So how do I put the Kiss Kruise experience into words?
I will try and give you the full experience, not just the Kiss sections, my family and I started our journey to Miami from Heathrow Airport on Wednesday 28th October.
We were in the departure lounge waiting for our flight, walking around the Duty Free section, when I hear someone say I like your sweater (I was wearing my KISS top from the last European Tour) I said thanks and the gentleman asked me where we were travelling too? I told him the KISS Kruise, he asked if this was my first cruise I told him no we when last year! He then gave me about five Kiss pics from the last New Zealand and Australia and told me he would see us on the cruise? I thanked him and said see you in a few days? (More about this later).
Anyway the rest of the trip to Miami went downhill after that, we travelled with British Airways and we were booked on an Airbus 380A and had booked our seats, when we got to the gate we were told they had to change the plane to a Boeing 747 and change our seats, the plane was an hour late departing and when we got to Miami we found out over 150 bags had not been put on the plane and one of ours was still in London and would not arrive until tomorrow.
We arrived at our Hotel by the port at around 22.00 (02.00 UK time0, we still made our way to the Hard Rock Cafe where there was a pre-party and met up with Mad Mark and a few others for a few beers.
The next day we saw the sights of Miami, South Beach and due to being with the wife and two daughters a few hours shopping, that night we returned to the Hard Rock Cafe for a bite to eat and a few more beers!
The next we had breakfast before joining the ship at around 11.00, we when to the pool deck and meet up with a number of people and had a few beers before the sail away show. This year the UK was the 4th biggest crew with just under 100 people, with only the USA, Brazil and Australia having larger crews.
At just after 16:00 kiss hit the stage, you already know the set list and the Youtube clips above, but you have to be there to understand the feeling and when they opened with “Flaming Youth” I knew this was going to be special and it was from start to finish, the highlights for me were Mainline, A World Without Heroes (singing along with Mad Mark) and Mr. Speed. This was so much better than last year and they were true to their word and did a number of deep cuts. After the concert we made our way to the casino and playing one of the machines was Sophie with her boyfriend, my daughter couldn’t believe her eyes. That night Lita Ford played the pool deck and played a great set and we had a few more beers!!! And we visited the Merchandise store.
The next day was the day of the indoor gig and also Halloween, we had a great time in the speaking to other cruisers and watching Grand Theft Culture and the Dead Daisies two great sets, that night we all dressed up in our Halloween outfits and then it was time for the KISS ALIVE gig and we were on the bottom level just a few rows from the stage, I have to say the show when so quickly and the band were so tight and Paul’s voice was as good as I can remember! The band really looked like they were enjoying being there and Paul sat in the crowd and the second show, I watched on the big screen, he got a young kid out of the crowd onto the stage.
The next day we arrived in Jamaica and we spent the day at the hotel we had been to earlier in the year and just chilled out and had a few drinks. When we got back onto the ship it was time to have our photo with KISS, we were booked for 18:30 but the band didn’t arrive until 18:45 and walked right by us! We had our photo with the band (see below) and when we walked out the gentleman we had meet at the airport was standing just outside , he asked if we were enjoying the Kruise and we all reply “yes”, I then realised he was Danny Francis (Head of security for Kiss) I asked him if the band would be touring the UK and he told me that they could be in May or June? As I said above I watched the second show on the big screen in the Atrium and had a few more beers.
The last of the cruise was the events day, at breakfast we again meet Danny Francis and had a great chat about the band and all things KISS. I then made my way to Paul’s event in the Stardust; it was Paul making Pizza this was so surreal and bizarre and just shows some people including me, will turn up to any KISS event. It was then the Kids Q&A session, where again the band were in great form, laughing and joking with everyone, after that it was Belly flop comp with Gene, Sophie and Shannon, that was great fun. As it was the last night on the cruise we had a slap up meal in the steak house and went to bed early.
The next day it was off the ship early and the girls hit the shops before our flight home to the uk.
I know it is not cheap and money is tight, but if you ever get the chance to go on the Kruise, please do it, it is one of the best experiences of my life and most of the people on the ship are great and we all have one thing in common, our love of the best band in the world KISS. http://www.willbyington.com/p73728366/e6e0ea4ba