Reggae Lovers Worldwide attend the Welcome to Jamrock Reggae Cruise 2014
Miami, Florida…The inaugural debut of The Welcome To Jamrock Reggae Cruise (WTJRC) set sail aboard the Norwegian Pearl on Monday October 20, 2014 filled to the brim with Reggae music lovers representing 42 countries from as far as New Zealand, Australia, Hawaii, Japan, South America, Europe, various Caribbean islands and of course the USA. Setting a record as one of the fastest ticket sales of cruise ship passage the much anticipated event that SOLD OUT in within weeks of its announcement was the brainchild of Damian ‘Jr. Gong’ Marley who produced the event and co-hosted it with his brothers Julian ‘JuJu Royal’ Marley and Stephen ‘Ragga’ Marley. The 5-day excursion bound for Jamaica W.I. from Miami, Florida stopped in two of the island's breathtaking destinations, Montego Bay and Ocho Rios. As we sailed the high seas, Reggae music featured prominently from morning to sunrise with very short breaks in-between; people could be found rocking and jamming, smiling and vibing at any given time of the day or night on several decks which hosted a multitude of specialty nightclub type venues. Everyone we encountered, passengers, artists and crew members shared friendly exchanges and many new friendships were forged crowning this trip the ultimate “One Love Boat!”
(Click on image thumbnails below to display larger)
Black Am I, Julian and Damian Marley kicked off the first evening concert series with earth shaking performances that set the tone and pulse for performances to come.
It was no surprise though that Wailing Souls, Tarrus Riley, and Shaggy alongside Rayvon brought their A game performances on Day 2. Shaggy celebrated a birthday during the cruise and received a special surprise as the fabulous radio show host Diva Nikki Z of WZMX Hot97 greeted him with a birthday cake as the thunderous crowd of attendees sang happy birthday.
Day 3 docked in Montego Bay leaving us to explore colorful island shops, local restaurants with enough time for a visit to the pristine beaches; reboarding the ship towards evening the cruise picked up Jamaican songbird, Etana “The StrongOne,” singjay Busy Signal, dancehall deejay Bounty Killer and Reggae crooner Jah Cure whose set was simply spectacular leaving the frenzied crowd begging for more even after a generous encore.
Day 4 docked in Ocho Rios offering yet another well organized fun filled day gathering with fantastic Reggae music at the Margaritaville Bar & Grill followed by more time for exploring the island; after returning to the ship the scheduled show gave us more blazing performances this time by dancehall artists Wayne Marshall, Cham (formerly Baby Cham) and Sean Paul.
The final show on Day 5 was marred by some rain but proceeded with stellar performances by Christopher Ellis, Jo Mersa, Morgan Heritage and a brief set by Stephen Marley that brought out the huge crowd before the show was suddenly aborted from the top deck main stage and moved inside ship because of the weather. Nonetheless, the performances and party vibes continued undaunted as every artist on board took to the stage free-styling until the wee hours of the morning. The free style nature of their performances created a great deal of excitement and was absolutely priceless!
In-between the high powered lineup of artists, music was spun each night at the various nightclubs by popular sound systems and DJ's like David Rodigan, Stone Love, Bobby Kondors and Jabba, Diva Nikki Z, Renaissance Disco, Liquid, DJ Norie, Notorious VOG & JKool, Mighty Crown, Kingston 12 Shinehead & Papaloti keeping party goers up all night. This was a sleepless cruise because nobody wanted to miss a single moment! The hard to get next to Marley clan, participating artists and musicians could be spotted nightly at the various nightclubs mingling with the crowd and taking one-on-one pictures alongside their fans.
The WTJRC can rightfully be hailed an unforgettable experience as evidenced by the fact that applications with deposits for rebooking from this trip’s attendance roster reportedly ran at 95% for the year 2015 “despite” the fact that the dates nor concert lineups have not yet been determined. As reports further go, there is an active waiting list into the thousands and if those numbers are completely accurate then one thing is certain, the Marley’s will have to secure a much larger vessel in 2015 to accommodate everyone interested in booking passage. Yeahman, the WTJRC was that good!!!
Press Play to view the WTJRC slideshow of images
Grace Vanriel is the founder & CEO of Live Reggae NYC; Co-founder & Strategic Marketing Executive for The Reggaeholics Movement; a Senior Correspondent for ReggaeReflection.com & TheReggaeVibe.com; Contributing Writer for WhereItzAtMagazine and the Caribbean Correspondent for CitiLyfe Magazine.
Marjorie Flash is the founder & CEO of MyFlash Photography traveling the world as a photo-journalist capturing hard to get photos and providing cutting-edge entertainment coverage; she is a contributing writer and staff photographer for WhereItzAtMagazine, the official photographer for the Reggaeholics Movement, contributing photographer for ReggaeReflection.com and CitiLyfe Magazine.
Empress K is the Founder, Editor, and Primary Photo-Journalist of www.reggaereflection.com. Reggae Reflection has gained international recognition providing quality coverage of premier reggae events in Jamaica, Canada, Trinidad and Tobago, Aruba, Barbados, Guyana, and Nigeria as well as numerous completed photography assignments for notable Reggae Events in the New England area, NY, Alabama, and Florida region. Festival coverage has included Groovin In the Park, Six Flags NJ Caribbean Concert Series, IRAWMA, HangOut Festival Alabama, 9Mile Festival Miami, Rebel Salute, Sunfest FL, Reggae in the Hills and more.
Follow Empress K on Twitter, Instagram & Youtube @1EmpressK & ReggaeReflection on Facebook
A Reflection in Time
Check our Calendar for upcoming events in your area
Follow @1empressk on Twitter