Uber Soca Cruise was the soca community. It was so much fun! It was unexpected. I think I have mentioned it before somewhere but I have never really been into cruises. First off I can’t swim so being on a ship however big and safe sends shivers down my spine. Automatically, the movie Titanic comes to my mind and me and cold water don’t deal far less sticking to some drifting piece of wood. Secondly, I always associate cruises with the elder generation. I have older friends who are always talking about cruises. So with those biases, cruises were a ‘No’ for me. However, two things made me want to go. A friend whose opinion I value waxed lyrical about how good Uber Soca Cruise was when he went last year. Secondly, this cruise was going to Haiti. I am in love with Haiti and this was another chance for me to go. I made the decision.
We started the process. The price could be seen as not cheap. As a guy told me later on at USB J’ouvert ‘There ain’t no vagrants on this ship’. So you must be able to afford it, save up, take a loan, have friends to help you out, start a ‘Go Fund Me’, have a sugar daddy or mama to help you out or have friends in veerrrrrryyyy high places. Also the price can be manageable as you are able to pay it off monthly.
Took a flight to Miami, spent a night in Eurostars Langford (which I really liked, classic 1920s décor and really great service). The following day, we headed to Marina of the Seas at Terminal A. From the onset of Uber Soca Cruise, for us, it was a smooth process. We were on boat 1. You have your details which was converted into what is call the Sea Pass which was sort of a combination of passport, door key and credit card. Food was free. You could have breakfast, lunch and dinner for free on deck 11. There was a pizza spot on deck 5 which was also free. But drinks and other expenditures such as souvenirs were not. Also you might need some US dollars for Labadee in Haiti.
Having never been on a cruise before, I was somewhat in awe of the immensity and grandeur of the thing. It’s a big ship. 12 or 13 floors? I didn’t get to visit half of those floors and I am a serious explorer. Just goes to show how busy feting we were. Either that or trying to catch an hour or two of sleep here and there. Apparently there were 3000 soca enthusiasts and rumour had it, it cost 4 million US to get the ship for Uber Soca Cruise. The man in charge had some serious deep pockets.
I’ll keep on saying it, the organisation and attention to detail was second to none. I’ve seen many slap dash soca events. This was on the other end of that spectrum. Totally. Many many mannnnyyyy teams should go on the Uber Soca Cruise, if anything just to see how things are done properly! Our rooms were nice. We had friendly attendants who cleaned our rooms twice a day.
The first proper fete was the all white fete and that is when I truly saw how many people were on this cruise. There were loads of people. 95% in white all ready with fresh energy to hit this cruise. That fete finished at what 3 am? 4? And everyone rolled on to what was known as the avenue where there were restaurants, shops and bars on either side. Above a DJ played music and it was an instant fete. As an intermission, there was reggae, bashment, afrobeats then back to soca.
The bed and breakfast fete early in the morning (we got there around 8am) with The Hypeman was too bad and fun! He managed to get energy from the feters early in the morning despite the night and early morning feting. He had some antics eh.
I can’t tell you about the Game Of Thrones fete. I didn’t go. After two hours of sleep in 24 hour period I went to sleep. And although I watch GOT, I didn’t pack anything for it. That would have seriously affected my luggage weight in travel. And to be honest I want to be fresh for the Saturday. There was a lot I wanted to do the next day and night and I didn’t wanting to be sleeping for any of it.
Look out for part two which includes, j’ourvert, carnival fete, finale and everything in between!