Monsters of Rock Cruise – Day 5 at Sea – 3/6/2024

I most definitely needed the carpet in the elevator to tell me which day of the week it was, but I didn’t need anyone to remind me that it was our final day with our cruise family.

The fact that we were spending it somewhere tropical and the weather was beautiful, made it that much harder to say goodbye.  We ventured off the boat for some shopping and I enjoyed the most expensive Dole Whip I’ve ever had, but it was worth it to refresh as I gathered gifts for my sitters at home and for my children.

I also learned that the best way to approach the straw market is with little to no cash as it forces them to deal, and to never let anyone put anything on your wrist as they will soon demand a donation for the gift that you can’t return.  But, it wasn’t long before we made our way back to the pool stage.  My friends and I even ran into Ace Frehley at the elevators heading back.

I unloaded my bags, said hello to a few friends.  Then, caught the second performance from my friends in Bad Marriage. This is the second cruise these guys have performed on, but this time it was with some extra cargo.  You may recognize the guy with the red guitar from the early years of Tesla and from his previous cruise performance with Resist & Bite. Apparently, two guitars weren’t enough because Mike Fitz and Ian Haggerty are now joined by Tommy Skeoch.  Looking forward to catching these guys again on the Mountain in August.

If you were at that show, I’d like to apologize to anyone that I accidentally walked into on the pool deck that afternoon.  I promise it was not intentional. My equilibrium was off and I felt like all I did was misjudge where I was going and run into people that afternoon.  Yet, somehow, my photos turned out ok.

No point in trying to leave the boat again as we were up for round two of SOTO which featured two duets.  Kenny Leckremo from H.E.A.T. joined Jeff on vocals for the Talisman song “I’ll Be Waiting,” and also during the set Casandra Carson of Paralandra returned for another dose of Rockstar fun. You can watch our video chat with Casandra here to learn more about her experience on MORC and her band’s upcoming album.

Speaking of Talisman, Jamie Jompa Berger and this current band Treat were on stage just down the way at Studio B, so you know we stopped in for some more Swedish metal.

I was struggling with the motion of the boat all day, even while on dry land (honestly that is the worst part, feeling the motion even if I’m not moving), but I was determined to at minimum watch the Extreme show sitting down.  Watching the backdrop video screen sway behind Kevin wasn’t helping that sinking green feeling. So I made a dash to the customer service counter for meds as soon as I could. Important to note that you can get motion sickness meds for free along with other common remedies if you ever need them.

It was nice to put down the camera after three songs and really take in the music and to watch from afar as Gary used the cables as a jungle gym.  Considering how their last theater show went back in 2023 after Nuno’s injury, it was great to have the band back this year and with new favorites from Six to sweeten the deal.  I seriously considered stowing away on their bus and following the band to Orlando for another show, but responsibility took over shortly after I got to the airport the following morning.

I rushed from Extreme to Winger determined to catch their show and snag some photos but unfortunately, that meant that I wasn’t going to get to enjoy a farewell dinner with my friends.  I thought I had it all figured out, that we could all meet up for a meal after Glenn Hughes, but the dining room was scheduled to be open at the exact time the bands were performing and it was closed when we had some downtime.  Instead we said our goodbyes over drinks during Dueling Pianos and at pretty much every bar on the promenade, before grabbing some pizza and heading to karaoke that night.

I must admit that I was running on fumes during Winger’s set, but I enjoyed it regardless.  I had the most fun snapping photos of Rod, who caught me peeking my lens through the one opening in his drum kit.   And the band seemed to really be having fun jamming together that night.  They may very well be the band I’ve seen play the most in 2024. No complaints here!

I was so excited to see and photograph the second Glenn Hughes show in the theater, and was sure not to miss a minute of it this time.  I keep saying that I wish that I could jump on the On the Blue Cruise to see him again, and I really do wish that I could.  Overall the cruise isn’t targeted at my personal tastes but there are some great artist’s like Glenn and Starship with Winger’s. John Roth that I would love to see, and it would be nice to go on a cruise that I could relax on a bit but that wouldn’t be so slow paced that I’d be bored. I’ve done so many cruises we normal entertainment and ports and I don’t think after the past decade of MORC fun that I could be content with ice dancing and normal karaoke nights, when you can watch legends grab the microphone on our boat.

Speaking of relaxing a bit, we enjoyed the dueling piano bar fun a couple times in between bands as you could hear the fun echoing in the staircase near my cabin, and I couldn’t resist catching some songs.  As you can see from the photo, cruisers would gather in the hall behind them often because the bar itself was overcrowded.  It made for a nice departure from the full band noise and gave us time to have conversations with friends, which was much appreciated.  We even found the third KIX band member, Mark Schenker at the bar, and had our first visit since the farewell show last September. So that was pretty cool.

We took lots of photos both before and after Slaughter that night but I still feel like there were so many friends that I did take a single picture with, which makes me a bit sad, but I have the memories regardless.

I was excited to see that the fog was dialed back as Dana Strum had promised me earlier in the day, and I really enjoyed catching the energy that night because it wasn’t what I would have anticipated being the last show on the last night.  At this point, I’ve got to be honest, I was already starting to feel like I was catching a cold and my voice was pretty much gone on day two.  This is typical cruise crud or boat throat reality for most.  But this crowd was intense, fists were raised, horns were up, voices were loud, and the band just fed off the energy, from Mark Slaughter’s interactions with the crowd to the two headed monster of bass and guitar formed by Dana and Jeff Brando to Jordan Cannata’s “animal” drum solo, they couldn’t get enough!

I enjoyed watching the show with friends (until I was teased for talking too much) and I thought it was really cool to hear from my buddies in H.E.A.T. about how they had just come back from playing Glamfest in Australia with Slaughter and made new friends in them.  And to end things on the sweetest note, I was able to capture some fun shots of Kenny Leckremo and Dave Dalone from H.E.A.T. with Slaughter after the show (and even jump in one myself).  The cover photo here was the last photo I took on my camera and the first photo I posted upon leaving the boat.  It is by far the most popular post so far from the cruise.  So thanks to all who liked and shared that photo and any other posts from @ThePureRockShop.  We surpassed 5,000 follows this month and are very grateful for your support! Cheers!

Related Links:

Pre-Pary Coverage here
Day 1 Coverage here
Day 2 Coverage here
Day 3 Coverage here
Day 4 Coverage here

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So, watch for continued coverage from this month’s Monsters of Rock Cruise as well as local shows and regional shows with Alestorm, Elvenking and Glyph; Joe Satriani and Steve Vai; Firewind; and Queensryche and Armored Saint shows coming next month.  And in May, you’ll find us at the M3 Rock Festival in Baltimore.

Coverage by Editor and founder Kara Marie Uhrlen posted on 3/29/2024.  All event photos are property of photographer Kara Uhrlen and The Pure Rock Shop.