Explore

Inside Festival At Sea 2019: The Black-Owned Cruise Experience You Need

By DeAnna Taylor

Share

When you mix nearly 3000 Black people, celebrity entertainment, and culturally relevant programs all while sailing on the crystal blue waters of the Caribbean, you get the experience of a lifetime.

Travel Noire had the opportunity to be apart of the first Black-owned cruise. Now in its 28th year, Festival at Sea was definitely the move.

The week started off with cruisers boarding the Celebrity Equinox ship for a week of ‘Cruising with an African American twist.’ Many attendees come on the cruise almost every year, so they knew exactly what to expect.

Photo courtesy of Festival at Sea

This year Festival at Sea was headed to St. Thomas, Tortola, Punta Cana, and Key West.

At any given moment, you would hear music playing around the ship. Whether you were on an elevator headed to eat at the buffet, line-dancing on the pool deck, or even in the casino there was always hip hop, R&B, and jazz playing through the speakers.

Related: Meet The Black Man Behind The Northwest’s Only Hip-Hop Winery

The week was filled with programs and shows that only we can appreciate. The first night, we were welcomed with a silent disco party in the grand foyer of the ship. Three DJs, from across the country, dropped our favorite hits at the same damn time, while partygoers listened through headphones. We were able to change the channel to listen to whichever DJ was playing our favorite song at the time.

Photo courtesy of Festival at Sea

A big highlight for this annual event is their UNCF bachelor auction. Festival organizers select the finest bachelors that are onboard (and single) and ask them to enter the show. This year, one bachelor went for a record $6,500. Yea, he was fine fine. The fundraising goal was $20,000 and Festival at Sea raised well over that target. The money raised goes to help minority students receive scholarships for college through the United Negro College Fund.

Photo courtesy of Festival at Sea

That Tuesday night, we all dressed to impress for a white party on the pool deck. Special guest DJ Coco Chanelle along with DJ Taz, Mind Motion, DJ H Holla, and Tay Rock kept us rocking well into the early morning. It was so dope to see that much melanin dressed in white, united through our common bond of music.

Photo courtesy of Festival at Sea

The next night brought one of the most culturally appealing nights of the week, African attire night. Seeing us dressed in various forms of traditional garb was truly like stepping into Wakanda for a night. Fashion Show Coordinator, Marilyn Walker, hosted her annual Fashion show where guests modeled her custom African garments sold in her shop onboard. Then, DJ Level & DJ Taela took us into the night with the sounds of Afro Beats in the Grand Foyer.

Photo courtesy of Festival at Sea

On Thursday, Festival at Sea hosted their annual theme night celebration. Each year guests decide on a costume theme and this year it was “Under the Big Top”. At night the entire deck was transformed into a carnival complete with games, small bites and people dressed in circus costumes.

We ended the week with a DJ battle showdown that had everyone on their feet.

Photo courtesy of Festival at Sea

The Festival at Sea entertainment included King of Comedy Star, Cedric the Entertainment, legendary group Salt-N-Pepa, and R&B soul singer Raheem DeVaughn. While all of the shows were amazing, the best part was that they all actually walked around the boat and interacted with guests.

It was truly like one big family reunion. There were spades games happening all day and night, a Greek step show, swag surfing in the pool, and I haven’t even begun to talk about the food. Just know we ate well all week!

The dates and ports for next year’s sailing were just announced. Festival at Sea will hit Aruba, Curacao, Labadee, Haiti, and La Romana, Dominican Republic on board the Celebrity Equinox from July 18-26.

Photo courtesy of Festival at Sea

You want to hop on reserving your spot sooner than later because this event sells out every year.

They will be making a sales announcement next week. Be the first to get the 411 on Festival at Sea by clicking here.

To learn more about Festival at Sea and to see highlights from this year’s sailing follow their Facebook and Instagram or head to their website www.festivalatsea.com.

CLICK HERE TO JOIN THE FESTIVAL AT SEA MAILING LIST.

Share
Travel Noire

DeAnna Taylor

DeAnna Taylor is a criminal defense Attorney turned travel blogger, author, and writer. While Charlotte, NC (her hometown) is her base, she's always somewhere on a plane. Catch her on IG: @brokeandabroadlife.

Want more?

Get exclusive, unpublished tips from Travel Noire's CEO to help you get off the beaten path, into the hearts of locals and onto a better, more cultured life.

A Black Sci-Fi Convention Is Headed To Philly This Summer

A Black Sci-Fi Convention Is Headed To Philly This Summer

Cosplay fans unite! After 20-years in the making, a Black Sci-Fi convention is making its way to Philly this summer and it’s said to be the first of its kind. “This convention has been a dream of mine for more than 20 years so I am ecstatic that we are now in a place as […]

DeAnna Taylor

Da Baby, Ari Lennox, Burna Boy And More Will Headline Broccoli City Festival In May

Da Baby, Ari Lennox, Burna Boy And More Will Headline Broccoli City Festival In May

Now in its eighth year, Black-owned Broccoli City Festival will make its way back to Washington, D.C. on May 8-9 at the newly renovated RFK Campus. This year’s fully-loaded lineup features DaBaby, Roddy Rich,​ ​Megan Thee Stallion,​ B​urna Boy,​ A​ri Lennox​, ​Doja Cat​, ​Lucky Daye,​ ​IDK,​ and ​Soulection,​ just to name a few. “As a […]

DeAnna Taylor

How A Black Woman Built Her Own Residential & Corporate Community From Scratch

How A Black Woman Built Her Own Residential & Corporate Community From Scratch

As the old adage goes, “ain’t nothing to it but to do it.” While it can be easier said than done, Arkansas native Pam Brown Courtney made it happen. After checking out a neighborhood in her hometown of Little Rock, that she was interested in, she realized that the members of the community weren’t necessarily […]

DeAnna Taylor