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  • Writer's pictureKai


Tomorrow is the day many metal heads await with impatience: at 9:00 AM PDT (aka Bangover Time) on September 5th 2018, 3,000 metal fans will get first dibs on booking a dream Caribbean vacation on board Royal Caribbean’s newly-upgraded Independence of the Seas to take part in 70,000 Tons of Metal, 2019 edition.

Cruisers can enjoy watching their favourite bands from the pool deck hot tub right on the pool deck.

For the non-initiated, the metal festival on board a 15-deck luxury cruise ship features 60 bands, an exotic location (Labadee, Haiti, this time around), and an obscene amount of activities for those who just like to kick it and relax. Not sure if it’s your thing? I’ve compiled a list of my 10 favourite things about the cruise that will make you hit that Book Now button faster than Alexi Laiho can execute a face-melting guitar solo. 10- CIVILIZED CROWDS Though one would think that 3,000 metal fans on vacation who spend 4 days drinking Fosters by the barrel would be rowdy, the crowds on 70,000 Tons of Metal are suspiciously tamed and respectful, which makes for a great atmosphere that is safe for all passengers. 9- NO VIP SECTION Unless your musical hero spends their downtime in their cabin, chances are you’ll reach out for the salad tongs at the buffet at the same time as a person you deeply admire. With a total lack of VIP sections and exclusive catering, everybody’s equal. Most musicians choose to mingle and use the cruise as a nice vacation, invading bars and hot tubs like the rest of us. Prepare to be star struck! 8- CLINICS Metal is one of the most diverse music genres around, which leaves a lot of room for unusual instruments and mesmerizing talents to break through. 70,000 Tons of Metal understands this and sets up clinics where musicians display their talents, talk about their instruments, their world views, or other topics in front of small crowds. These intimate displays allow passengers to experience another side of music. 7- KARAOKE Whether you’re there to catch Fabio Lione charm all of us with his vocal mastery or to subject yourself to a passenger slaughtering Eminem’s Lose Yourself in the worst way, the nightly karaoke event is the meeting place of the restless. Drink some courage and try a song of your own, if you dare! 6- PORT DAY Sleeping, swimming, hot tubing, frying on the beach, or taking part in an artist-led excursion, the options for spending your downtime are nearly endless. Regardless of the activity you choose to do while docked, the 10-hour show moratorium is the perfect time to recharge your batteries to continue living life hard at sea.

View from our balcony — Cockburn Town, Grand Turk, Turks & Caicos — 70,000 Tons of Metal 2018

Our port of call in 2018 was beautiful Cockburn Town on Grand Turk, Turks & Caicos.

5- THE UNEXPECTED Every year, there’s at least one band that gets announced over which I lose my marbles because I never thought I would see them live. For the fans of those bands who rarely leave their own continent (Dalriada, Cruachan, and Moonsorrow, to name a few), 70,000 Tons of Metal is the perfect place to cross some names off the musical bucket list. 4- LUXURY AMENITIES When you’re sweating your (sometimes metaphorical) balls off in the hot Caribbean sun and sleeping in 30 minutes increments, comfort is a must. With showers that aren’t Baltic sea cold, beds that are definitely more comfortable than a rock in the middle of a field, room service, and pizza pretty much whenever you want it, smelling bad, breaking your back sleeping on hard surfaces, and going hungry are choices and not at all a mandatory part of the 70,000 Tons experience. 3- SIDE STAGE HOT TUBS Purists will tell you that there is no better way to experience a show than in the front row, right up against the barrier. Those poor misguided souls have never boiled themselves in a giant hot tub with 10 other frenzied fans on the side of the stage while their favourite band plays a few feet away. THAT is the real deal. 2- FREE ICE CREAM Located on the pool deck (11th deck), the sweet, cold, soft-served salvation is the perfect way to get a sugar high and cool down in between sets in the blistering sun. Sometimes unmanned, sometimes guarded by a Royal Caribbean employee tasked with preventing us from feasting like gremlins, the machine of complimentary ice cream is my best friend on board. 1- SUNRISES ON THE HIGH SEAS Hands down my favourite part of the cruise is looking at the world’s splendors from a view point I don’t often get. I always make a point of staying up to watch the sun rising on the horizon after the last show of the night to weep at the beauty in front of me before shoving muesli in my face and sleeping for 7 and a half minutes. Sunrises on board are the true headliners.

Sunrise from our balcony on 70,000 Tons of Metal 2018

Want to join us next year? Visit the official 70,000 Tons of Metal forum to find yourself a Gold Survivor cabinmate and get first dibs on tickets tomorrow, or wait for public sales in late September.


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