Photo Credit: Sean Matthews


More than 4,000 fans converged on Miami in the days leading up to Shiprocked 2024, starting the family reunion early. Most people don’t fly in on the day of a cruise, and Ask4 Entertainment gives Shiprockers a good reason not to.

The night before embarkation, a pre-party was hosted, free of charge at the Oasis Wynwood, featuring performances by Luna Aura, Nonpoint, and Ayron Jones. It had been previously announced that Nonpoint lead singer Elias Soriano would be on board as a Stowaway, but after a last-minute cancellation of Kid Kapichi, Nonpoint announced they would play aboard Shiprocked as well.

“Just sit right back and you’ll hear a tale,
a tale of a fateful trip.
That started from this tropic port,
aboard this (not so) tiny ship!”

Day 1 – Embarkation Day

Photo Credit: Sean Matthews

Prior to this morning, a message was sent out to all guests asking us to be on time for our embarkation boarding times, and not to crowd the port as a storm was being tracked in the area. Shortly thereafter during boarding it was escalated to a Tornado Watch for the Miami area, and our cast-off time had been pushed back slightly for more favorable conditions. It was also decided at this time, that our itinerary would be reverse, sending us to Ochos Rios, Jamaica first, and ending with Bimini, Bahamas to avoid a storm.

Boarding the ship we were greeted by the Munsters, who offered us our NEWB or SURVIVOR badges depending on whether you have previously sailed before. It’s a great way to separate the guests and allow us to help each other with simple questions and answers.

The Carnival Magic is a grand ship, and upon boarding (just like every other cruise) you are forced into the buffet area while you wait for your rooms to be ready. A hodge podge of friends meeting up once again for the first time in years, or possibly even weeks depending on where everyone lives.

After muster briefing, we meet on the main stage deck for a family photo, and a quick announcement of next year’s shenanigans. As the Magic’s ship horn blew, sail away band Beartooth took to the stage, and played us out to sea.



Once out to sea, everyone settled into the schedule, and From Ashes to New made their debut appearance on Shiprocked on the main stage outside, followed by Mexican rockers The Warning. We ended the evening with none other than Killswitch Engage, who not only came out dressed in all Hawaiian apparel, but also played the 1975 thriller Jaws in its entirety on the backdrop throughout their set.


Photo Credit: Sean Matthews


Day 2 – Day @ Sea

The days at sea are full of activities and the hottest one is always the meet and greet in the Dining Room. Ask4 sets up four of the larger bands in a circle, and basically runs a procession of people around the room in a quick and orderly fashion so everyone can shake hands and fist bump, get a photo (free of charge) and move on.  Im not sure how many people go through in the hour and a half time slot, but it seems like a lot. Then, they reset with four new bands and do it again. All this happens before 3pm!

If standing in line isn’t your thing, you can take part in various trivia games, beer pong, spelling bees, and even Bloody Bingo! Performances started around noon and went late into the evening with a DJ set in the atrium by Wilson’s own Chad Nicefield.




Tonight was interesting because as Badflower took the stage around 8pm to start their set, the skies opened up and tropical rain poured from the heavens. Lead singer Josh Katz, stayed on stage until, during the third song, his guitar and microphone stopped working. At this point he jumped to the barricade and sang with the crowd to finish the song before the powers that be called him off stage and shut it all down.

Badflower – Fan Photo – Adam Hilliard


Sitting on pins and needles we all waited to find out if our headliner I Prevail would perform, but to no avail their set was cancelled due to more than unfavorable weather conditions.


Photo Credit: Sean Matthews

“The weather started getting rough,
the cruise ship was tossed.
If not for the courage of the fearless crew,
the Magic would be lost,
the Magic would be lost.”

Day 3 – Ochos Rios, Jamaica (Shipwrecked)

Photo Credit: Sean Matthews


This morning, we woke up docked in the beautiful town of Ochos Rios, Jamaica with the sun shining bright, and the waves crashing off the side of the ship. Upon disembarkation to the pier, the boat rocked enough that pauses were made so that the gangway could be repositioned multiple times.

Guests deboarded and headed to their excursions, while we just wandered the city, shopped, and found ourselves sitting on the pier at Margaritaville along the shore. We ate, drank, and watched the waves roll in… then they smashed off the rocks getting stronger and stronger, until our ship… the Carnival Magic, reversed off the dock, and headed out to sea! Leaving behind half the guests, crew, and employees.

Photo Credit: Sean Matthews


As we came to find out, the waves proved to be too powerful and as our ship swayed back and forth, it smashed repeatedly off the dock, until it cracked, and the fueling station started to fall into the water. The ship was advised to head out to open waters until a second ship that was in port that day sailed off, and they could return for us.

At this moment, two different sets of events took place in Ochos Rios, and it all depended on whom you spoke to for their story.

Carnival has a travel partner on the island named Chukka, and they were advised to move all Carnival Magic guests to a safe place, and provide them with food, beverages, and restrooms. It was at this point, pier staff started hurdling guests into the town square and shipping them off in buses to an offsite location past the second pier, and into an open field next to a wedding venue.

Those that resisted and did not leave town, continued to drink, and eat, and watched as the cruise ship came back into port, and began to redock.

Photo Credit: Sean Matthews


Once we were all back on board it had come to be known that the travel partner moved everyone so fast that there was no food or drink until the very last buses were headed back to the pier, at which point buckets of KFC were given out.

Once onboard the Carnival Captain spoke to us explaining that the ship had taken on damage (which most of us seen while boarding) and would be staying in dock for the evening so repairs could be made. We were also informed that Grand Cayman Islands had banned all cruises for a few days due to weather, so we were given the option to get back off the ship the next day and explore Ochos Rios some more if we desired.


Photo Credit: Sean Matthews


Fire From The Gods played on deck while we were in port, followed by Point North In the theatre. By this point everyone was back onboard for the evening, and Nonpoint would be taking the stage for their only performance on Shiprocked 2024.

Everyone joked that they should open with 2000’s hit “What A Day” seeing how we destroyed a dock, half of us became castaways, and the boat looked like it went through a cheese grater. Not only was that their opening song, but they walked out to the Gilligan’s Island Theme song. Most people were still in good spirits, even after it all.


Photo Credit: Sean Matthews


“So this is the tale of our castaways,
they’re here for a long, long time.
They’ll have to make the best of things,
it’s an uphill climb.”

Day 4 – Ocho Rios, Jamaica (Again)

Photo Credit: Sean Matthews

We were treated to our first (and only) headliner performance while still in port at 3:45pm as the ship prepared to leave the dock after receiving the all-clear from the powers that be at Carnival Cruise Lines.

The first Stowaways show was next, and for anyone who doesn’t know what The Stowaways are… simply put… they are a mix mash of amazing artists from different bands invited to perform a special setlist on the cruise. This set featured cover songs like Slipknot’s “Wait & Bleed” sung by Nonpoint’s Elias Soriano, with Ministry’s Roy Mayorga on bass guitar, and ex-Pop Evil drummer Haley Cramer on drums.

Point North rocked the theater while our deck stage was being set for one of my favorite groups Black Stone Cherry. The foursome from smalltown Kentucky never puts on a dull show, and everyone was there for the party. Singing along with every word the crowd screamed at the top of their lungs, danced, and drank for more than an hour.

Closing the night out as we headed out to sea was American rock band, Highly Suspect. Throughout their hour-long set, we were taken on a musical ride as they played through a barrage of hits, intertwined with pure showmanship of guitar playing by lead singer Johnny Stevens.


Photo Credit: Sean Matthews


Day 5 – Another Day @ Sea

Photo Credit: Sean Matthews

Another day at sea, another day of Meet & Greets, and activities. More trivia, a Fan Jam in the music experience area, and even the Captain’s Quarters (a meeting where guests can ask Shiprocked Captain Alan questions) were on the docket for midday. Music started at noon with Broken Love, Dorothy and Sleep Theory all performing throughout the ship.

Fire From The Gods took to the theatre to play their second set, which was the most packed I had seen it on the cruise so far. Breaking Benjamin’s own Keith Wallen performed his solo music on the deck stage, touching on all three of his albums including the newest release Infinity Now, which launches in the coming months.

The night was packed with talent as guests were treated to another Black Stone Cherry set, followed by Beartooth, Highly Suspect and Killswitch Engage.


Photo Credit: Sean Matthews


Day 6 – Bimini, The Bahamas

Photo Credit: Sean Matthews

Finally making it to the Bahamas was a great change of pace. A lot of guests went ashore, and took place in excursions, especially the Ask4 official one at Resorts World Beach where the infamous Beach Wars were being hosted by From Ashes To New.

Once back on the ship, The Warning greeted fans as we prepared to sail back to Miami overnight. Dayseeker and Eva Under Fire kept the shows going until the second Stowaways set began around 7 and was aptly themed around 2024’s horror theme. This set brought many interesting covers, however, Crobot’s Brandon Yeagley belting out Avenged Sevenfold’s 2006 hit “Beast And The Harlot” followed by Iron Maiden’s “The Number Of The Beast” with Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal on lead guitar and Ministry’s Roy Mayorga on drums was something to behold.

As the night hours got closer to midnight, Badflower got their redemption set on the deck stage, after the rain obliterated their first one just days before.

As guests started heading to their rooms, to pack to disembark in the morning, most took one last stroll through the ship, hitting up Live Band Karaoke to say their goodbyes and see you next year’s!

Photo Credit: Sean Matthews



All things considered, rerouting of our entire cruise itinerary, destroying a dock and almost the ship, bands missing their second sets, and the fiasco of Chukka in Jamaica, there wasn’t a sole on board that would have missed it for the world, and even newbs who had no idea what to expect have already signed up for the next sailing.

For anyone who has ever thought about a floating festival, do yourself a favor… book it, “waste” your money the first time around. I almost guarantee that you will never miss another one. Unless you experience Shiprocked firsthand, it’s very difficult to understand the atmosphere and comradery that we all share year after year onboard.

Head over to the official site to get your name on the list, and maybe next year you just might be a NEWB!


View details on Shiprocked 2025 here.