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Welcome To Jamrock Reggae Cruise review

Posted by Ras Gudka 
Welcome To Jamrock Reggae Cruise review
December 16, 2015 12:22AM
Cruise 1 - Nov 30th - Dec 5th

I have to say this was the single most incredible experience of my entire life (and trust me, I've had quite a few). Nothing will ever come close to, or top this. I can now say I've literally fulfilled my life, truly.

Well, it all began when we got to the cruise terminal and were asked if we were VIP. I said I thought I was (as I'd booked a penthouse suite) but the lady maybe didn't hear me. As I was standing in line, next to me stood Protoje trying to look as discreet as possible. No one hassled him (I did consider it lol). Once we checked in, the lovely lady said oh you're VIP and ushered us into the artist lounge!!!! From all the other folks who had booked suites, etc, we were the only ones allowed in there for some reason. Well, in there we hung out with Stephen Marley, Joe Mersa, Rohan Marley, Spragga Benz, and Stone Love. I asked a guy in there who was who and he pointed out Rory form Stone Love. Now you have to understand, these are names I grew up with and for me, it's awesome to finally meet my heroes.

We didn't take anything for the head as we weren't sure of security, but it was a joke!!! The room was amazing and comfy, right at the front of the ship. Our neighbors saved us and gave us a few grams which I made last for 2 days till we got to JA.

The ship was perfect sized - it never ever felt crowded in any way, everyone was nice, good vibes, from all over the world. Lots of people connected to the music industry, etc. The concerts were supposed to start at 6:30 but always started an hour late. Band changes were also too long (sometimes up to an hour). The sound system worked (I wasn't sure how it would sound on the open sea), the DJs were good. We met so many amazing and wonderful people man, and made some real good friends.

So the icing on the cake was...on day 4 we scored All Access passes in exchange for a bit of meds. That was the single most amazing thing!! Everyone looked on us jealously, we could go anywhere on the ship, including backstage, etc. I of course made other people's evening as well - I shared my pass and encouraged people to go backstage and take some pics! It was all amazing man!

The food was surprisingly really good in the regular restaurants. The specialty restaurants were even nicer! Drinks were expensive, but oh well. The last day got rained out. TOK managed to play a couple of tunes but then had to stop. Capleton took up the entertainment inside the ship - it was way too crowded and the track and mic didn't do him any justice. I was very disappointed with the day as I was looking forward to one last night of partying (mate, I'm surprised I survived...). But, I met Jack Scorpio in the gift shop and best of all, he remembered me, and remembered the "biggest spliff mi ever had inna London". It made my day lol.

Day 1
-Protoje kicked off the cruise, and could not have been a better start. Absolutely loved his set!!
-Morgan Heritage brought their A game as usual - really got the party started, and a great follow on from Protoje.
-Maxi Priest was good to see still singing. I only know "Goodbye to love" lol. Not memorable but cool to see.
-Stephen Marley headlined. This was a good show even though I saw him twice already this year. This time it was different. He didn't do so many of his father's songs. Instead Spragga Benz joined him for a few songs, as did Jr Gong. Cham appeared somewhere (in my vids) but I must have been wasted as I don't recall lol. This was a great night to kick things off. Stone Love played until early hours.

Day 2 - All White Night
I really wasn't excited about tonights lineup. In fact I'm not even sure what I was doing or where I was - I didn't see Christopher Ellis nor Tanya Stephens. Caught Kymani's set (he did "Rastaman" with Protoje - it was good to see him again. Tarrus closed the evening - nothing great, but J Boog was a surprise guest on his set.

Day 3 - Dancehall night
This is the night I was most excited about!! Popcaan was supposed to open, but instead Busy Signal opened. It was bloody brilliant. I thoroughly enjoyed his set. Truly amazing.
-Elephant Man. Wow what can I say...I'd heard of him but not his music. All the vids I saw of him were crap. But I tell you....it was THE most energizing show I've ever seen. He whipped up the crowd and gave a wicked and energetic performance. I'm not a fan, but would definitely love to see him live again. He had a 200 lbs woman jump on him, and nobody fell....man has stamina!!
-Popcaan was ok. I think I was a little wasted by now as we had made a stop in JA and medical supplies were replenished. Fortunately I have good friends in JA and can get better stuff than the tourists get. I enjoyed his show, but I spent most of his performance dancing with my head down.
-Jah Cure was a huge and massive disappointment. His live voice is very very weak. The Cure is one of my fav albums but seeing him perform it live was really sad. His tempo did not belong on this nights lineup and literally put me to sleep, but as he can't travel, this was the only night he could be on.
-Supercat followed Jah Cure, and was another snoozefest. I saw him in the Bay Area this year and was excited as I'd never seen him before. Seeing him the second time was nothing great. Same performance, nothing new or refreshing.
-Bounty Killer. OK I know this is sad...but I think I was thoroughly wasted (in fact I was, as my friend had already gone to bed!!!). I watched Bounty's set thinking it was Busy Signal!!!! They look exactly alike! There I was telling people man this was an incredible set - he was angry, and raw!! Fortunately I did video some of his performance so I don't feel so bad. But oh man, what a fail lol.
-King Jammy's - I think I was trying to find my cabin lol

Day 4
-Third World played a really great opening set. Lot's of African rhythms, percussion - it was just cool.
-Cham - I decided to go get dinner lol. I'd seen Cham on the River and wasn't someone I was dying to see.
-Barrington Levy - this was one I was looking forward to as it was the first reggae concert I had been to in SF last year. Would have been interesting to see how he sounded in the open. He played a great set as usual. But I did lose a bit of respect for him - I was hanging out backstage in the artists room and he was there bitching about everything and everyone. He was really upset about something! He comes across as an aloof ass.
-Damian Marley. THE performance everyone was waiting for, and he didn't disappoint! It was true Jr Gong style, and he opened with "Set up Shop". Wicked. I wish he had other artists join him on stage but I don't think anyone did.
3 Way Clash - was a bit disappointing. Sound clash is not my thing - I like to hear more than 2 bars of a song!! Never found out who the Asian guys were.

Day 5 - Rep your country night
I was REALLY looking forward to tonight, just to party hard the last night. What a disappointment - TOK started a brilliant set, got 3 songs in and then it started to rain like mad. It was sad they didn't plan contingencies. The party moved indoors with a DJ. Capleton came on sometime at night (again, bad organization as no one knew when!) and did his set with just track and mic. I would have loved to see him with a full band. He isn't one of my favorites but definitely one I respect. I wasn't impressed with the performance but I'm sure it had to do with the sound. Instead I made a lot of friends and connections out on the deck! It was all so cool. People were just fantastic - the guys behind Italist Creations, Vegan Food Share, Irie Jam FM DJs, Humboldt crew DJs, etc.

I would have loved to see Shinehead clash with Damian but can't have it all I guess lol.
Re: Welcome To Jamrock Reggae Cruise review
December 16, 2015 03:59PM
Sounds like so much fun, is it pretty expensive and this is probably a dumb question but do you need a passport to do this?
Re: Welcome To Jamrock Reggae Cruise review
December 22, 2015 02:47AM
You don't necessarily need a passport as a US citizen but you will need a birth certificate instead, plus your drivers license for ID.

It's not expensive in my opinion - I'll explain why. You decide how much you want to spend. Cabins started at about 1K pp (around $1,200 pp with taxes, gratuities, etc). You'd need to share a cabin or pay for double occupancy. Most expensive cabin was $3,200 pp (incl taxes, etc). Meals were included in the price, unless you wanted to eat at one of the specialty restaurants. The food at the buffet, and in fact every free restaurant in the ship had some of the tastiest food I've had - and I'm a picky eater! Soft drinks and alcohol are not included. A beer cost about $5.50 if I recall. Your only other expense will be airfare to Ft Lauderdale (for 2016). If you opt for excursions in JA, that's more of course. If you go to Reggae on the River for example, you end up spending close to a thousand pp, or more anyway!

Cabins are on sale now at welcometojamrockreggaecruise.com
There's also a Facebook page where you can maybe find a cabin-mate, ask questions and generally see what it's all about (do a search and it'll be one of the top hits)

Good luck!
Re: Welcome To Jamrock Reggae Cruise review
December 22, 2015 06:36PM
Thank you Ras Gudka! Awesome info! I usually spend about $800 at a festival I attend so you are correct this is not too much more. Trip of a lifetime in my opinion. Now we just need to start the VI version! LOL
Re: Welcome To Jamrock Reggae Cruise review
July 08, 2016 08:04PM
Nice review i found it on Google!

My girlfriend won the 2016 Jamrock Give away so we are going for free! All expenses! We have been talking about it for a long long time but held back by $$... so this was a huge surprise and we are so thankful! Glad I read your guide... we are so ready to see everyone!!!
Re: Welcome To Jamrock Reggae Cruise review
July 08, 2016 08:09PM
Quote
Ras Gudka
Cruise 1 - Nov 30th - Dec 5th

I Sound clash is not my thing - I like to hear more than 2 bars of a song!! Never found out who the Asian guys were.


lol!! Mighty Crown from Japan! We are super excited they are playing the clash this year. My girlfriend is from Japan and ready to represent!!
Re: Welcome To Jamrock Reggae Cruise review
July 08, 2016 08:50PM
Greetings Rinsed Riddims and congratulations on the win! that's massive. We'll be coming from Sacramento and attending this year for the first time too, nice to see another boardie will be in the house, let's link at some point. Bless
Re: Welcome To Jamrock Reggae Cruise review
July 09, 2016 01:28AM
Quote
RinsedRiddims
Nice review i found it on Google!

My girlfriend won the 2016 Jamrock Give away so we are going for free! All expenses! We have been talking about it for a long long time but held back by $$... so this was a huge surprise and we are so thankful! Glad I read your guide... we are so ready to see everyone!!!

That's awesome. I'll see you there. Super effing excited. Is anyone else on the board signed up for this year?
Re: Welcome To Jamrock Reggae Cruise review
July 10, 2016 04:56PM
Yeah will be good to meet up with all of you there!
Re: Welcome To Jamrock Reggae Cruise review
July 13, 2016 06:37PM
RinsedRoddims respect man!! So you're one of the lucky people to get an all expenses paid trip! I am often on the Jamrock Facebook page and saw that!! Massive congrats - I'm sure you guys are super stoked! It will truly be a life changing experience, at least it was for me!

Reggae_Lover71, I'm coming from Sacramento too. We should def get together - I'm always looking to make connections. I'm in cabin 1252 so anyone feel free to stop by!

I'm a bit nervous about the size of the ship and number of people. Last year the size and crowd was perfect - it never felt too crowded or anything.

DJ Green B - I saw you on board but was too shy to stop and say hi! I'll def do so this year if I see you. I'm likely coming with Iba MaHr.
Re: Welcome To Jamrock Reggae Cruise review
July 13, 2016 07:34PM
My wife and I are in this year!! Lots of other friends from Seattle are coming as well. Can't wait to see you all there............
Re: Welcome To Jamrock Reggae Cruise review
July 13, 2016 07:42PM
Ras Gudka - just tried sending you a pm but if it didn't go through hit me up at reggae_lover71@yahoo.com - maybe we can meet up here at the Dezarie show . . . would be good to put a face to the name before we all get on that boat....so excited!!!!
Re: Welcome To Jamrock Reggae Cruise review
July 13, 2016 08:16PM
Quote
Ras Gudka
RinsedRoddims respect man!! So you're one of the lucky people to get an all expenses paid trip! I am often on the Jamrock Facebook page and saw that!! Massive congrats - I'm sure you guys are super stoked! It will truly be a life changing experience, at least it was for me!


We are beyond stoked... was not really in the budget but we kept believing it would be us winning lol.

Will have to exchange some contact information before hand.

Saw Tarrus Riley the other night and can't wait to see him on the cruise as well as everyone else. We got some good pictures at www.rinsedlifestyle.com



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