Barge to Hell 2012
Review and photos by Monika Deviat
Barge to Hell: An Introduction
On December 3, 2012 the Barge to Hell, “The World’s Most Extreme Metal Cruise”, sailed from Miami, Florida on a four day round trip to Nassau, Bahamas carrying forty bands and approximately 1225 metal fans representing 44 countries. The Royal Caribbean’s Majesty of the Seas hosted hordes of metalheads for the last two metal cruises put on by Ultimate Music Cruises (UMC) under the name 70000 Tons of Metal (70K), and seemed pleased to have this unconventional group for another round. Barge to Hell had a lineup that consisted mostly of death, black and thrash bands. This seemed to attract a lot of new people to the cruise that may not have been interested in all the variety of 70K.
Each of the forty bands played two sets during the four day cruise. Sets started as early as 10 a.m. some days and ended as late (early?) as 5 a.m. A stage was built on the pool deck and there were stages in a theater and a small club inside the ship. One of the lounges hosted heavy metal karaoke which was always entertaining in the late hours of the night. Everywhere you went in the ship, including the gym, metal music was playing.
The Barge was definitely a unique experience. Your cabin is easily accessible since it is only a short walk away from any point in the ship. A buffet area held breakfast, lunch and dinner throughout the day along with a main dining room and a pizza parlour that was open all hours. You could watch bands play from the usual spots in front of the stage, from hot tubs or the pool or just lounging out in the sunshine somewhere up around the pool deck. And of course, the musicians are right out there with you, watching the other bands, hanging out on the pool deck and drinking tropical fruity beverages.
The following review/blog outlines my experience of my days aboard the Barge and a bit about my pre and post cruise experience. I traveled alone on the Barge and have to say if you have reservations about going by yourself, there is no need for them (as long as you use common sense). I had the most amazing time on the Barge and met so many cool and friendly people. It sounds like there might be a second Barge to Hell (according to one of the press conferences not until 2014) and I would recommend this event to everyone. If the music on 70K is your thing, go. This is not just a concert where you are paying to see a couple of bands; you are on a cruise ship enjoying all the perks along with your metal. If I had the time I would be on the cruise in January 2013.