Rally on the Open Seas

Story by Gwen Roberts// Photos by Gwen & Glenn Roberts
March 21 2023

A wild ride at the world’s only motorcycle rally on a cruise ship.

This past year we were a bit anxious to travel and had been patiently waiting to hear if the High Seas Rally was going to set sail after a two-year hiatus.
Just before the pandemic shut the world down, the ownership of the rally changed hands, and the 2022 cruise was the first year that Entertainment Cruise Productions would be presenting the High Seas Rally (HSR), so we were naturally interested to see how it compared to previous HSR cruises and what changes would be made.

Concerts have always been part of the HSR and the bands booked for the 2022 sailing were some of our favourites from past decades — in particular Foghat and Molly Hatchet. Colt Ford, Black Smoke Sinners and a few others rounded out the great music that kept the party going for the week.

Entertaining and Educational

One noticeable change that came with the cruise’s new ownership was that there were far more custom bikes on board and a lot of famous bike builders and special guests who offered a series of talks throughout the week. One such seminar was called Grease and Gears Garage hosted by Chris Callen of Cycle Source Magazine. There was also a Behind the Builder series with Paul Yaffe, Dave Perewitz, Rick Bray and a number of other well-known custom builders. The seminar subjects included many aspects of motorcycle ownership including bike maintenance, frame building, welding, painting and various tricks of the trade.

One of my favourites was attending the seminar called Metal Art with Barbie the Welder. She kept the audience enthralled with her story of hitting rock bottom in life while salvaging scrap metal to pay rent and feed her four kids. Today she is a renowned metal artist and an inspirational speaker, who will be featured in an upcoming issue of Motorcycle Mojo.

All the Time is Party Time

There are so many parties and activities to keep you entertained and sometimes you need to pick and choose as you simply can’t do it all, although some try hard. Hillbilly night, pirate takeover, best beard competition, topless man, treasured chest, queen of the trailer park, and belly smacker contests are just few of the entertaining events, while raffles, auctions and cash giveaways (see sidebar) rounded out some, but not all, of the activities.

This cruise is whatever you want to make it. It can be a major party boat or it can be as relaxing as you would like. The 2022 cruise ran from Saturday, October 30 to Saturday, November 4 from Port Canaveral on the Royal Caribbean’s Mariner of the Seas cruise ship with stops at four ports — Nassau, Bahamas; CocoCay, Bahamas; Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic and Labadee, Haiti — with opportunities to book excursions and do some sightseeing, enjoy the ports and beaches, or stay on the ship.

A mainstay of the HSR is comedian Roy Riley who was back on board the ship and was as entertaining as ever. The vendor area on this cruise was on the third level of the dining area and offered a great way to spend a bit of time away from the party atmosphere and to learn about some new aftermarket products. Once again Motor Marc (marclacourciere.com) was aboard showcasing his amazing art as he has done for many cruises.

While there are no passenger’s bikes on this ship, there were many custom bikes on display and the Grand Prize Giveaway was a custom bike built by Xavier Muriel of Providence Cycle Worx. You are automatically entered into this draw with your HSR cruise ticket purchase.

An Overall Great Time

The cruise was well-organized, so much fun and so out-of-the-ordinary. During the late evening when most parties had ended, we found ourselves walking around in the wee hours of the morning exploring parts of the ship that we had never seen before, enjoying the stars and the warm ocean breeze and the waves as the ship cut through them. It is challenging to participate in all the activities, and you really need to pace yourself.

The 2023 seven-day cruise is scheduled for October 28-November 4 and is on the Royal Caribbean Radiance of the Seas (royalcaribbean.com). Departure is from Tampa Bay, Florida, with stops and activities at Key West, Cozumel and Costa Maya.

Entertainment currently scheduled for 2023 is George Thorogood and the Destroyers, Lita Ford, and The Outlaws, plus more to be announced.
Check out highseasrally.com for 2023 details, I’ve heard that cabins are selling fast. The link to the 2022 highlight reel is worth watching if you are thinking of booking, highseasrally.com/experience/

A Fundraiser Like No Other

For 2023, the High Seas Rally Dialysis Fund is teaming up once again with Dialysis at Sea to provide ten dialysis patients with an all-expense paid vacation as well as dialysis treatment. Also, several Wounded Warrior Alumni and their companions will be aboard, and will receive round-trip transportation to and from the cruise, a cabin, and $500 in onboard credit.

Over the years, more than $3.2 million has been raised through High Seas Rally’s raffles, contests and auctions to provide dialysis patients and their caregivers an all-expense paid vacation.

To find our more or how you can register someone for the cruise, check out highseasrally.com

High Seas Rally is proud to announce a total of US$305,715 was raised onboard the 2022 sailing, but the dialysis fund and the Wounded Warrior fund weren’t the only winners. Rally attendees also took home a whopping total of US$115,000 in cash prizes from 50/50 draws and various other raffles.

After the prize money was paid out from the fund-raising events there was US$190,000 remaining which will be distributed to fund the High Seas Rally Dialysis Fund for 2023, to Kidney Dialysis Charities in the communities where the 2022 Dialysis guests live, and US$35,000 to the Wounded Warrior Project, which was raised on the Salute to Service Day on the cruise.


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