Since 2011, a dreamed trip has been made annually, the «70000 Tons of Metal» cruise, which brings together 60 bands in 4 days, where each passenger has unlimited access to more than 120 shows, meet & greets, and to meet metalheads from all the world. After a 3-year hiatus due to the pandemic, the cruiser has returned with more power and resistance.
All begins the day before boarding at the beach party, this year was held at the Clevelander Hotel, located in the heart of South Beach, During these dates becomes the official headquarters of the pre-cruise, where hundreds of metalheads They meet to meet or meet again, in front of the hotel, the Beach Party is held, organized by fans, which grows more and more each year and is cataloged as the largest metal beach party in the world. Official media take the classic group photo that shows thousands of people eager to have the experience of their lives. Many flags of many countries are present in a quiet environment that serves to continue meeting people, drink and enjoy the beautiful beaches of Miami. This event became a classic and is almost mandatory stop for all cruise participants.
Day 1 – January 30, 2023
The meeting point is in Port of Miami, in Florida, when you reach the vicinity of the port you can see the immensity of Freedom of the Seas, the huge ship that will be home to 3000 metalheads for the next 4 days. After the check-in process, we finally arrive at the ship and the crossing begins. The boat will set sail at 5 o’clock in the afternoon, which is when the shows begin, so there is a considerable time to get familiar with the cruise, have lunch and settle in the room. The Windjammer Café is one of the free restaurants on the ship, and offers an interesting variety of buffet meals, one goes and serves what you want and sits down to eat, simple as that. It is located on deck 11 and with a beautiful view of the sea, One of the great attractions of the ship is to cross with the musicians of the invited bands, they roam all over the ship without any restrictions. There is no backstage, the experience is intimate.
After 5 o’clock in the afternoon, the music begins. In the Ice Rink, the band chosen to start the experience is none other than Iron Savior, and from the first moment they leave to leave everything on the field, as they have us used to. A blunt set of 45 minutes, where Piet Sielk shouts and the Ice Rink vibrates. It is an ice skating rink, with a large section of stalls for those who choose to watch the show sitting, A few minutes in the Royal Theater, a huge theater with great capacity, excellent sound, super comfortable seats and a section of seats with impeccable visibility, the band chosen to inaugurate the same is Amberian Dawn, under the command of Capri Virkkunen in vocals, who provides a great performance and shows humility and good vibes with people. Next came The Crown turn to boil the Ice Rink. The thrashers delivered violence in a well balanced and hard set. The pogo felt and the circle pits began to take center stage. After a brief break, at 7:30, at the Royal Theater; one of the cruise’s most memorable shows, Evergrey A super emotive show full of that density that only prog lovers can understand. After in the Ice Rink, Cynic. another progressive band. They did not disappoint with a set in which they chose to go through classics, with a spectacular closing. The night was incredible, but it still was not over.
In the Royal Theater; another of the most anticipated shows. The incredible meeting of Kamelot It was presented with its most emblematic training, and from the start they were a machine. An untouchable Tommy Karevik, a very plucked Thomas Youngblood that runs from one place to another being a nightmare for photographers, and a forceful base consisting of Sean Tibbets on bass, Oliver Palotai on keyboard and Alex Landenburg on drums. A set full of classics and a memorable show, on the same stage, another must-see: Kreator. The giant Teuton was presented to the full room with exclusive set, based in the 85-90 era. Mille Petrozza is a frontman like few others and his effervescence manages to enardecer the public, which poguea and crowd-surf like crazy, with an hour and a quarter set (longest duration for band show on the cruise), they delighted the most thrash fans.
Day 2 – January 31, 2023
Four stages in simultaneous with shows from 10 AM non-stop, added to that during that day the 60 bands offer their respective Meet & Greets (at the same time that the show of other bands happens!). The Pool Deck Stage is always enabled on Day 2 since the first day is armed from scratch, and is the only open stage of the ship, located on the deck, where you will experience several of the most magical experiences of the entire cruise, outdoors, in a huge space and with a jacuzzi in the middle. Under the threatening sun of the Caribbean, Freedom Call would be in charge of opening the day in a Pool Deck with still few people. This allowed me to go around the vicinity inspecting better angles, watch the show up close, from a distance, even from the hot tub! Everything was possible. Elvenking give an energetic show.
At 4 o’clock in the afternoon, the Pool Deck exploded with people waiting for another of the most expected shows: Uli Jon Roth. The show was nice and fun! enjoying rock anthems in the middle of the Caribbean with the sun in full is a very rewarding experience.
Destruction with a full pool deck and with fans who could enjoy a lot of old and new classics, and a heartbreaking attitude. With a super charismatic frontman like Schirmer. A lesson in violence that is absolutely necessary. While in the Royal Theatre, and already with the sun hiding, Dark Tranquillity makes his appearance on stage with all its characteristic melancholy. Exponential for the imposing vocal presence of his frontman Mikael Stanne. In the Ice Rink, Keep Of Kalessin, gives us 45 minutes of exquisite Melodic Black Metal, where aggression and majesty go hand in hand. Korpiklaani aimed to tear down the Royal Theater. They begin the party with their folk metal
In the Pool Deck it is again present to house Dragonforce, the power metal is unstoppable. Charisma prolix executions, incredible guitar solos, The setlist of each night is at the choice of the bands, some will repeat part of their repertoire the following days, others will have exactly the same repertoire, but Dragonforce plays it and announces that the next show will have a completely different setlist. An uncontrolled Jacuzzi and a mass of euphoric people closes one of the best presentations of the entire cruise. After 11 pm, at the Royal Theater, another highly anticipated show: Nightwish. Perfect voice form Floor Hansen and amazing execution, Nightwish is a unique act in its kind and precursor of a whole genre. Midnight passes and Hypocrisy takes the Pool Deck and does not release it. Incredible performance endowed with supreme emotion, largely due to his detached frontman Peter Tägtgren, who is super happy and friendly to everyone. An example of perseverance, professionalism and authentic feeling of happiness for what one loves.
The day follows a small break on the beach, the adventure continues…