Pillaging, plundering and partying were the activities during piracy days. I have not an ounce of inclination to pillage or plunder, but I’m up for a great party any time, so I hopped aboard the newest adventure to hit Bahamian shores – “Blackbeard’s Revenge” – to do just that and check out the kind of party scene they’ve brought to Bahamian waters. With a number of options from which to choose my “poison” on the adventure, I opted for the dinner cruise experience for my chance to party, albeit like a pirate of yore.
According to the experience you choose, guests of all ages – men, women and children – get to relive a true, modern-day pirate adventure with live dramatizations of the revolts and plunder of piracy while cruising Nassau Harbour and Paradise Island on “Blackbeard’s Revenge”, a vessel outfitted as an exact replica of an 18th century pirate ship.
Once I stepped on the gangplank, I was informed that I automatically become a new pirate recruit as we prepared to set sail for a fun-filled pirate adventure in the harbor.
The sunset/evening voyage was definitely all about the party – pirate-style, complete with a meal and a complimentary drink as I sat back, sipped and sailed, grooved to the music and allowed the staff to “shiver me timbers” with a cultural performance from a fire dancer and a limbo dancer.
For the duration of the sailing, the pirates/crew stayed in character including accents and did their job to entertain, all the while with great music providing the perfect backdrop.
While I opted for the dinner cruise, there are options to satisfy everyone – a daytime voyage; sunset/evening voyage; night pirate party cruise.
The daytime voyage submerges voyagers into the piracy era from the moment they board and are greeted by staff in full pirate regalia. Once they leave the dock, they’re given history of the ship, harbor, fort and about pirates and the piracy era, as they begin the scenic harbor tour that is mixed with a pirate mutiny re-enactment skit by a cast of actors onboard who perform an actual skit to get people involved in the pirate fight.
The night pirate party voyage for adults only is where you can dance and party, rocking the boat from stern to bow, to beats spun by featured deejays
If you’re like Blackbeard himself and want to “hog” the bounty all to yourself, just for you and your personal pirates, the option is available to rent out the vessel for a private event/party charter.
Not only does “Blackbeard’s Revenge” offer live piracy dramatizations onboard, but they also offer water cannon blasts on their sunset/evening tours and nightly pirate parties. The vessel has three decks, two bars, a VIP captain’s lounge and eight restrooms.
The “Blackbeard’s Revenge” experience is one that has been a long time coming and is needed in the country, considering its history and association with piracy, according to General Manager Robin Cartwright.
“Blackbeard’s Revenge” is the brainchild of Long Islander Anthony Knowles, who Cartwright said had the dream for the experience for years.
Over two years, Knowles transformed the former Eleuthera Express into “Blackbeard’s Revenge”.
The vessel was made as authentic as possible and is outfitted with antiques from the piracy era. Onboard you can view chests, some of which are 300 years old; kettles, irons and pots; a carpentry set from back in the day; daggers that would have been used during the era; and items from wreckages such as bottles that were salvaged from Spanish galleons that used to transport liquor and wine. The steering wheel itself is hundreds of years old and Cartwright said it was salvaged from an old pirate ship wreckage.
“Blackbeard’s Revenge” sailings began in July.
“[People] need to come and live like a pirate and have the experience,” said Cartwright. “Piracy was always about them having a good time and that’s what we bring. We bring the fun through the theme and the energy. One of our key phrases is, ‘Let the adventure begin!’”