SHIPROCKED – The Ultimate Vacation Timeline

10 mins read
Photo Credit: T. Cody Strubel

The 9th annual cruise has sailed once again, departing from Port Canaveral with stops in Nassau, Bahamas and Half Moon Cay.  The vacation slogan is “Rock Hard. Vacation Harder.”  If you wonder how this could possibly describe a vacation getaway to the Bahamas, look no further than our hour by hour vacation timeline which tells how everything went down!  One of the greatest parts of is the “choose your own adventure” feel it gives concert-goers.  With so many overlapping events, you literally choose your own path of rock enlightenment!

January 20th

8:00 PM – ShipRockers Pre-party

Located at Milliken’s Reef in Cocoa Beach, this is where the family begins its annual reunion. With a portion of the crowd in the always coveted jerseys of previous years and most others in their favorite band attire, everybody was ready to officially get this party started!  Acoustic performances from artists , and filled ShipRockers ears with their first taste of the rock to come.

January 21st – DAY 1

12:00-3:00 PM –  Boarding

Until next year @shiprocked!

A post shared by T. Cody Strubel (@tcodystrubel) on

Literally thousands of like-minded, ready to rock vacationers boarded the sold-out Carnival Liberty ship.  As always, my first stop was at the bar where I begin every year with a cruise-themed beverage served in this years souvenir cup.  Always heavily poured, this years space-themed drink was Jedi-Juice.  No better way to begin this journey!

5:00 PM – Sail Away Set – Seether

Always one of the highest attended shows, this years sail away featured South African rockers on the ship’s Lido Deck Stage.  Opening the day with “Gasoline”, Shaun Morgan and gang quickly tore through hits including “Rise Above This”, “Betray and Degrade”, “Country Song”, “Fine Again” and “Broken” before closing out with “Remedy.”  Ladies and gentleman, we are officially on a floating rock festival!

6:15 PM – VIP Party (Victoria Aft Lounge)

For guests lucky enough to acquire VIP status to this cruise, a special stripped-down acoustic performance by was held.  This was a rare chance for fans to see how truly talented this band is.  No theatrics, no outfits, just talent.

7:00 PM – Meet & Greet w/ Doll Skin

7:15 PM – Kaleido (Victoria Aft Lounge)

8:00 PM – Nothing More (Venetian Palace Theater)

8:15 PM – Meet & Greet w/ Kaleido

8:30 PM – Shaman’s Harvest (Lido Deck)

9:00 PM – Like A Storm (Victoria Aft Lounge)

Taking over the Victoria Lounge, started their set with their current single, “Pure Evil.”  This song simply put, is a masterpiece of melodies, hard hitting drums and a guitar riff that leaves you only wanting more. Taking you through a musical journey, they slowed it down by doing an amazing rendition of Tom Petty’s “Learning to Fly”, then closing with their haunting and signature sound of the didgeridoo on “Love The Way You Hate Me.” These guys really know how to get you revved up for a mind blowing week of rock!

10:00 PM – Aranda (Lobby Stage)

10:00 PM – Singles Mixer (Piano Bar)

10:30 PM – Black Label Society (Venetian Palace Theater)

11:00 PM – In This Moment (Lido Deck)

11:30 PM – DED (Victoria Aft Lounge)

12:00 AM – Karaokings Live Band Karaoke (Casino Stage)

Notes on DAY 1

It always takes me this day to get in the right mindset to get shit done.  My first night on the cruise is always full of reuniting with friends, meeting bands, getting autographs, and just having fun!

January 22nd – DAY 2

9:30 AM – Rock N Roll Yoga (Sports Court)

9:30 AM – Coffee With Aranda (Aft Pool)

Thanks to Ellefson Coffee Co., ShipRockers enjoyed some much needed caffeine while listening to the incredibly talented brothers Gabe and Dameon. The early hour didn’t keep people from this show however. The Zero Gravity pool area filled quickly as performed hits including “We Are The Enemy”, “Don’t Wake Me” and “Undone” as well as several great covers.

10:00 AM – Nassau, Bahamas Destination

With our first stop off the boat, several ShipRockers took a ferry over to Paradise Island.  Here the coveted resort of Atlantis was found where many people chose to snorkel with the sharks throughout the underwater sunken shipwrecks. Others headed over to Senor Frogs for what seemed like bottomless mixed drinks, while I found myself sipping on craft beers at Pirate Republic Brewing.  The “Island Pirate Ale” and “Black Beer’d Stout” were both excellent!

6:00 PM – Sail Away Set – Black Label Society

Returning back from Nassau, bearded rock gods served up one of the hardest hitting performances of the night.  Fronted by Zakk Wylde, tore through many crowd favorites including “Funeral Bell”, “Suicide Messiah” and “Bleed For Me” with some of the best guitar solos ever heard at sea!

7:00 PM – Palisades (Victoria Aft Lounge)

took the Victoria Lounge early on night two of Shiprocked. One word for these guys- FUN! Starting their set with a heavier track, “Through Hell”, it got the crowd on their feet! Lead vocalist, Lou Miceli, commanded the crowds complete attention. Full of energy, you couldn’t help but sing, dance and throw up your horns! Closing their set with their single “Let Down”, they showcased all the amazing talent that’s in this band. These guys are top notch and and you left this show feeling nothing but rocked!

7:30 PM – Beartooth (Venetian Palace Theater)

7:45 PM – Meet & Greet w/ Like A Storm

8:30 PM – The Stowaways (Lido Deck)

. How to describe .  In a word- SUPERGROUP.  This year’s themed performance was “2184: A Prom Odyssey”.  Collectively performing a greatest hits collection of 80’s rock including “Paradise City”, Cult Of Perfonality”, “Looks That Kill”, “Rock Of Ages” and “Don’t You Forget About Me.”  This list of performers is literally endless so please, take a word of advice, and attend a ShipRocked to witness this unbelievable collaboration of artists fist hand!

10:30 PM – He Is Legend (Victoria Aft Lounge)

10:30 PM – Meet & Greet w/ Palisades

11:00 PM – Stone Sour (Venetian Palace Theater)

Corey Taylor and commanded this theater crowd from second one.  With every single person in attendance on their feet, performed a 17-song set including hits “Made Of Scars”, “Say You’ll Haunt Me”, “Red Rose Violet Blue”, “Through Glass” and closed with “Fabuless.”

11:30 PM – Starset (Lido Deck)

Although the wind limited their backdrop, late-night deck performance blew the audience away. Their unique sound resonated across the ocean with songs including “My Demons”, “Unbecoming” and “Ricochet.” Their intergalactic undertones highlighted this year’s Space Odyssey theme well.

12:00 AM – Karaokings Live Band Karaoke (Casino Stage)

January 23rd – DAY 3

9:00 AM – Half Moon Cay Island Destination

After a short ferry ride from the boat, passengers disembarked onto Carnival’s private island, Half Moon Cay. Unlike Nassau, where you are greeted with barterers, here you are greeted with smiles and a bar- where large daiquiris and pina coladas await. Immediately the line for the island Meet and Greets started to form. Other rockers chose to stake their claim on a spot along the white sandy beach that ran alongside the clear, blue ocean. I decided to pick a spot adjacent to the “stage”- a large beach side pirate ship bar with a deck-turned-stage that was still being set up. The water was crisp but refreshing in the hot sun. Several artists were seen strolling along the beach intermingling with fans and happy to partake in fan photos.

11:00 AM – Beach Meet & Greets w/ Beartooth, Red Sun Rising, Shaman’s Harvest and DED

12:00 PM – Otherwise (Beach Pirate Ship Stage)

How is it to be standing with your feet in the sand, drink in hand, watching a kick-ass band rock out? It’s freaking amazing! , led by Adrian Patrick, rocked out with the intensity of the Caribbean sun. Their set included hits, “Coming For The Throne” and “Soldiers.” Many enjoyed the show floating in the clear blue ocean while others chose to get closer in a more traditional concert fashion. Either way, it was awesome!

2:00 PM – P.O.D. (Beach Pirate Ship Stage)

Really, what more could any Shiprocker ask for but a live concert on the beach? Three-time Grammy nominees did just that to close out the beautiful beach day. Front man Sonny Sandoval played to the crowd with hits “Boom”, “Alive”, and “Southtown.” The beach balls were flying and the audience was pumped. Even the Carnival staff stopped to take in the performance.

5:00 PM – Nothing More (Lido Deck)

Wow. managed to bring ‘The Scorpion’ on to the boat and it shined with all its glory in the Caribbean sun. They brought it all to this performance and it nearly knocked the sails out of Jonny. pulled it together though for one kick-ass performance on the high seas.

6:30 PM – Doll Skin (Victoria Aft Lounge)

This all-female rock band from Phoenix, Arizona brought their own personal blend of alternative punk rock to Shiprockers. really inherited their piece of the ShipRocked family with this, their second time performing on Shiprocked!

7:00 PM – Stereo Satellite (Lido Deck)

7:30 PM – Meet & Greet w/ He Is Legend

8:00 PM – Joyous Wolf (Lobby Stage)

Led by high-energy vocalist Nick Reese, left the audience entertained from Nick’s first mid-stage split to the soulful singing of hit single “Mountain Man.”  This really is a band you need to witness.  They surely will  be hitting the airwaves near you in the coming months!

8:30 PM – In This Moment (Venetian Palace Theater)

8:30 PM – Shaman’s Harvest (Victoria Aft Lounge)

8:30 PM – Like A Storm (Lido Deck)

10:00 PM – Meet & Greet w/ Joyous Wolf

10:00 PM – Adelitas Way (Victoria Aft Lounge)

got to play an extra set after another band backed out and they really brought it all to the smaller Victoria Lounge stage. Although they played a shorter set, they brought out the crowd favorites “Bad Reputation” and “Alive.”

10:00 PM – Red Sun Rising (Lido Deck)

11:00 PM – Seether (Venetian Palace Theater)

11:30 PM – Beartooth (Lido Deck)

January 24th – Day 4

9:30 AM – Rock N Roll Yoga (Sports Court)

9:30 AM – Doll Skin (Aft Pool)

11:00 AM – Meet & Greets w/ Black Label Society, Seether, P.O.D., and In This Moment

12:30 PM – DED (Lido Deck)

put on a great early afternoon performance that awakened the audience from their post-lunch slumber. Joe Cotela (lead vocals) presented himself in bright tropical swim trunks and I’m pretty sure Matt, the drummer, was playing in his underwear. With their iconic white eyes covered with sunglasses, they rocked the deck stage and brought the crowd back to life.

1:30 PM – Meet & Greets w/ Stone Sour, The Stowaways, Nothing More and Starset

2:00 PM – Joyous Wold (Lido Deck)

2:00 PM – Kaleido (Victoria Aft Lounge)

The energy generated by was tremendous when they took the stage on Wednesday afternoon. Lead singer, Christina Chriss was captivating with her crazy facial expressions and constant movement. They were joined on stage with Chad Nicefield and Rick Miller for a montage of “Highway to Hell.” Overall, it was a deck-worthy performance that I’m glad I didn’t miss!

3:30 PM – Adelitas Way (Lido Deck)

No fancy gimicks or flashy bling. Straight up solid performance from . Start with a little more structure then, literally, let their hair down for “Only The Good Die Young”. They brought the crowd together with a heartfelt collaboration of their favorites.

3:30 PM – Doll Skin (Victoria Aft Lounge)

4:00 PM – Otherwise (Venetian Palace Theater)

5:00 PM – Meet & Greet w/ Adelitas Way

5:30 PM – P.O.D. (Lobby Stage)

6:00 PM – Red Sun Rising (Venetian Palace Theater)

captivated the crowd with an energy that filled the theater. They were dressed in typical tropical prints and attire, and guitarist Ryan Williams even had the Bahamian braids. Their set was solid, and included hits “Emotionless”, “The Otherside”, “Uninvited”, and their latest single, “Deathwish”.

7:00 PM – The Stowaways (Lido Deck)

second set paid tribute to the many talents we’ve lost too early.  This special in memoriam show included heartfelt tributes of the Cranberries’ “Zombie” (in honor of vocalist Dolores O’Riordan), Prince’s “Darling Nikki” and Audioslave’s “Like A Stone” (in honor of Chris Cornell). Closing out the set, Sonny Sandoval fronted the “Crawling” and “In The End” mashup as a tribute to the life of Linkin Park front man Chester Bennington.

9:00 PM – Meet & Greet w/ Otherwise

9:30 PM – He Is Legend (Victoria Aft Lounge)

10:00 PM – Starset – Venetian Palace Theater)

11:00 PM – Stone Sour (Lido Deck)

In a classic white sailor suit, hair blowing in the wind, Corey Taylor commanded the stage for the final performance on the cruise before debarkation in the morning. The deck was packed, everyone trying to hold on to the last threads of their crazy vacation on the ocean before we reached landfall in the morning. They played an extensive set, to include “Red Rose, Violent Blue”, “Song #3” and “Through Glass” before closing with “Fabuless”.  closed out the voyage with a bang as Josh Rand smashed his guitar throwing its broken pieces into the crowd for one last ShipRocked souvenir!

11:30 PM – Palisades (Victoria Aft Lounge)

12:00 AM – Karaokings Live Band Karaoke (Casino Stage)

January 25th

8:30 AM – Departure Off The Carnival Liberty

7:00 PM – The Unofficial ShipRockers After-party

The House of Blues in Orlando became the spot for the Shiprocked after-party for those wanting a little more before heading home. was headlining, with Shiprockers and opening. There was a good turnout- many showed up in their newly-minted Shiprocked gear so the ongoing rockers were easy to spot. One last hurrah to end another amazing vacation.

Final Thoughts

Next year is the 10th anniversary for ShipRocked.  I have a strong feeling that it will kind of be a big deal.  It will be sailing out of Galveston, Texas January 26-31, 2019.  For all who hasn’t already prebooked before stepping off this years cruise, the online pre-sale for the remaining pre-book slots will commence on Tuesday, Febuary 6th at 12:00 PM Eastern.   If you are on the fence about this, let me push you off that stupid fence right now!

T. Cody Strubel is the founder of Rock Documented, a platform he established in September 2015. As the Lead Photographer, Writer, and Editor, Cody has been instrumental in shaping the site's content and visual aesthetic. His exceptional work in music photography was recognized by the Central Pennsylvania Music Hall of Fame, where he was voted "Best Photography" at their inaugural event. Cody's equipment of choice includes two Nikon D850s, a Nikon 22-70mm 2.8 VR, a Nikon 70-200mm 2.8 VR, and a Black Rapid Shoulder Strap. His passion for music and photography, combined with his commitment to promoting local talent, makes him a vital voice in the Central Pennsylvania music scene.

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