After four days at sea, Parahoy!'s maiden voyage finally came to a close Monday (March 10). It actually felt more like a Sunday, with party-worn guests finally realizing they'd be waking up early and heading back to their ordinary lives the next day. Still, it was a whole 'nother day at sea, with plenty of time for a few more drinks or cones of the cafeteria's now famous soft serve ice cream.
And there was more music, too. By now, all of the artists had played at least once, so cruisers got to choose between a repeat performance with a favorite or a new sonic adventure.
Paramore weren't performing, but there was still a buzz onboard for their midday Q&A session. Waiting for Tegan & Sara to begin their poolside set, I overheard a dad begging a cruise staffer to let his daughter get a question in: "She's a straight-A student and she listens to them all the time!"
Tegan & Sara brought a new wrinkle to their third live performance, with an all-acoustic guitar set up, backed by drums, bass, and the occasional keyboard. It wasn't exactly stripped-down, but it was a harbinger back to their earlier albums, where coffee shop singsongs were their calling card.
Speaking of Tegan & Sara flashbacks, the duo were later on hand for a nighttime screening of their new documentary "Get Along," which chronicles their sisterly dynamic on tour in North America, and later on, in India. Pajama night was the cruise-wide theme, so fans sprawled out in the screening lounge, looking like a bunch of kids getting in one last movie before going to bed early on a school night. After all, the Norwegian Pearl would begin unloading at 7:30 a.m. the next morning.
The Quin twins also found time to make some trips to the Norwegian Pearl's casino. In an interview with Billboard on Monday afternoon, Tegan talked about her go-to games:
"I have a basic understanding of blackjack and roulette, so I go back and forth between those two tables and every once in a while, I'll pop over to the slot machines to try that. So my most successful night was when I was actually winning money on the slots. I won, like, $100. I was actually doing okay at roulette, and then I did blackjack last night and lost all my money again. So tonight I think I'm gonna give myself a $100 limit and try to win it back."
I also made it to New Found Glory's 1 p.m. set, assuring I'd caught all three of their maritime performances. In the midday heat, there was a little less energy for pop-punk fist-pumping (as great a set opener as "All Downhill From Here" is, it'll lose a little after three run-throughs in four days) though the guys knew to keep the good vibes going for repeat viewers such as myself. Guitarist Chad Gilbert went hard on posi-vibes and waxed about how music could bring world leaders together, just as it had united the international guests on the ship. Frontman Jordan Pundik answered with his best Obama impression: "Listen America, we've come to the conclusion that the new Paramore record is the best record."
A third run-though of their cover of the Goo Goo Dolls' "Irls"? A bit much, but fortunately, I don't think I could ever get tired of watching them play the oldest song in their set, "Hit Or Miss."
So there you have it -- four days spent at sea with pop-punk kids who are great at talking about feelings and maybe not so good at staying out in the sun all day. But they all made Parahoy! a feel-good success story, which I'm left hoping will set sail once more. And for the ship's crew members who were just recovering from the Kid Rock Cruise five days prior, I'm sure their tamer ways were appreciated.