Nothing But Great Times Aboard Brantley Gilbert’s 2nd Annual ‘Kick It In The Ship’ Cruise

Photo: Andrew Wendowski/Music Mayhem Magazine

Brantley Gilbert returned to the seas with his 2nd Annual ‘Kick It In The Ship’ Cruise, traveling from Miami, FL to Cozumel, MX, over a 4-day country music extravaganza that included talented musicians, games, activities, contests, unique experiences, community and an overall a ton of fun.

Bringing aboard a star-studded lineup that included: Brantley Gilbert, Chase Rice, Colt Ford, LANCO, Diamond Rio, Tyler Farr, Danielle Bradbery, Jon Langston, Tyler Rich, SixForty1, Trea Landon, Sam Grow, Tyler Braden, Brian Davis, Bobby McClendon, Sadie Bass, Kaleb LeeTyler Booth, Angie K and Shut Up & Dance.

In addition to the 16 artists across 5-stages scattered about throughout the beautiful Norwegian Pearl cruise ship, Nearly 2,300 BG Nation fans got to enjoy an array of gourmet food and drink options, several pools, hot tubs, breathtaking views, tax/duty-free shopping, artist signings, surprise gifts, cruise family & friends and of course excursions at the cruise destination, Cozumel, MX. The fun didn’t stop there however, as the wonderful folks at Sixthman assisted in bringing games and unique experiences onboard for BG Nation to enjoy including the ‘Daisy Dudes’ Contest, Live Band Karaoke, Silent Disco’s with Shut Up & Dance, Scavenger Hunts, Flip-Cup and Ping-Pong Tournaments, Blackjack and Bowling Tournaments with Brantley and of course the several incredible themed nights which included ‘Rep Your Deck (Team Colors),’ ‘Redneck Yacht Party,’ and ’90’s Night’ that had fans looking spiffy in some incredible outfits that perfectly fit each theme daily.

Fans onboard were treated to two energy-driven performances from Brantley Gilbert, one of which was during sail away from the port of Miami, where Gilbert surprised fans with a special guest during his performance bringing out Colt Ford for “Dirt Road Anthem.” That wasn’t the only time that Gilbert brought out Ford however, as Ford returned to the stage again for a performance of their collaborative song “Welcome To Hazeville,” during Gilbert’s second show after departing from the port of Mexico, which fans adored.

Brantley Gilbert’s performances were electrifying, giving fans two explosive, unique sets that were filled with both Gilbert’s hit songs that fans wanted to hear but also new songs from his latest album, Fire & Brimstone, which BG Nation showcased their loyalty, as they already knew every word to the new songs that he performed including “Fire’t Up,” “Welcome To Hazeville (feat. Colt Ford),” “Not Like Us,” “Man That Hung The Moon,” and of course his latest No. 1 single “What Happens In A Small Town” that features Lindsay Ell (she wasn’t onboard for the performance but the crowd roaring sing-a-long definitely did her justice).

The ‘Kick It In The Ship’ cruise brought one of the most intimate and unique concert experiences that many of Brantley Gilbert and several of the other artists fans have gotten the chance to take part in and that was felt and noticed as fans really enjoyed getting closer to their favorite artists onboard. Rather than the sold-out stadiums or arenas that BG fans are used to, which can hold 30,000+ people, this ship only holds 2,300, which made the experience that much better, more personal and interactive. Fans could even chat, hang out and grab a photo with not only Brantley Gilbert but the other artists onboard as well throughout the 4-day cruise, making the overall experience that much better.

Throughout the 4-day country music experience, fans enjoyed several sets from the support artists including some exclusive shows that were never before seen including ‘Tyler’s In The Round,’ where Tyler Farr, Tyler Braden, Tyler Rich and Tyler Booth united together in the Stardust Theatre for an intimate showcase of the rich vocals of the Tyler’s onboard. This group of Tyler’s are a force to be reckoned with as each of their vocals were truly stunning in their own unique way. Highlights of the performance included Tyler Farr’s “A Guy Walks Into a Bar,” Tyler Braden’s “Better Off With You,” Tyler Rich’s “Rather Be Us” and Tyler Booth’s “Clean Dirt” & “Greyhound or a Slow Train” which got a massive ovation and praise from the other Tyler’s.

Another exclusive show included 90’s night celebrations that included all of the artists onboard, singing different 90’s hits on the main pool deck stage, ending the celebratory evening with a massive sing-a-long to Garth Brooks’ “Friends In Low Places” as the entire lineup serenaded the crowd, led by Brantley Gilbert, with each of the other artists lending their unique vocals taking on a different lyrics from the song which you can watch below. Can we also note that Tyler Farr killed his rendition of Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On,” SixForty1’s rendition of Kenny Chesney’s “She Thinks My Tractor’s Sexy” and Brantley Gilbert’s rendition of David Lee Murphy’s “Dust On The Bottle” which had fans going crazy.

Best Host: Brantley Gilbert brought the ‘Kick It In The Ship’ cruise back for its second consecutive year, making this year’s even better than last from the unique experiences to the artist lineup. Gilbert didn’t let fans down with his 2-unique performances and to make it that much better even bringing along new songs from his brand new album, Fire & Brimstone (via Big Machine Label Group) this year!

Most Rowdy: Colt Ford, No explanation needed.

Most Interactive/Fun: Chase Rice was one of the most fun performances onboard the cruise as he was very interactive and comedic with his fans, just having an overall good time with his fans whilst performing. From bringing fans on stage to sing with them during “Ride” to calling out fans in the crowd with signs and some massive sing-a-longs to his songs like “Lonely If You Are” and his first number one single “Eyes On You,” there wasn’t a single moment that Rice didn’t keep your attention grasped especially with his high-energy band backing him which allowed for some hilarious moments during their band introductions.

Most Anthemic Sound: SixForty1 brought their infectious, anthemic sound aboard the BG Cruise with three notable performances, first on the Magnum stage which brought out quite a few people and those people knew every word to their music even their two new singles “I Get That” and “Show You Around” which was a highlight to see performed live for the first time. Then showcasing their sound even more during their Sports Court show which brought an even bigger crowd that were energized, ready to dance and sing along with the band and by the sound of the fans roaring applause, it without a doubt shows that SixForty1 are the next big pop-country duo. We must note that the band opened with a song called “Warmer Than Whiskey” which vocalists Austin Gee and Brooks Hoffman co-wrote with Ethan Willis that is an incredible jam that you need to listen to and was the perfect way to kick off their amazing performance.

Most Buzzed About/Stunning Vocals: Tyler Booth brought his unique vocals aboard the BG Cruise that stunned fans and artists alike throughout the 4-day adventure as he performed several times but it was most notable during his performance at the exclusive ‘Tyler In The Round’ event in which even Tyler Farr and Tyler Rich complimented him graciously on his vocals after showcasing his song “Greyhound Or A Slow Train” which ended with a massive standing ovation from the packed crowd in the Stardust Theatre that included the Tyler’s who joined him onstage. It was also highlighted during Booth’s performance on the Atrium stage when the crowd grew to one of the biggest of the cruise, filling the entire area around the stage and the restaurant that overlooked the stage with people who needed to see him perform as his infectious energy cause a huge buzz onboard the ship all week long.

On The Rise: There were several incredible on-the-rise performers aboard the BG Cruise including Sadie Bass, Sam Grow, Tyler Braden, Trea Landon, Kaleb Lee and a few others who didn’t go unnoticed while cruising the seas. These guys and gal had some huge crowds during their sets and some die hard fans following them from stage to stage for their performances.

Queens Of The Ship: Danielle Bradbery, Angie K and Sadie Bass were the only female performers onboard the ship, but that didn’t stop them from showing the guys what they’re all about as their fierce performances brought out huge crowds, hit songs that made fans sing-a-long.

Awesome Destination: Cozumel, MX is a beautiful destination to visit with some extraordinary views and places to visit from the gift shops and exclusive stores and the restaurants (Hooters, Three Amigos, Buccanos, Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville, Senor Frogs) right at the port to the excursions around. We chose to go visit Mr. Sancho’s Beach Resort and went jet skiing and had an ATV experience, both of which were amazing and I would definitely recommend going back to Mr. Sancho’s as the food was fresh/authentic, the drinks were tasty and the staff were very nice and fast service for a very reasonable priced all-inclusive excursion. For a full list of Mr. Sancho’s excursions, CLICK HERE.

We must note that the Sixthman staff is very well-rounded, organized and efficient in making the festival at sea run smoothly, flawlessly and allowing for a great time to be had with not one detail being missed. From the boarding process to the departure there wasn’t a single detail missed including decorative signage that fit the cruise’s overall theme, daily theme nights decor, Every morning BG Nation Newsletters that updated cruisers on the experiences for each day, announcements keeping fans up-to-date with everything going on and so much more, making for a truly immersive experience.

The Sixthman staff really provided a positive experience with their ultra-friendly, knowledgable crew that were all willing to go the extra mile and answer any and all questions for each person onboard the ship. The impeccable hospitality does not go unnoticed and as a first-time cruiser this experience goes a long way and is not forgotten. We highly recommend a Sixthman hosted cruise for both first-time or seasoned cruisers as they really make a difference with their expertise and cordiality, there wasn’t a single staffer with Sixthman who wasn’t willing to assist and make the experience better for the fans onboard and that is respected and admired. We also should mention that the Norwegian staff were very accommodating and the Norwegian Pearl is a beautiful, clean and amenity-filled vessel, perfect to cruise across the deep blue seas aboard. It is with no doubt that Sixthman have set the stage for some of the best at-sea festival experiences since 2001 when they launched, bringing their innovative festivals and breathtaking all-inclusive resorts to life with some of your favorite artists.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED: If you’re a die-hard Brantley Gilbert fan or a music fan altogether, a Sixthman hosted festival at sea experience is something you NEED to add to your bucket list as it was a dream come true to be able to set sail with some of country music’s best musicians. For a full list of Sixthman’s upcoming Festivals at sea, CLICK HERE.

For more cruise photos of the Meet & Greets, fan photos and other artists please check out Sixthman Photographer Will Byington’s galleries, HERE.

About Andrew Wendowski

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