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Review

KISS Kruise 2011 Review - Part 2
Review & pictures  by - Daniel Hill



MY STORY: By Daniel Hill

This is part 2 of Dans report, click to read part 1

SATURDAY 15th OCTOBER
By the time I woke up, we had already arrived at our second destination, Nassau. Eventually, I found the energy to get showered and dressed, but by now, most people had already left the ship so I grabbed my things together and went onto the Island. After a quick look around, I headed to the ‘Hard Rock Cafe’ where I knew my friends would be. It had also just started to rain so it seemed a good idea to be indoors.

In here they had some cool memorabilia hanging from the walls. In the small KISS section there was a Paul Stanley Guitar, Ace and Peter solo LP’s and a ‘KISS_X-TREME_Close Up’ plaque that had previously been presented to Bruce Kulick. My favourite of all in here though was a ‘Fender Squire Bass’ that was used and signed by John Paul Jones of ‘Led Zeppelin’.

A couple of coke’s later and we decided to have a look around the outdoor market to do a spot of gift shopping. This didn’t last long though as the rain was continually on and off so we went back onto the ship for some dinner and relax in the covered section of the open deck. The rest of the day was spent talking with old and new friends until it was time for me, Paul and Tracy to have our photo taken with KISS. As we wanted to wear something the band would notice, I opted for my Doc McGhee t-shirt and Paul went for his leather jacket with a cool painting of Gene on the back, both of which didn’t go unnoticed by the by the band. The photo session is over before you know it, with security literally pulling you in and back out again, barely leaving you with enough time to smile. I did get to shake/tap hands with each member of the band though which was good enough for me. After this, we collected or souvenir plectrum and headed back up to the top deck to meet the rest of our group. We had a discussion at this point about what to expect from the second indoor show. Stu was certain they would do a different set, Karl wasn’t too bothered as long as they played ‘I Stole Your Love’ and me... well, I was convinced that it will be the same set as the previous night because not everyone would be lucky enough to see both shows and let’s face it, KISS hardly ever change the set or the show (except when a new tour is started). 

01 - Carnival Destiny (Our Ship) 02 - Hard Rock Cafe (Nassau) 03 - Pauls' Guitar in Hard Rock Cafe, Nassau
04 - Ace solo LP in Hard Rock Cafe, Nassau 05 - Peter solo LP in Hard Rock Cafe, Nassau 06 - KISS X-treme close-up plaque in Hard Rock Cafe, Nassau (presented by Bruce Kulick)
07 - Nassau 08 - Nassau 09 - Me, Paul & Tracy with KISS

We then made our way to the palladium and again, went our separate ways to our seats. Stu and Jackie were up on the left balcony, Karl and Jasmine were up on the right balcony and I was on the floor, centre stage and six rows back. Paul and Tracy were not lucky enough to get a platinum ticket for the second show but they watched the live feed in their cabin so between all of us, we had the perfect vision of the show. Slightly later than the previous night, Shannon again enters the palladium to take to her seat, smiling and waving at the cheering crowd as they take photos of her. Then around fifteen minutes later, the lights go down and KISS once again took to the stage with no introduction and yet another mind blowing performance and set list.

The set list:
I Stole Your Love – Getaway - Room Service - Two Timer - Comin' Home – Strutter - Nothin' To Lose - Love Her All I Can - All the Way – She - Take Me - Goin' Blind – Parasite - Rock Bottom - C'mon And Love Me - Got To Choose - Lick It Up - Shout It Out Loud .......... Encore: Hard Luck Woman – Beth - Detroit Rock City - Rock And Roll All Nite

When they started with ‘I Stole Your Love’, I can honestly say I spent more time watching Karl than the band. I don’t think this day could have got any better for him... It was his birthday, he got engaged, Skid Row bought him a cake and now KISS had opened this intimate show at sea with his favourite song. As the evening goes on, the band deliver a show that is somehow better than the night before. They’ve added two extra songs and just as KISS were going bring the show to an end, the crowd were chanting for ‘Detroit Rock City’, and with this all being ‘for the fans’, they play an off the whip version of the KISS classic. Again, the show ended with ‘Rock and Roll All Nite’ and confetti bursting from every angle of the palladium. After grabbing my souvenir confetti and pick, I headed back to my cabin to change clothes again for the ‘Represent Your Roots’ theme night.

 Shannon arrives for 2nd Indoor Show  2nd Indoor Show 2nd Indoor Show
 2nd Indoor Show  2nd Indoor Show  2nd Indoor Show
 2nd Indoor Show  2nd Indoor Show  2nd Indoor Show
 2nd Indoor Show  2nd Indoor Show  2nd Indoor Show
 2nd Indoor Show  2nd Indoor Show  2nd Indoor Show
 2nd Indoor Show  2nd Indoor Show  2nd Indoor Show

 

 


I put on my England gear and went up to the top deck where the evening party was being held. The night is spent chatting amongst ourselves and with people we have met so far on the kruise. Karl’s day got even better when Carmel (owner of the ‘Gene Simmons Axe’ Bus) came over for a chat and gave him a pair of KISS sandals for his birthday. I decided not to drink as every day so far, I had woken up with a headache, but somehow, it was 5:30am when Stuart and myself decide to call it a night and prepare ourselves for the last day of our Kruise.

01 - Me, Stu & Paul 02 - Me, Stu, Karl & Carmela (genesimmonsaxe) 03 - Me, Jackie, Jasmine, Karl, Paul & Stu


SUNDAY 16th OCTOBER
When I had woken up and got myself ready, I decided to pop by the merchandise shop first before grabbing some breakfast. I then met up with Stu on the top deck and we headed to the pool to cheer on Andy, who is taking part in the ‘Belly Flop Contest’. Once the competition was over and our friend had won, I went for a walk down to deck 5 where the ‘KISS Open Game’ was taking place. This was basically a screen with people queuing up to play ‘Guitar Hero’. There was nothing that really interested me here so I just wondered around for a while before it was time to meet back up with Stu and Karl for the ‘Doc McGhee Q&A Session’. This turned out to be better than anyone could have possibly imagined, with stories about KISS, Bon Jovi and Motley Crue. 

Highlights for me from Doc’s stories were:

  • Doc ended up getting arrested with Mick Mars from Motley Crue, following an incident on a shuttle train that involved a bottle of Jack Daniels and blood gushing from another passengers head. This ended with Tommy Lee claiming he was going to ‘take out’ one of the 200 strong police officers that had turned up to arrest them.

  • Doc checked himself and Motley Crue into a hotel that demanded a $25 000 deposit before the band can stay there. After an event filled day, Vince Neil was banging on Doc’s door at 3am. He wanted Doc to make his girlfriend disappear for the evening while he entertained a groupie he had picked up that night. Doc just opened the door, said nothing and knocked Vince Neil unconscious. This is what he referred to as ‘’hands on management’’.

  • After meeting several times in the 80’s when KISS were taking bands such as Motley Crue and Bon Jovi out on the road, Gene decided to call Doc and say ‘’we need to talk’’. Doc asked if they were going to put the make-up back on to which Gene replied ‘’no’’. Doc then ended the conversation by saying ‘’we have nothing to talk about then. This happened a couple of times before one day in 1995. Doc received yet another call from Gene. When he asked again if the band are going to put the make-up back on, Gene said nothing. Doc then attended a meeting with Gene and Paul where a deal was made... and the rest is KISStory.

  • Ace Frehley wound up in hospital during the ‘Farewell Tour’ following a gunshot incident with his cousin. When Doc arrived at the hospital, he was greeted by Ace, who was in a very foul mood. He was adamant that he would not play the show later that evening unless Doc arranged to get him the drugs he required. Now, from day one there had been a costume made to fit tour manager Tommy Thayer, just encase Frehley ever decided not to show up for a planned gig, so Doc told Ace to forget it as he had a replacement, and gave Tommy the green light. A couple of hours later, Tommy was ready to hit the stage in the ‘Space Man’ costume when Ace arrived... ready to play the show.

  • Doc told the audience that KISS are a tight unit of friends and enjoy spending time with each other. He then revealed that Gene and Paul often jokingly refer to Eric and Tommy as ‘scab 1 and scab 2’

  • Doc confirmed that he had only spoken with Ace Frehley two weeks before the kruise and is on good terms with him, but he also claimed that Peter Criss is still very bitter towards the band and management.

  • At the end of the Q&A, I was finally called to the stage to present Doc with a t-shirt that has a huge picture of his face on it. This was given to me last year by my good friend and incredible artist Nick Smith, with a promise that I would one day, give the shirt to Doc McGhee. Myself and Stu also took this opportunity to get our copies of ‘Star Man’ signed by Doc (who is mentioned a lot in the book)

01 - Merchandise shop 02 - Andy in 'Belly Flop Contest' 03 - Q&A with Doc McGhee
04 - Me presenting Doc McGhee with a t-shirt during the Q&A 05 - Doc McGhee signing my book (Michael Francis _ Star Man) 06 - Doc McGhee with my t-shirt (from kissonline)


Once we left the Q&A, I headed straight to the palladium for the last Bad City show of the weekend. This was absolutely fantastic. They had clearly adopted more fans since arriving on the ship and the band were determined to make the most of it. At one point, I was leaning on the front of the stage, singing my head off to their song ‘Showdown In Central Park’ when Alec Cyganowski hands me the microphone to take the lead vocals for a few seconds. At this point I was in my element and I hung around for a while after the show to congratulate the guys on a superb performance. After a few photos with the band, I left the palladium to meet up with Stu and Jackie for the ‘Vow Renewal’. It’s not what we were expecting but still good fun. All the couples stood up at once, taking the hand of their partner. First, the woman repeated some kind of KISS theme vows after the female host, then it was the men’s turn to do the same. Each couple then took it in turns to have their photo taken stood at the mock up alter. Stu seemed more pleased that he received a ‘KISS Kruise marriage certificate’.

We then had a bite to eat before meeting up with Karl for the ‘KISS ARMY Happy Hour’. As we walked in, they checked our KISS ARMY/NAVY passes and presented us with a ‘KISS Icons’ cd and a free drink coupon. Everyone then gathered together for a KISS ARMY group photo before Keith Leroux (kissonline) arrived and handed everyone a plectrum (KISS ARMY logo on one side, the new KISS NAVY emblem on the other). After this, most people attended the ‘KISS Lookalike Contest’ but our group had arranged to have a meal in one of the restaurants for the last night on the ship. After our food we went up to the top deck, but because time is getting on, it’s not long before there was just me and Stu left. We chatted with Darren (another friend from the UK) for a couple of hours before Stu left to get some sleep. As it was quiet up on the top deck, I decided to go down to the casino where most people seemed to have retreated for the night. I had couple of drinks with the guys from Bad City before spotting Chris and Susan (a lovely couple from Liverpool that I got speaking to at the ‘Hard Rock Cafe, Nassau’ the previous day). After spending the rest of the evening talking with Chris and a few Jack Daniels later, I decided it was time to go back to my cabin. It was 4am and I still needed to pack up my suitcases before we leave our rooms the following morning.

01 - Bad City 02 - Bad City 03 - Me & Alec Cyganowski
04 - Me & Rich Vallone (Bad City) 05 - Me & Rich Lombardo (Bad City) 06 - Me & Jake Serek (Bad City)
07 - Stu & Jackie take their KISS vows 08 - Stu & Jackie take their KISS vows
11 - Me & Graig Gass (Comedian) 12 - Me & Chris

 

09 - Me, Stu & Keith Leroux (kissonline) 10 - 'KISS Army happy hour'


MONDAY 17th OCTOBER
With a severe hang over and only 3 hours sleep, I managed to shower, pack and leave my cabin by 8:15am. After spending just over an hour on the top deck we decided to join the line to get off the ship. Disembarking was quite a lengthy process which was fine, as it gave people a chance to have one last chat with some of the people they had met over the five days. When we got to the taxi area, Stu and Jackie went off into Miami, their holiday continues into Orlando, Florida. Myself, Karl and Jasmine went straight to the airport for a six hour wait. After a couple of hours we went our separate ways as we we’re on different flights. I then went to so I go and change into something more comfortable for flying. It wasn’t until I get home the following afternoon that I realised I had flew from Miami to France, waited there for 4 hours before flying from France to Birmingham (England) with my jogging bottoms on back to front!!

01 - KISS Kruise merchandise 02 - KISS Kruise merchandise 03 - My 'signed' flag


Anyway... That was the KISS Kruise 2011, and that was MY STORY

SPECIAL THANKS:
Firstly I would like to thank Stu, Jackie, Karl and Jasmine. You guys were awesome. 
Carmela, Paul and Billy (Gene Simmons Axe Bus), Keith Leroux (kissonline), Alex (Sixthman). All the guys from Bad City, Skid Row, Monster rock Show and Brian Collins Band

A huge thanks to all the crew from KISS, McGhee Entertainment, Sixthman and Carnival for putting all of this together and making it possible.

I’d also like to thank others I met up with for making it so much fun... Paul and Tracy, Chris and Susan, Darran & Eileen, Andy, Jamie, Stephanie, Nicolas, Stig, Johan and friends (and anyone else I’ve failed to mention)

And finally I’d like to thank Paul Finn (kissinuk.com) for putting yet another review/diary of mine on his website, Nick Smith for painting my Doc McGhee t-shirt (and other shirts in the past) and my girlfriend for letting me once again go off and do what I love doing

01 - Stu, Jasmine, Karl, Jackie & Me 02 - Tracy & Paul 03 - Karen, Kevin & Me
04 - Chris & Susan 05 - Darran & Eileen 06 - Billy & Me
07 - Me & Paul 08 - Me & Carmela 09 - Me & Craig Gass
10 - Me & Alex 11 - Me & KISS Army Vixens 12 - Me & Ron
13 - Johan & friends 14 - Me & Niclas 15 - Me & Stig
16 - Me & new friends 17 - Me & new friends 18 - Me & new friends


Other Links:
Norway KISS Expo & Eric Singer Project 2009... http://www.kissinuk.com/kisscr46.htm 
New York KISS Trip 2009... http://www.kissinuk.com/kisscr49.htm 
Sonic Boom Over Europe 2010 report/diary... http://www.kissinuk.com/kisscr52.htm 
My Facebook Albums... http://www.facebook.com/#!/media/albums/?id=1424269728

Big THANK YOU to Dan for another excellent report! - PF