The Annual Gothic Cruise and Masquerade Ball is certainly one of the USA's finest Goth events; and one of the most unusual. After all, a cruise in the blazing Caribbean sun is not generally an event that one would think of as appealing to Goths. Nonetheless this one attracts an average of 140 Goths every year, is widely publicised in Gothic Beauty Magazine, and boasts an impressive array of bands, DJs, club nights and parties.
The Goths, should they wish, are able to visit the pools and jacuzzis, comedy and dance shows, piano bar and even karaoke events which are open to everyone on the ship. Apparently, Rogue from The Cruxshadows did a fantastic turn on the karaoke in 2009...
Bands are selected based on a voting system; previous Gothic Cruise passengers vote in polls and the band with the most votes is hired. Previous performers include VNV Nation, The Cruxshadows, Covenant, Funker Vogt, Combichrist, Cruciform Injection, Modulate and Panzer AG.
Prices for the cruise are high, but include all food and non-alcoholic drinks, all on-board entertainment, all of the Gothic Cruise official private events and parties, a free exclusive CD by the performing bands and a free Gothic Cruise CD, $150 of shipboard credit (which can be put towards things like alcholic drinks, group photos or spa services), an issue of Gothic Beauty magazine with a year's subscription, and a six-month premium account on Vampire Freaks.com.
Private shore excursions for the Goth group are offered at an additional charge. However you can get off the ship and do your own thing at any port for no extra fees if you don't wish to join the official excursions (but who DOESN'T want to go explore some Mayan ruins? Yeah, that's what I thought!).
Other events include autograph sessions with the on-board performers, a masquerade ball (obviously), a Goth karaoke event, a Gothic night at the spa, a moonlit swim deck party, a Goth trivia quiz event, a fashion show, and interactive viewings of movies such as The Rocky Horror Picture Show and Repo! The Genetic Opera. The group photo session is held just before or just after the masquerade ball, whilst everyone is sporting their best attire.
Attendees can also win prizes for the following: Best Masquerade Ball Mask, Best Dressed (for the Masquerade Ball, and I'm guessing that's one hell of a competition), Best Decorated Door Contest (I'm assuming that would be the cabin door?), Adult Scavenger Hunt, Best Gotharaoke Performance, Most Outrageous Piercing, Most Tattooed and Strongest Man.
The Gothic Cruise's website points out, "There may be others out there trying to copy our concepts, but... we are, by far, the highest-rated 'at sea Gothic event'." Yup, there are two Goth Cruises thus far... this one is the 'Gothic Cruise' and the other is 'GothCruise', so there is some room for confusion (I will run a post on the other soon, as they had the honour of having a documentary made about them). I don't suppose anyone would care to set another cruise up for us UK darklings? There's a perfectly good port at Southampton, y'know...
There is actually a '2009 Gothic Cruise' gothumentary DVD available, featuring interviews with the performing bands and Rogue's karaoke performance, as well as all the highlights from the rest of the trip. This is interesting, as on the Gothic Cruise's website, they state that they are not the same cruise as the one featured in 'Goth Cruise: The Movie', and go on to say "When Jeanie Finlay first approached us to film our gothic cruise as a documentary, we declined and referred her to the other gothcruise as their events onboard are far fewer and less complex." So they made their own documentary instead? Well, OK, then... Also, backhanded much? Miaow!
I don't want to steal anybody's personal pictures to post here, but I have been browsing through some Flickr sets of this amazing event and thought you might like to have a look-see. Click here to see some shots of the cruise and the stunning offshore locations the Goths visited in 2009. Not that I'm jealous...