My adventure all began at 9 am, headed to the Newark Airport in New Jersey on Friday, March 22, 2019. Flight was at 10:33 am and my excitement was on level 1000!! The Monsters of Rock Cruise is truly an amazing adventure. While in the plane I mapped out pretty much every band I wanted to
see and the photo experience I wanted to do. I am so ready to rock out for the next 8 days! Can’t wait. The hotel we stayed at was an okay hotel, but elevators kept breaking down. And service a bit lack. Luckily I didn’t hang out there too much. I had too many concerts to attend and too many friends to reunite with.
First pre-party show was at the Magic City Casino. Playing was XYZ, Beasto Blanco and Yngwie Malmsteen. Beasto Blanco, has a unique sound. You neither really like them or you think they are crap and only famous because the lead is Alice Cooper’s daughter. I actually like a couple songs of theirs. They are a bit strange, very theatrical and staged performance. I think that is the best why to describe them. They are a bit heavier than the type of music I listen too.
XYZ was up next and rocked the house! Terry is such a great singer. He can belt out those notes like nobodies business. XYZ is a very underrated band, just like Y&T. You don’t realize how hard and heavy and good they are until you find yourself seeing them live in concert. I truly enjoy their shows. Many know Terry was part of Great White, taking Jack Russell’s place. As good as Terry is, I feel that he fits XYZ so much better. I’m not saying that he was terrible in Great White. I just think the songs and XYZ is much better band for him. If you’ve ever been putting off seeing XYZ, don’t. If you don’t think it will be a good rock show, it will. So go check them out.
While hanging out watching the 2 bands we ran into the most of the members of MACH 22. They are an up coming band. One of the members is the son of Jeff Labar from Cinderella. He is just as good as his dad. He taught him well. They have a great sound and totally full of high energy. I really think they have what it takes to go far. And everyone of them are as sweet and nice as could be. They will have a conversation with you, take pictures, whatever. Such down to earth guys.
After both bands were finished, we decided to head over to a hotel for a little party we got invited too. Hey, free drinks and snacks and Rockstars, I’m in!! All the members of Killer Dwarfs were there. We drank and mingled for a while. We probably hung out until 3 something in the morning. We finally headed back to the hotel to get some sleep. We have so much for rocking out to do. And this was only day 1!
Saturday was the day of the MORC unofficial Cocktail party. It is just a big get together/reunion of about 40% of the cruisers that go. People who don’t see one another, except on Facebook, during the year. But this is where everyone catches up and maps out plans for the fun on the cruise. It’s truly a great way to see everyone. The cruise can get so crazy busy that this may be the only time you will see some of your friends. Use your time wisely, lol
After partying it up and hanging with friends all day, we decided later in the night not to go to the second pre show party. Our Rockstar, Ted Poley, was flying in today. We were going to go visit him and get some dinner after he checked into his hotel. It was a short Uber ride from our hotel to his. A major flaw in the area was the lack of places to eat. Their weren’t many and they closed early. One place we ordered didn’t even bring us the food me ordered. IHOP’s service was awful. But that is for a whole other blog! Lol.
Boarding day finally!! I have been so ready for this. We packed up our stuff, checked out of the hotel, hopped on a shuttle and on our way to experience the greatest trip of our the year!! It is truly an amazing time. If you love the 80’s Metal, going to concerts and hanging out with both friends and Rockstars. Then this is the vacation for you. Just don’t expect sleep, lol. There absolutely no time for sleep.
The minute we get on the ship you can see the Rockstars boarding with you. This is my third year and I still get excited!! Kinda like Christmas morning to a kid. Except all my presents are hot rockers dressed in leather.
We finally get into our cabin in the afternoon, change into our outfits and head out to see some shows, drink, eat and find Rockstars. Luckily, we were just down the hall from Ted Poley so we grabbed him to get some dinner. Danger Danger was playing tonight and we had to make sure Ted was taken care of with dinner and such. We got our artist credentials and grabbed some dinner.
As we sat and had dinner with Ted, my first great moment happened. ZP Threat from Skid Row was in the bar across the way. I jumped up and bolted over to grab and picture. (Please note that pretty much, maybe 85% of this trip I had a lot to drink, lol). I literally walked up to him and said Hi, I love you and you’re amazing. He said, well aren’t you just blunt! Then he just laughed and gave me a big hug. We got our pictures and went back over to Ted.
We headed over to the theater for sound check and met up with the rest of Danger Danger. After sound check we took Ted back to his room to get ready. As we walked back, we ran into ZP and Rachel Bolen in the hallway. My 2 favorites from Skid Row!! I was freaking out and told ZP he was amazing again. They were so nice, and took pictures with us.
After changing and making some more drinks we headed to the show. On our way we bumped into Chad from Faster Pussycats. He is one of the sweetest and friendliest people to meet. He was going to go check out Danger Danger too tonight.
Everything was set and the guys changed and ready to rock. As the crowd started pouring in, they were gonna have a great crowd. We decided to stand on the side of the stage and watch instead of with the crowd. As we were standing there, we met the one and only Rick Allen from Def Leppard. I was so happy to meet him again. Such a nice guy. He was just hanging out, chilling and enjoying the show from the backstage. This was soooo cool!! Danger Danger hit the stage and sounded great!! It had been awhile since I saw the whole band together. Ted does a lot of solo stuff and sings Danger Danger songs, but it’s still exciting to see the whole band together. They did such a great set and the crowd loved them! It was a killer show. We even had a 12 year old fan, who’s birthday was that day, brought up on stage. They sang a song to her and she was beyond thrilled. Danger Danger is a great group of guys and care about their fans and it shows. Their show rocked!!
After the show, we went back to our rooms and grabbed some dinner before we headed out to see the Faster Pussycats. If you’ve never seen them they are an interesting, crazy, wild show! Not one to be missed! Ted Poley wanted to go with us. We freshened up and picked up Ted on the way. We went up to the pool deck to see the Faster Pussycats. They are such a fun band to watch. High energy, pure heavy riffs and a bit of sleaze. But you gotta love them! They put on a great show! While hanging-out we ran into none other than the amazing Mike Tramp from White Lion. I was so thrilled and honored to meet him. He is absolutely a nice guy to meet. Ted and him go way back. It was a really great to meet him to end the night. So much great moments happened and this was just the first day!!
First day at sea started kinda early, but then when you only sleep the equivalent of a nap, I guess its not early at all. It’s really a continuation after a break. We had a little breakfast, picked up Ted on our way out and headed to the Photo Experience, (I will write about my own photo experience at the end). We hung out there while Danger Danger did their photo shoot with the fans. Of course we got our picture with the band, and a couple other bands. After the shoot, we headed out to grab some lunch and search for more Rockstars. We were able to find Nuno Bettencourt from Extreme. We were so nervous, security was pushing him through the crowd, but we were able to get our pictures and autographs from him. He is so hot!!! We also ran into Terry from XYZ. I’ve met him many times and he’s such a nice guy. I think he is starting to remember us. He is good friends with Ted Poley.
After some patrolling for some rockstars in the afternoon. I met some of the members of Skid Row, ZP, Rachel, Rob and Scotty. They were absolutely so nice and signed all my trading cards. I was a bit sad I didn’t catch Dave Sabo. But I think I’m getting somewhere with ZP, hes starting to remember me!!
As I headed back to meet up with Autumn, I caught a little of XYZ on the pool stage. They are truly an awesome group. Amazing live and Terry has a strong voice. Such a great band live! But now we had to get ready for some shows. First up was Vixen. This was the first time I would be seeing them with Lorraine Lewis and without Janet Gardner. Little sad that she’s no longer with the band. But Lorraine kicked ass! They sounded amazing!! I’ve always loved Vixen and they were a band I could connect with being they were actually girls. Back in the day they reminded me of a cartoon show I use to watch, Jem and the Holograms. I actually have the songs from the cartoon on my iTunes. Lol. Don’t judge me. Vixen has such great harmony together. And they are true rocker chicks!! Roxy, the drummer, works so hard she even broke a nail during their performance. Even though Lorraine is now the new singer. Share sang a song or 2. Which was cool. I like her voice too. Their set rocked from beginning to end. Love me some Vixen!!
Next up, for me, was Skid Row! They were only playing one show on the cruise and I could not miss it! ZP is just amazing!! I pretty much told him that every time I saw him. When I caught him earlier in the day, he said, “Oh it’s you again!” And I replied, “Yes! You are amazing!!” He asked with a laugh, “how many times are you going to tell me that?” I was like, “I don’t know. I guess every time I see you!!” He was just so super nice!! Love him!! Anyway, on to the show. They played in the theater and it was jam packed!! Everybody on the ship must have been in there to watch them. They could have blasted the roof off that theater. It was so loud, with high energy. The crowd was eating it up. I was lucky enough to make it all the way down to second row. Even though I should up a bit late. I loved every bit of that show. I knew their show was going to rock!! Really wish they played another show, but so glad I got to see this one!!
After Skid Row I dashed over to the other side of the boat to catch Nelson. They had already started and were about 3 songs in. They did an acoustic show and had a few guest guitarist join them. Nelson I think is an underrated band. They have some really good songs. Their voices are still amazing with great harmony. I’ve only seen them once before this at M3. So I was glad to catch them on here. Plus, they have a second performance this week and I shall be there! I absolutely love Gunner Nelson. I know they are twins, I think his name makes him more appealing to me. Anyway, I totally loved their whole set. Great show!
After Nelson it was time to patrol for Rockstars. we grabbed some dinner, some drinks and we walked around for a bit. Everyone was just hanging out and having a good time. As we were getting some coffee, I happened to say I have to catch Dave Sabo from Skid Row. Well low and behold he comes walking up to get a coffee! I was like Yes! He was so nice. Took pictures with us and signed my trading cards. I was so thrilled. Always thought he was amazing. My Skid Row catching members was complete! It was a good thing, they were getting off the cruise the next day. We also ran into Steve West and Bruno Revel from Danger Danger. They took pictures with us too. Such nice guys. It’s was about 2 or 3 am at this point and we had to go to bed. The day was just amazing and I couldn’t wait to do it all over again tomorrow.
Tuesday we docked at the first stop, Jamaica. I was supposed to do an excursion. But I didn’t feel good so I slept in. After finally getting some rest I got up and was ready to go. Mike Tramp was playing and I absolutely love his voice so I had to go see him. I hurried over to catch his show. I’ve always been a big fan of White Lion and I had only seen him preform once a few years ago solo. He has such a distinctive voice and it has held up over the years. Very impressive. His shows are just him and his guitar. No fancy outfits or big production. Just pour raw music. He is worth seeing. I was even able to get a guitar pick from him. I was absolutely thrilled to death I got to see him and get a pick from him! Win win!
After Mike Tramp’s show I met up with my crew and we grabbed something to eat. We wanted to go see Extreme play on the pool stage. Gary Cherone had been under the weather so they moved their show to today. I have not seen Extreme in concert since they opened for Bon Jovi on the Keep the Faith tour in 1993. Yeah I know I’ve been a bad wife to Nuno, lol. You could not tell that Gary was even sick. Holy mother of God! He sounded amazing!! They were full of high energy and they kicked ass!! If there was a roof over the pool stage they would have blown it off!! Damn they are good! I had to definitely catch their second show on this cruise for sure. Loved them!!
Once Extreme ended Autumn and I headed to the next show, Mitch Malloy. He is one fine looking guy, with locks more gorgeous than Goldilocks and Rapunzel combined. And he can sing too, so he’s not just looks. One of the sweetest people, both him and his wife. He’s now the lead singer for Great White, but this cruise was booked long before he got that gig. I was so glad he was able to be on the Cruise. I love his music and his voice. I had saw him at M3 for the first time and the Cruise last year. His range is great and he has such great stage performance. I do want to check him out singing for Great White. So I hope they come around soon. Once his show was over. We went up to talk to him. I talk to him and his wife on messenger here and there. They are both great and they were happy to see me. Took some pictures and talked a bit before we headed out to our next event.
Later we walked around with Ted so he could meet some fans. We ended up running into Xristian Simon from Faster Pussycats. He has special picks made up for the cruise. You have to trade something for one. I brought a bracelet just for him. We talked to him for a bit. Then we went to grab some dinner. We were staving. We decided to go catch a bit of Kix and ran into another cruise friend of mine. Kix is one of those bands that delivers every time. And you know it’s going to be a good time at every show. Steve Whiteman is hilarious and is very animated. I enjoy seeing them every year at M3. Very entertaining.
Of course once the show is over we need to search for Rockstars!! And this was no night short of Rockstars. We ran into Nuno twice and he remembered us. I was standing in line for pizza when he saw Autumn. I guess he knew we were together because he looked over at the line and waved to me! He is such a great guitarist. Love him!! We ate some dinner and decided to go to the pool deck. As we were walking there we ran into Todd La Torre from Queensryche. We talked a bit about the new CD coming out. Took some pictures with him and continued on our way to the pool area. As we walked around the pool deck, Ted joined us, we ran into Joel Hoekstra. I asked for a picture with him. And me being so short he took the picture of us for me. Also saw Michael Grant, from Michael Grant and the Assassins. It was so windy, he held my hair down so we could take the picture. He’s a very nice guy and very humble.
After walking around for a while we decided to head up to Karaoke. The place was jam packed with guests and Rockstars. I even sang a song. Although I was a bit too drunk. And thankfully the crowd sang with me, so no one noticed how bad I was. But I can rock and have great stage presence!! If I could only sing. Lol. Even Nuno was up there singing. Well he was lip syncing while someone else sang. It was so cool to watch that!! So so much fun!
Wednesday we docked at the Isle of Labadee. I only got off for a little of shopping. I’m not really into going to the places we stop. The Rockstars are on the ship. So I’d rather be on the ship. I needed to find some rockers and get pictures taken with them. Today we did mostly the photo shoots, I will explain them later. But we were able to catch the Vixen girls, Share, Brit and Roxy. They were super sweet and signed my trading cards. Took pictures with us and chatted a little bit. Great friendly band.
This afternoon was Danger Danger’s second show. So of course we were going to sound check to hang out. We also picked out where we were going to stand. Front row! All of Ted’s Superfans were there, ready to support! The show was pretty packed and it was an amazing show of course. They know how to rock!! Gotta love Ted and the way he works the crowd. The band backing him up just makes it all come together so beautifully. Love it!! Had a killer time.
After the show, we took Ted back to his room to rest before dinner. Ted wanted to go to the steak place. But I decided to go to Artist dining since I had an artist pass. It was cool. I just sat in awe of all the Rockstars sitting around me. I refuse to bother them while they eat. It’s rude, I wouldn’t want that so I don’t do it to them. It was just cool to sit there. and look at them all around me.
Later in the night my peeps and I went to see Richie Kotzen. I didn’t know what to expect. Never saw him before. I was pleasantly surprised! He was so good! He has a great voice and sang song I had no idea he wrote! One being a Poison song that I love. He’s very talented guitarist. If you are on the fence about seeing him. You should go see him. You not regret it.
Of course, we had to hunt down some Rockstars. We saw Mitch Malloy and his wife. Such nice people. Ran into Paulie Del Boccio, Ted’s solo band drummer. Steve West and Bruno were hanging out. And Tiny, the drummer from the Bulletboys was everywhere!! Ran into him all the time. I told him to stop following me! He said, I’m not you’re following me! Lol also got to talk to Darryl Miller form the Killer Dwarfs. Nice guy. Funny and will talk about anything with you.
It was after midnight so we decided it was time to go up to Karaoke. That’s where the fun is/was! We just stayed on the sidelines and watched the crazy people. The guys from MACH 22 got up there and sang a couple songs. It was wall to wall people. I think the whole ship was up there. It was so much fun, drinking, and dancing.
Thursday, day 7 and the last day. This day was so full of stuff to do. Which is good, because knowing it’s the last day is sad. I hate for it to end. But we were gonna make the last night count!
We did our usual have a sit down meal with Ted in the morning before we headed out to find those Rockstars. We walked around in the morning and found a few like Darryl Miller again. And Sebastian from MACH 22. Xristian again, he’s always on the pool deck, easy to find him. Lol. Gerry Fin from Killers Dwarfs was hanging out also. Ace Von Johnson from Faster Pussycats. He’s a sweetheart. So polite and nice to talk too. And great to look at! Lol. Hey I girl can look at them!!
At noon Michael Grant & the Assassins played on the pool deck. He’s band is really good. I don’t know much about their stuff. But I think I will be buying their CD. Do check them out. Pure hard and heavy rock and roll. Kinda on the Faster Pussycats type. They put on a great show. Worth checking them out.
Heading to the next event we ran into Brian Howe. He’s a guitarist for hire, lol, played with a bunch of bands on this cruise. Snapped a picture with him and we were on our way to Mike Tramp’s record release party. I was so excited to see him again. He talked a little and spoke about the CD. They ran out of them so I wasn’t able to buy one. They did play it over the loud speaker so we at least heard some of it. We got in line and got our pictures taken with him. He was so nice. I knew it wasn’t the last time I would see him. There were a few shows I planned on going to in March. I have too! It’s Mike Tramp!!
Once Mike Tramp was done we headed over to the theater to see Extreme. It was louder and even better than the first show. They worked their asses off to play for us. Nuno was funny he said he’s met a lot of people on this cruise. And some took like 12 pictures each with him. I think we took about 4 each with him. Lol oh well. Amazing show. I can’t say it enough how great their show was. I can’t wait to see them again at M3 in May!
When that ended we hightailed it over to see Nelson. We were able to get up front. This time I was getting to see the whole show, since I missed the beginning the other day. It was just them, their guitars and their beautiful voices. They sound so perfect together when they sing. They still brought out a couple of the other guitarist who were on the cruise to play with them. And Gunner even played the drums on one song. It was a fantastic show! So glad I got to see their show in full!
As we were leaving to the next show we ran into Gary Cherone from Extreme. I wanted to meet him so badly and there he was. Got to tell him both shows was amazing and how great he did even though he was sick. We took some pictures and then headed on our way. Now that was a great surprise to meet him!
Onto the next show was Femme Fatale. This was the first time I would be seeing them. And actually the last time. They were breaking up after this cruise. Lorraine Lewis was the new singer of Vixen. So this was special to see this performance and one I wasn’t going to miss. They were very good and Lorraine has a great powerful voice. I truly enjoyed them. I enjoyed them enough to want to buy some of their CDs. Unfortunately I didn’t know many songs of theirs. But I will be looking into them.
Once that show ended, I wanted to go check out my boy Todd with Queensryche. The place for their show was jammed. The shows were dwindling so people were heading to any show that was still going on. The Queensryche show for me was great. Loud and rocking, as it should be. Totally loved the high energy and powerful tone of Todd’s voice. Another great show.
Once the show ended the only thing to do was go upstairs to Karaoke. It was the place everyone went because they wanted to keep the party going. I know I didn’t want it to end. While up there we saw Ace Von Johnson again, snapped a picture. The drummer, Tiny Biuso, from the Bulletboys. He truly was everywhere, lol. Jeff Keith from Tesla was up there drunk and singing to his own song. I got a picture with him.He probably didn’t remember taking it with me. lol
We just stayed up there, dancing and singing at the top of our lungs. I was having so much fun. Another cruise friend of mine was singing Bon Jovi’s Stick to Your Guns, as it played on the speakers. It was so much fun. I had a lot to drink and ended up crying because I just didn’t want it to end, it was an amazing, awesome night. It lasted until 4 am but it was so great. And then we had to head to bed so we could leave in the morning.
Besides the concerts they have photo experiences, where you get a professional photo taken with the whole band. And the experience is great, because the bands have fun joking around with the fans. I had a few great moments stick out. As I stood in line for Skid Row. I told Autumn I had to stand in between ZP and Rachel, they are my favorites. But they weren’t standing together. It was Rachel, Dave Sabo, ZP, Scotti and Rob, in that order. I was gonna ask them to rearrange. As I ran up to Rachel and hugged him. I told him I love you guys. He answered by saying, “We love you too, but we should see other people.” It made me laugh. Then I asked if they could move around so I could stand between ZP and Rachel. Dave was like well I’ll just get out of the picture and stand over here. I laughed and said no Dave I want you in here too. They were just so nice, love them all. My photo with Danger Danger was also very funny. Autumn and I even got a photo together with them. Then there was Nelson. I absolutely love Gunner. As we stood “Hi, I’m Gunner Nelson.” I was like I know. Then Matthew did the same thing. I said I love both you guys but I love Gunner just a little bit more. I went over and stood between both of them and they took the picture. Just as I was about to walk away. Matthew says to the cameraman, Neil A. Lim Sang, “Wait, I want you to take a picture of just her and Gunner.” I was like “Aww, Thank you!!” Matthew then says, “This will just save you time from cutting me out of the picture later.” That was just a special moment. And Lorraine Lewis, was super nice too when I took the photo with Femme Fatale, said she loved my rocker pants so much she was gonna steal them!! I love getting the photos taken with the bands. They are just so relaxed and seem to have fun during the photo shoots. I know I love getting a picture taken with all the bands. Its one of the many things I look forward too on the cruise.
The cruise is just amazing. You are able to hang out and see the Rockstars hanging out also. Just like regular people! You can talk to them. Have a drink with them. Eat with them. Even sit in the hot tub with them. This truly is a trip of a lifetime. If you want to hang out with Rockstars, party with friends and go to tons of concerts, this is the trip you should make!! I will forever and always go on the MORC. Best time of my life!!
Enjoy some of the many pictures I took: