Kiss Kruise VIII

Kiss Kruise 8 by Sixthman and Norwegian cruise lines.

I have always wanted to go and check it out. This year with the Ace Frehley on board I had to go do it. So we set it up in early 2018.

After a very busy summer we were ready for Kiss Kruise 8. We booked a day early to get there in time incase of travel problems. I highly suggest doing this. Miami is a get place to site see. Plus the boat leaves early in the morning and you have time to relax before getting on.

Day One October 31st

We got to the line around 11-1130 and it was not a long wait to get in. Security is like going to the airport so be pre paired for that. Some people got there at 9am there suggested time to get there and ended up waiting fro 3-4 hours before getting on.

When getting on the ship you have to wait until 2 to go to your rooms. Something to consider also. You can check you bags when you get there and they bring them to you anywhere from 5-7 so keep what ever you need with you. There is a lot of people on this boat so a lot of waiting to get to your rooms.

IS there plenty to do, yes.

Once you get all situated the merch opens an hour after take off and man was there a line.

I waited until the next day and most everything was still there. Was disappointed the key west shirt did not look as good as it did online. The print looked really sloppy. So I opted for the regular 8 shirt. Most everything did sell out by the 5th day so make sure not to miss out.

Scheduling is important as there is a ton of stuff going on each day. Make sure if you want to do something get there to stand inline early.

Things started happening around 6pm with the KISS acoustic send off show.

It was your typical set list for there acoustic shows but this time they brought up Bruce Kulick for a few.

As I was in the elevator, had to go get some beers, the soundman came into the elevator and showed me the setlist and pointed to AF in the last 4 songs. Well Ace is coming to the stage.

First time in 18 years Ace, Gene and Paul played together. Pretty frickin cool. 2000 man stared to of course. So you had a Kisstory on stage, Paul, Gene, Ace, Bruce, Eric and Tommy. It was something to see.

After that we hung around and talked to a lot of fans waiting to see Bruce and Ace after Kiss.

Bruce ripped it up with a classic 80’s and 90’s set. So many cool deep tracks that have not been heard in years.

He had his new band with him which are fantastic. They bring a whole new vibe to Ace.

The harmonies and fantastic and they bring Ace to another level. They are playing songs he has never done and old classics he has not played in a long time.

It was great to hear these songs again. I grew up with KISS since 75 but some of these fans have never heard these songs live ever.

Throughout the kruise we did lots of interviews with fans for 3 sides of the coin. The best KISS podcast there is. Mark has been on every one and this was Tommy’s first, and also mine.

Day Two November 1st

Key West was our stop for the day so we walked around the island and did a bunch of photography.

It is one of my favorite spots on this earth and feel lucky enough to be there a few times. Always great to go back.

When you go Key West make sure you get to Malory Square at sunset – The Hard Rock cafe and Hemingway house.

After we got back it was dinner time and more shows. There are several places for dinner the most popular is the buffet. All the food I had there was really good. Several stations for any kind of mood you are in for.

The Kruise you get tea coffee and juice for free, everything else is paid for. Read all the rules before you go. Example if you ant the soda package you have to have everyone in you room buy it. So it can add up quick.

Beer and drinks package are really expensive. I found that I saved money buying buckets of beer each night. You get 7 for the price of 5. Just something be aware of.

On that night we got Gene Simmons panel on power, drum off with Eric Singer and all the drummers judging people from the crowd. Playing all over the boat that night was Wayland – Dead Daiseies – Thundermother – Teaze – The New Roses and Magnetico, if that was not enough overnight at the bar there was Kiss Karaoke.

Genes power panel was a rehash of his books. Was good but if you have read his books then you have heard these speeches. Kind of funny he is telling us to not take vacations or spend money when we are on vacation with tons of KISS march to buy.

Day Three November 2nd

In the morning there was vow renewals with Gene. We were sleeping so did not see that.

Cooking with Paul Stanley, missed that also. I am sure there is video footage if you want to see any of it.

At 11:30 was the autograph session with all the smaller bands. Cool they had that set up if wanted to meet any of the other bands.

Air guitar contest with Tommy, ask Doc panel, Paul’s art class, and Kiss trivia. Pool deck bands today were A Hard Day’s Night beatles tribute band – Magnetico – Dead Daisies and after KISS Ace Frehley.

We were all excited to see what the KISS show would be like, NEW Costumes, stage and setlist.

We watched it from the simulcast from a smaller bar. Surprised there was not more people in there.

We watched about a 3rd of the show then decided to wait for the rest until the next day.

Just you typical set list so did not want to miss Ace by hanging in there. Got up nice and close for Ace. Took a ton of pictures and filmed some video of his set.

His set list’s were so good. And of course hung out at the bar and buffet for the after party. Eric and Bruce were out there that night saying hi to the fans. They were mobbed.

Day 4 November 3rd.

In the morning there was a KISS Swap where you could trade march with other fans. This was the first day at sea so no stops just one the boat all day.

Being that, there was a lot going on today on the ship. First set of stage photos were today.

Instead of getting pics with the band we got stage photos this time. Not really digging that. We should get a picture with the band for as much as we paid. First time for this.

Band were playing on the deck all day. The New Roses – Lucifer – Teaze Bruce Kulick right before Kiss and Vintage Trouble closing out the night.

There was also an Ace and Bruce panel today before Bruce’s set. This was very entertaining. One of my favorite stories was Ace talking about how he hawked his 58 Les Paul for 25,000 so he and a girl could go to Atlantic City for the weekend.

During the kruise you have no idea who will run into. Over the days we met all the guys in the smaller bands. Doc was even nice enough to take a selfie with us.

We also got the Kiss Family Feud with Eric and Tommy. This was really funny. The answers to all the questions were not what you would expect and it got to be very entertaining.

Sp tonight was our show. Thanks Tommy for making it work. We got in and the theater was so small. So cool to see them that close.

As a avid fan of I researched all the setlist’s from the past and was very excited to hear and see some classics we have not heard in a while.

So show starts and wow they are on. New costumes look great – playing if perfect – everyone sounds good. But half the way through I’m thinking where are the deep tracks?

Hey wait this is the same video on the screen for War Machine for the past 7 years. So we did get Heaven’s on Fire – Say Yeah – Hotter Than Hell – Hell or Hallelujah so some but not what I was expecting. Was the show good, oh man yes, were the costumes good,Yes. I just wanted more from the set list. I believe we just saw what we are gonna see for the next three years.

After the show we got a pool deck show from Vintage Trouble. These guys are fantastic. if you like r&b with with a lot of rock n roll check them out.

Day Five November 4th

Nassau today. I have never been to the Bahamas so was looking forward to some culture and local encounters. We did a small trip by bus and got to see a little of the Bahamas, rum cake shop, a beach, The Queen’s Staircase and some football. We found a local bar that had all the games on so we got to watch the Minnesota Vikings beat the Detroit Lions in the Bahamas. That was pretty cool.

We got back to the boating there was an open jam going on. But decided to go get ready for the Ace Frehley show in the Stardust theater. Stood in line for about an hour. Not bad. Got right up front and Vintage Trouble opened the show. Again these guys are so good. Lead singer is all over the place and has a phenomenal voice.

Ace’s shows were my favorite on the cruise. All the cool tunes he pulled out, the new band, and the over all vibe he had on stage. Some of the best shows I’ve seen him do. If his new band is by you go see him. NJ expo has him and his band playing his whole solo album from 78 in full.

Over all I loved the Kiss Kruise. Would I do it again? Maybe, it would have to be something special though. Hopefully the whole schedule comes up before the pre sale.

This is a vacation that is anyway you make it. I did not want to miss anything so we were on the go the whole time. We took an extra day in Miami to relax at the pool afterward. Highly recommended. I look forward to a few shows this next year as this will be it. Thank you KISS for a lifetime of music and fun. I seriously would not be who I am without what you have given us. Thank you.

Review and photos by Kyle Hansen