Beach party at Riptide Bar at around 6 pm

Metalheads invade the beach!

This is next to Riptide. “Seawinds” is an Accept song that was also covered nicely by 70K performers Therion

It's not a REAL party until the cops show up. Hollywood Police!

A squadron of cruisers was there....

The cops told us they weren't expecting any trouble, but that Hollywood Beach is normally a “quiet” beach. Over 800 metalheads on Facebook said they'd be attending it...woah!

70,000 Tons of Metal 2015 sun-screen. What's next, 70K panties and thongs? --Oh, wait.

I kinda wish I'd snared a few more of these, too.

We are parked next to a truly grand lady, Cunard's Queen Elizabeth. Not a cruise ship, this one, but a true ocean liner of the old school.

Early view of the Promenade inside the ship (Deck 5)

Promenade view looking the other way.

The “Rainbow Bridge” on the Promenade level near Guest Relations. Naturally I kept singing Ayreon song lyrics from Into the Electric Castle whenever I crossed it. :)

Ship's masthead from the front. That thing wrapped in blue might be a spotlight or something....

Our stately neighbor to the west.

QE is one of only three liners in Cunard's fleet

Looking south at the freight piers of Port Everglades

Stage construction is underway. Pool in foreground has been drained and is getting decked over; I think one of the two hot-tubs in the background was kept in service during shows.

Solarium pool area (open during entire voyage)

Caribbean Princess docked to our northwest

Queen Elizabeth's prow. She was on a world cruise, bound for the Panama Canal, the Pacific, the Suez Canal, the Med and back to her homeport of Southampton UK, and will not be back in Ft. Lauderdale in less than a year (!)

Ship's masthead and signal halliards. During shows on the pool deck, this angled section reflected the sound perfectly down into the Solarium sounded really nifty!

Solarium pool area. That's a divider under the bridge between two pools, with underwater stools to sit on, which made me wonder...shouldn't there be a bartender or something there?

Crane is still loading stage-gear for building the world's largest stage at sea (tm). This is a ticklish operation, as an error of ten feet either way would damage the ship's superstructure.

The flow-rider has just been started up!

Flow-rider personnel demonstrating how “easy” it is....

See? Easy! (I never had the chance to come back again and try since the 70K schedule was so brutal)

That's ugly ol' me.

Finally making some bluewater sailing...taken from the back of the Windjammer buffet

Where are we going? “Out there. Thataway!”

Crappy photo during Therion's set using my underwater camera, which was very good at taking crappy concert photos. I should have stuck with my LG G3's camera

Therion takes a well-deserved bow at the end of their set

Setlist from Therion's first set (in the Platinum Theater). I think they had to drop “Flesh of the Gods” due to time constraints :(

Melechesh on the Studio B stage...arguably the best venue on the cruise. It was kinda like performing in a small ice hockey arena...which is exactly what Studio B/Center Ice is.

A rare 'decent' shot from the underwater camera

I shall name this thing Clifford the Big Red Crowdsurfing Dog.

and I have NO idea where it came from. Perhaps it's best not to ask. :)

Christian Vidal of Therion and me. As usual, my eyes are closed during the flash.

Christofer Johnsson of Therion, taken during their signing session and before our 3-hour chat/lunch/etc.

Group shot with Therion. I think Christofer is out of frame to the right, but there was a window there anyway which ruined the re-take

Christofer Johnsson enjoying a cupcake from the Cupcake Cupboard. We were joined moments later by “Orion” from Behemoth, which is even more odd. (Full-sized cupcakes are $2.75 and sinfully good.)

I think this is Einherjer

Me and (I think) Robse from Equilibrium

The non-flash version of this would have sufficed, methinks

Quick shot down the table at Equilibrium...but not quick enough, as Jen whipped her head around to look at the camera :)

Melechesh (and Monstrosity, background) autographing session

First towel animal of the cruise!

Night has descended on the pool-deck stage, which is finally up and running in time for Ensiferum

Ensiferum opted to have their name shown on the screen behind the stage -- I noticed that Behemoth did not.

Twilight Tavern!

The rounded aft end of Liberty of the Seas. I'm thinking an aft balcony stateroom on this ship isn't quite as nice as it might sound....

Lifeboat drill

More lifeboats during the drill

Little yellow ducklings and big momma!

Bob Marley statue at Ocho Rios. This is just past Margaritaville.

Had to get a pic of this because...what the heck is a “Levin”? (Answer: a model of Toyota Corolla not made since the year 2000.) Taken at Ocho Rios.

Wider view of Bob Marley statue in its grassy field. An unusual shot, as there's no-one else there at the time!

Me and my cruise-buddy Raf

Take Two. (I have no idea why.)

It's cool how Bob M. is portrayed as if growing out of the ground...

Line of metalheads returning to the ship -- curiously, not as black-clothed as you'd expect, in this shot anyway....

Looking along the length of our pretty ship. 154,000 Tons of Metal :)

A little impromptu advertising from Melechesh....

Ironically, I was wearing this same t-shirt at that moment.

This line looks daunting, but moved along pretty well.

Great band, too. They were a bit dark for Israel, so they moved to Netherlands.

Daytme shot of pool-deck stage from the back. (I think this is during Michael Schenker's set)

Hanging monkey towel animal!

They have classes on how to make towel animals on Carnival cruises...I should attend one someday (they're free)

In six cruises across two cruise lines, this is only the second hanging monkey I've ever had.

Amorphis on the Platinum Theater stage

Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream, showing the B&J “Sweet” above it. The room facing the two cows' asses has unique decorations and its ocupants get free Ben and Jerry's during the cruise, because of their...unusual...obstructed view :)

Looking down the Promenade, busier now than on embark day

Korpiklaani on the pool-deck stage

Where else can you watch a metal show from a hot-tub? Nowhere!

While there were a few problems with the unusual geometry of the viewing area, this was still a remarkable venue for metal performances

Side view of the stage, with another hot-tub out of view to the right. I'm kinda wondering what happens to that big wall-sized banner after the cruise, too, since it's year-specific.

Cantilevered hot-tub over the side of the ship. This was basically awesome, and you could hear pool-deck performances pretty easily there, too.

Solarium pool area. This is the adults-only retreat during normal cruises. For this cruise there were perhaps 4 or 6 younger kids on the entire ship.

Christian Vidal of Therion during their second performance, on the pool-deck stage


Christofer Johnsson

Therion (Lori Lewis and Isa Garcia...I think)

Christian Vidal and Thomas Vikstrom


Therion (during first three songs, since the photogs are still snapping away)

Christofer and Thomas

Christian and Christofer, playing a double-neck-- oh, wait, not really.

Christian and Christofer

Had to get a shot of the big-screen. (I think the pool-deck screen on Carnival ships might be slightly larger.)

Good-sized crowd watching Therion (and getting a faceful of yellow light at that moment)


I think this is during “Son of the Staves Of Time”

Christofer and Thomas

This is at the end of “To Mega Therion,” as Christofer is singing the chorus -- the only time he sings at shows now.

Compressed-air jets at the end of the show. The stage was so windy, it was whipped away in seconds!

About to take a bow....

Therion takes another well-deserved bow. Great show!

Second show's setlist (no, I didn't get a copy of either one)

Me and Christofer after the show and before another two-hour “hangout”

This artwork was in the hallway right outside Therion's rooms on Deck 7. It's almost as if Royal Caribbean knew they were coming.....

Venom performing on the last night in the Platinum Theater

Another shot of Venom

and one final shot of Venom...