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Happy 3-11 Day: Here's our 311 2013 Caribbean Cruise Review

Happy 3-11 Day: Here's our 311 2013 Caribbean Cruise Review
Jena Ardell

311 knows the secret to maintain a loyal fan base for over 20 years: tour nonstop; build a solid online community; then invite fans on a Caribbean vacation. It helps to have a band name consisting of numbers that can coincide with a month and day so your band has an excuse to host an annual (or bi-annual) event. If you haven't noticed, 3-11 Day (March 11th) is considered an international holiday among fans.

Last week marked the band's third, and most attended, destination cruise to date. Over 2,600 fans gathered aboard the Norwegian Pearl for a five-day sold-out cruise with 311 to the Caribbean. Fans representing 49 states and 10 countries flew in from as far as Japan to attend the festivities, which seemed like a reunion/homecoming to fans who consider themselves part of the 311 family. 

Happy 3-11 Day: Here's our 311 2013 Caribbean Cruise Review
Jena Ardell

311 kicked off the event with "Don't Stay Home," an appropriate and catchy alt-rock-reggae song, during a live performance as the ship was leaving the Port of Miami. This performance marked longtime fan Julie Gonzalez's 211th 311 show. 

"Maybe I'll stop after my 311th show," Gonzalez told us. "No, who am I kidding... I can't." 

311 performed three outdoor shows on the ship's deck this year. Their beach show was cancelled due to high winds. We were most stoked to hear "Full Ride", "I'll Be Here Awhile" and "Tribute". Rarity "Long For the Flowers" was another fan favorite, since it had not been performed live since 2005. To our surprise, neither "Amber" nor 311's cover of "Love Song" was performed during the cruise. (Maybe this request/petition on 311's online bulletin board had something to do with it). We were only glad "Amber" wasn't played because we would have been charged an arm and leg to amber our friends back home.

Amber (verb): A customary 'prank' 311 concert attendees do to someone who isn't a fan of 311's song "Amber" is to call them while that song is being performed live. 
Sentence: Oh man, I have like five voicemails now because I was being Ambered by all of you assholes at the same time.

 

Happy 3-11 Day: Here's our 311 2013 Caribbean Cruise Review
Jena Ardell
Fans also enjoyed live performances by a plethora of bands, including SoCal's own Rebelution, Less Than Jake, The Urge, Ballyhoo!, Badfish: a Tribute to Sublime, Bad Rabbits, The Aggrolites, Ghostwolf, Full Service, Krooked Treez, Exes of Evil, BeatSquad, J Randy, Trailer Park Ninjas and Hey Monea! Most bands performed two or three times on various stages. There were a lot of DJs aboard this vessel: DJ Kilmore from Incubus performed as well as DJ Soulman, DJ Trichrome, DJ ABD and DJ Marko DeSantis. 

The Norwegian Pearl was an upgrade from the Carnival Destiny cruise ship cruise coordinator Sixthman used in the past, or as comedian Doug Benson dubbed it: "the Shit Boat", referring to the unfortunate event that occurred two weeks prior, when Carnival cruisers who were stranded for days aboard the ill-fated Triumph were told to use their showers or plastic bags as toilets. Luckily, this cruise didn't catch fire and all of the toilets worked well. We're sure the bold ladies who were found urinating in sinks in the men's bathroom were only doing so because they were highly inebriated.  

 
Happy 3-11 Day: Here's our 311 2013 Caribbean Cruise Review
Jena Ardell
The female cruisers seemed to be more wild than the male cruisers this year. Three party animals had to be told to put their bikini tops back on numerous times, both on the ship and island.

We were both impressed and amused by Norwegian Cruise Line's dedication to cleanliness. Upon entering the 24-hour buffet, fans were greeted with a smile and were offered a spray of hand sanitizer by a chipper employee saying "Washy, washy; happy, happy!" (A catch phrase we will be saying for weeks). We haven't heard of hoards of people coming down with cruise coup, like years past, so it worked to our advantage.

In addition to music, there were several comedy shows featuring Tom Green, Doug Benson and Graham Elwood. Benson was voted by fans to return aboard 311's Caribbean cruise, while Green was a last-minute replacement for comedian Nick Swardson. Although preachy at times, Green's act was well-received and cunningly smart in presentation. The Canadian comedian sang pieces of songs he penned, like the "Bum Bum Song," and quoted lines from Freddy Got Fingered to prove that media and society fixates on mindless entertainment rather than real world issues, like government corruption and war.

During his down-time, Green roamed the ship's deck and took photos with fans whenever he was approached. He seemed pretty tanked when we met up with him and he sang us his version of the theme song to Gilligan's Island.


Each fan aboard the ship received a 311 Caribbean Cruise beach towel with a sexy mermaid on it, and was able to have their photo taken with 311, after shaking hands with each band member. 

"I watched you all get your photos taken with 311 for a little while today," Benson said during his comedy routine. "It looked like you were all interrupting a 311 photo shoot by sneaking in behind the band and photo-bombing them."

 

We couldn't help but smile every time we spotted bassist Aaron Will's dad, who wore a "Proud to be PNUT's dad" tee shirt throughout the trip. 

A variety of onboard activities and concerts kept cruisers happy despite the unseasonably cooler temperatures and choppy water, which caused the two-day island visit to be shortened to one afternoon. The sympathy barrels full of all-you-can-drink beer offered during the on-deck BBQ where DJ Kilmore performed didn't hurt either! We were bummed about missing out on island-time, but it gave us a chance to take advantage of the ship's hot tubs, casino, bowling alley and arcade. 

Sixthman and 311 arranged a basketball tournament against PNUT; a Name That Tune segment with front man Nick Hexum; a costume party/contest; belly flop contest; flip-cup tournament; Bloody Marys and BINGO; a singles mixer; 311 karaoke; and yoga with Full Service's Bonesaw. Hexum roamed the costume party incognito, disguised as a ninja. (We wonder if he was one of the three ninjas who were rambunctiously running down the aft stairs with glow swords).

Unfortunately, there will not be a 311 cruise in 2014; so those who missed out will have to live vicariously through fans who are rabidly posting their cruise photos on Facebook. Next time, don't stay home.

Happy 3-11 Day: Here's our 311 2013 Caribbean Cruise Review
Jena Ardell
NOTE: We are saddened to report the passing of a long-time fan aboard the cruise, who died of natural causes in her cabin after failed resuscitation attempts. Patricia was a  happy-go-lucky fan who attended all three 311 Caribbean cruises. An online fundraiser has been set up for her family and over $10,600 has been raised, primarily by 311 fans.


Set lists...

 

Deck Show One:
1. Don't Stay Home
2. Visit
3. Don't Let Me Down
4. Long For the Flowers 
5. Loco
6. Jupiter
7. Reconsider Everything
8. Sunset in July
9. Transistor
10. Sweet 
11. Starshines
12. T & P Combo
13. Leaving Babylon
14. Full Ridef
15. Summer of Love
16. Down
17. Strong All Along
18. Hive
19. Beautiful Disaster
20. Come Original
21. Jackpot
Encore: 
22. Mindspin
23. Omaha Stylee

Deck Show Two:
1. Do You Right
2. Brodels
3. Strangers
4. Off Beat Bare Ass
5. Time Bomb
6. Flowing
7. Trouble
8. Crack the Code
9. All Mixed Up
10. Bomb the Town
11. From Chaos
12. Sun Come Through
13. Freeze Time
14. Applied Science
15. I Told Myself
16. My Stoney Baby
17. Give Me A Call
18. Purpose
19. Sick Tight
20. Speak Easy
21. Freak Out
22. Who's Got the Herb
23. Random
24. Creatures (For A While)

Deck Show Three:
1. Large In the Margin
2. Misdirected Hostility
3. Paradise
4. Don't Tread on Me
5. Hey You
6. Rub a Dub
7. The Continuous Life
8. I'll Be Here Awhile
9. Silver
10. Lose
11. What Was I Thinking
12. Eons
13. I Like the Way
14. Gap
15. Plain
16. Don't Dwell
17. Six
18. Stealing Happy Hours
19. Rock On
BASS SOLO
20. You Wouldn't Believe
21. Time Is Precious
22. Lucky
23. Tribute
24. Feels So Good
25. Unity
Encore: 
26. Beyond the Gray Sky
27. Livin' & Rockin'
28. Fuck the Bullshit

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