t impressed.
- Food. Everyone talks about gaining weight on cruises, so I was a little worried. The food was adequate, there was some notable chocolate cake, but overeating wasn’t a worry. Everything was very “meat and potatoes” and not too exciting. Maybe other cruise lines are different, but this was pretty blah.
- Not “going somewhere.” To me, most vacations are about seeing somewhere new. On this trip, it was fun to check out a cruise boat, but there wasn’t new local cuisine to try, sites to see, or people to learn from. I was actually really curious about the people who worked on the boat—where do they live, how long are they on the boat, how did they get into this? Yet that still isn’t the same as going somewhere.
I love Weezer more than ever, and am certainly glad I got to check out a cruise, though probably need to stick to some dry land vacations before signing up for another one!