Cruise Archive · 2005 Review

Parrothead Cruise 2005
South of Margaritaville
By Pat Semrow
· ·

For the past five years my lovely lady Cathi and I have gone on the Atlanta Parrot Head Club’s infamous Parrothead Cruise, and each cruise has gotten more incredible than the last. This year 389 parrotheads from throughout the US and Canada boarded the gorgeous Carnival Pride for “Parrothead Cruise 2005 – South of Margaritaville”, which was a wonderful trip from Long Beach CA to the Mexican Riviera, and back.

The first port of call was Puerto Vallarta where shopping and “beach bumming” were the order of the morning. In the afternoon though, it was time for a change of pace, so we took a “Zip Line” canopy tour which was a high speed rush, at seventy feet above the forest floor.

While in Mazatlan the sightseeing was beautiful and informative, and the Parrothead Excursion to Stone Island was a day in “Parrotdise.” These stops, along with sightseeing in Cabo San Lucas were just some of the aspects that make a cruise a fantastic vacation, but what really made this cruise special was the music.

This year about three quarters of the Parrothead cruisers stayed at the beautiful Coast Long Beach Hotel for at least one night before the cruise, so of course that was the sight of our fabulous Bon Voyage Party the night before we set sail. The cruisers who stayed at the hotel along with the southern California Parrotheads who came for the party were treated to plenty of food, cervesa, and a great performance by the group Stars on The Water, who were joined for a while by Hugo Duarte.

On the ship we had the Parrothead Mariachi Band consisting of Hugo Duarte, Matt Hall, K.D Moore, Jeff Pike, and the incomparable Greg “Fingers” Taylor. The published plan was for them to do four individual concerts with the grand finale being all of them on stage at one time at Sammy Hagar’s Cabo Wabo Cantina. It didn’t happen that way. With this kind of talent in one place, each individual show ended up as a Parrothead Jam with three, four, or all five musicians performing.

When we got to the Cabo Wabo Cantina the excellent house band, Vitamin T, was putting on a fantastic classic rock show, but when the Parrothead Mariachis took the stage they completely turned the establishment into CaboWaboville. After the four earlier shows as “rehearsals,” the Mariachis put on show that had some people saying that they didn’t need to go to a Buffett concert this year because they already had their annual “Buffett fix.”

Some of our entertainers also put on a surprise “Singers and Songwriters” acoustic concert, and performed all night with veteran cruiser Ric Guerrero and others at the annual Sunrise Party and Musical Jam. With the quality of entertainment that we had this year, it’s no surprise that some of this year’s top cruise quotes came from the musicians. Matt Hall summed it up best when he said, “I sure am glad that I play Parrothead music. Who else gets to play a gig like this?”

Besides the phenomenal entertainment there were numerous other activities to keep the parrotheads occupied. There were parties, a silent auction, a live auction, a Chinese auction, a 50/50 raffle, a ship board horse race, pub crawls, and of course the always popular and extremely colorful Toga Party and Parade.

After our unbelievable week at sea was over and everyone sadly said adios and hasta la vista, we all came back to reality and our host Brent Jones counted up the money that we raised for charity. After all was said and done the most fulfilling part of Parrothead Cruise 2005 is knowing that we all had a part in raising the incredible sum of $30,457 for Breast Cancer Research.

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