“The dirty dozen.” That’s the self-coined nickname for the twelfth year of the Monsters of Rock Cruise, a five-night-long sail that brings all the best parts of a hard rock and heavy metal music festival out to sea. We’re talking multiple stages, crowded bars, late-night stumbling from cabin to cabin. Royal Caribbean’s Independence of the Seas might not immediately bring to mind screeching guitars and face tattoos. But this cocktail of Disney-esque kitsch and angry metal seems to somehow work.
The ship leaves from Miami, spends two full days at sea and two full days docked, stopping in Ocho Rios, Jamaica and Nassau, Bahamas. Musicians including rock guitarist Joe Satriani, long-haired former lead Kiss guitarist Ace Frehley, ’80s throwbacks Winger and Quiet Riot — basically any popular group of aging shaggy-haired screamers — will all perform multiple sets, even while the boat is docked. Once the schedule is released a few days before sailing, you can choose from a menu of campy, rock-themed activities: the musicians will try their hand at cheffing up some food to throw into the crowd at Cooking with Rock Stars, and you can challenge them head-to-head at the Rockers vs. Average Joe’s “sporting event” (sport still TBD). When the boat docks, the cruise goes full vacation mode with Atlantis rides and Dolphin Encounter Tours. You can also skip the expensive add-ons and explore the food stalls and beaches in Ocho Rios, Jamaica. The cruise is not a kid-friendly event: picture a boozy five-night-long sleepover in the middle of the ocean with rockers sitting across from you in the main dining room.
The bill’s gonna add up. Main dining room meals are included, as are most performances, but everything else will set you back extra. Those extras are onshore activities like jet skiing and coral tours; non-dining room meals when you’re craving a change of pace; drinks at one of the onboard bars. You can’t bring your own snacks or bevvies aboard, so you’re relying on Royal Caribbean pricing for get-rocked levels of liquor.
- Royal Caribbean’s Independence of the Seas ship can hold 4,375 passengers.
- Available cabins range from $1899 to $2749 per person, even in a double-, triple-, or quadruple-occupancy room. There’s an additional $325 merchant fee per person. The cabin price includes GA admission to musical events and access to most of the ship’s amenities.
- Bored onshore? Check out Fifty Grande’s guide to Miami here.
What is the closest airport to the Monsters of Rock Cruise?
The ship sails from the Port of Miami. Plan to fly into Miami International Airport, about eight miles away.
Is the festival child-friendly?
No. Typical onboard childcare services will not run during this cruise.
Are there vegetarian options onboard?
To ensure the ship is properly stocked, you must notify the ship of dietary restrictions at least 90 days before setting sail.
Which artists are on the Monsters of Rock Cruise lineup?
Joe Satriani, Extreme, The Darkness, Winger, Ace Frehley, KK’s Priest, Accept, Queensrÿche, Quiet Riot, Y&T, Glenn Hughes, April Wine, TNT, Crazy Lixx, Slaughter, British Lion, Firehouse, Vixen, H.E.A.T., Armored Saint, Richie Kotzen, Faster Pussycat, Soto, Dangerous Toys, Lizzy Borden, Enuff Z’Nuff, Spread Eagle, Black ’n Blue, Joel Hoekstra, Pat Travers, Crashdïet, Bang Tango, Tuff, Heavens Edge, Treat, Paradise Kitty, Kaleido