It’s always been amazing to me how different the crowds can be from one cruise to the next. You’d think that with 3,000 guests per week that largely the same type of people would be drawn toward the same sort of activities. However, the crowds that we attract week in and week out can vary widely. Sometimes our most popular set is Motown, and others it is 80’s rock. Sometimes we get a large group of dancing couples, other times we get the young party crowd. Generally speaking, the shorter the cruise length, the wilder the crowd. The term “booze-cruise” has quite a bit of truth to it, and that is exactly what our last 4 day cruise was like.
The young, drunk, and rowdy crowd is by far my favorite. They are usually easy excitable, and they enthusiastically sing along, dance along, and cheer for solo sections. Also, the more outrageous things that they do, the larger of a crowd that they help us draw. If they are dancing like they just had their 20th drink (they may very well have had their 20th drink) then it is simply added entertainment value for everyone else, not to mention us.
This last cruise we had multiple bachelorette parties hanging out with us at our sets, complete with matching pink t-shirts, pink hats, and of course the one lucky bride-to-be wearing a veil… Every night… And with this bride our story begins. The following happened in a matter of less than five minutes.
One of the matching t-shirts pulled a chair up to the dance floor and did her best to sit up straight in it and simultaneously balance her Bud Light Lime. The bride to be having obviously tipped back a few Bud Lime’s herself danced over to her friend and her newly acquired seat on the dance floor. She threw her arms around her friends neck, straddled over the top of her and as she put all of her weight on her less than stable body she fell backward, pulling her off balance friend over with her. She landed flat on her back, with her friend landing right on top of her. After impact on the dance floor and in a tangle of wrapped arms, and body weight the bridesmaid-to-be was unable to move her arm with the Bud Light Lime still clutched in her fist, which is now being poured out directly onto the brides face, and in turn a now not-so-white veil.
In an effort to help, as you can imagine, quite a few people gathered to help (watch) the spilled bodies and booze. One of the heroes who had been getting more and more inebriated as the night went on stepped forward from the support beam which was supporting his body weight for the greater part of the last 30 minutes. As he realized he was of no use to the two women, he stepped back to reclaim his spot against the beam, but missed. He fell straight backwards having given his full trust that the support beam was where he thought it was, it wasn’t. He had a bright orange drink in his hand that fell right over with him, and shattered. He slammed his head on the ground and laid for a moment in a puddle of booze and glass. He was helped up by some concerned onlookers, and helped him to the original chair the bridal party brought over. Who have only now managed to sit up by this point.
At this moment a couple of the less concerned girls who are still dancing manage to drop a glass of red wine on the dance floor. For those of you keeping score at home, this is now three spilled drinks, two shattered glasses, in about one minute. This quickly stops the last remaining dancers, as the dance floor has now become a mine field of shattered glass. And almost as if on cue, a girl sitting at the bar falls backward off of her barstool into the shattered glass and booze from contestant number two. She gets up immediately unhurt and unfazed, and laughs it off. The gentleman who caused that spill wasn’t as lucky. He now is falling in and out of consciousness and has quite a cut up arm. He is being tended to now by security and one obviously medically trained onlooker. The two girls are still sitting at his feet laughing about their less serious spill, completely oblivious to the chain of events they set off.
The course of these events all took place over the course of about a song and a half, or the length of one Federico guitar solo. At the end of that song we decided to take a short break, in order to protect the lives of everyone nearby, as they seemed to be dropping like flies… and allow the mess to be cleaned up. After 15 or 20 minutes all the broken glass had been swept up, and just as the last of the alcohol had been mopped up we began our next set. The large group that we had been playing for prior had left, and we were basically starting from scratch again as far as building a crowd. Not 30 seconds into our first song a girl passing by, slipped and fell on the freshly mopped wet floor… You can’t make this stuff up. She was fine. She laughed it off and walked on.
As I said earlier, the young, drunk, and rowdy crowd is easily my favorite, and I could be so lucky as to have that kind of a crowd come hear the band play each time we played. Though, rarely have I seen so many spills, falls, and crashes in so little time as it did on this particular night. I say it all the time on the mic that our group thrives on enthusiasm, and of the 3,000 people that are sailing with us each week, these are the people I am on the lookout for each week. Cruise to cruise our most popular set changes, and the song that goes over the best is different, but week to week we look forward to figuring out exactly what the audience is looking for.