Aboard Royal Caribbean’s “Liberty of the Seas”
Cruises come in all shapes and sizes. At Frontiers, we work with the best cruise lines in the world from smaller deluxe yachts in Turkey and private charters aboard Un-Cruise Adventures to larger vessels that include Regent, SilverSea and Oceania. There is a cruise for everyone! Themed departures are becoming more and more popular, catering to a wide-range of interests. There are cruises dedicated to health and wellness, cuisine and wines, music, golf, cycling and hosting celebrities. There are even “clothing optional” cruises, if that’s what floats your boat (pun intended).
When asked about my hobbies, the top three are fly fishing, shooting and music. My dad was an old school country fan and a closet blues enthusiast. I also have an uncle who loves rock and who had the most incredible sound system in his house – which I discovered at about age 12. These early influences and attending a handful of concerts in my early teens made music a passion for me…and at Frontiers, “we share your passion.” Hence this blog post.
When forming an early teen rock band, they say that the last guy to arrive at the garage is the bass player — that’s me. After faking the bass through our high school “jazz ensemble” (aka rock band) and some playing in college, I put the bass on the shelf for the first ten years of my career at Frontiers. In my early 30s, I decided to start playing again and wanted to do it the right way — studying for a decade with one of the best bass instructors in Pittsburgh. Four bands later, we play in a little Frontiers trio, called “The HipWaders.” Our weekly rehearsals, including South America and Iceland Specialist, Ben Hoffman (guitar and vocals), is something we all enjoy after a long day in the office.
For my 50th birthday, I decided to book a music themed cruise, Legends of Rock III. My best friend and HipWaders drummer, Bill Goehring, and I boarded Royal Caribbean’s “Liberty of the Seas” in Fort Lauderdale with 24 bands for a rock festival at sea. My wife said it perfectly, “It’s not about the experience of luxury; it’s the luxury of the experience!” Instead of dealing with 50,000+ fans in a crowded concert venue, we had about 3,000. With three stages, and famous 60s and 70s rock bands playing from about 10 am to 2 am, there were no crowds and the artists were incredibly approachable.
These icons of rock were seated at the table next to you at dinner, having a beer at the bar and even listening to the other bands. We got to say hello and chat with Don Felder (Eagles), one of the Doobie Brothers drummers and Rik Emmett (Triumph). The artists genuinely appreciated our attendance and they seemed to be having a great time.
The crowd onboard was incredibly enthusiastic, especially based on our age. Many of the bands I loved in my younger days, like The Doobie Brothers, Paul Rodgers from Bad Company, Marshall Tucker, 38 Special and many others were with us jamming for four days.
This was the third rock charter organized through Native American Heritage Association, which provides much needed support to helping Native American Families in need living in reservations in Wyoming and South Dakota. It’s wonderful that we can enjoy such an incredible music experience while also supporting a terrific non-profit organization established in 1993.
I have been on many boats far from shore (some of which should not be offshore) ranging from fly fishing mother ships to expedition vessels to luxury cruise ships, but I have never been on a mega ship. While there are now bigger ships than Liberty of the Seas, this one seemed enormous to me, at over 1,100 feet long, with a 3,600+ guest capacity and a crew of 1,360. It’s like a giant hotel on its side… floating. Royal Caribbean gets very high marks among the big ship cruise lines. We were very impressed with the ship, its international crew and our suite.
While this cruise was all about rock and roll, I can fully understand why these big ships are wonderful for families. The newly renovated Liberty of the Seas is packed with all the phenomenal onboard experiences you’d expect. Share a high five with Shrek as part of The Dreamworks Experience. Put on your boogie shoes for hit Broadway musical Saturday Night Fever. Catch a first-run movie in the 3D theater or poolside under the stars on the outdoor movie screen. Then finish the evening with a selection of reds or whites at the renovated, now-more-intimate Vintages wine bar. There are multiple restaurants from fine dining to a Johnny Rockets dinner and a Ben & Jerry’s ice cream shop. Kids enjoy the FlowRider surf simulator, a rock-climbing wall and even an ice skating rink. Add in 10 pools / whirlpools, a very fine spa and a myriad of shore excursions and you have a trip that makes everyone in the family happy!
The point of this lengthy post about my rock cruise is that all of us at Frontiers want to help you discover those passions, hobbies and interests away from home that motivate you and provide enjoyment. We love what we do and we want our expertise to give you an unparalleled travel experience.