I Unintentionally Booked An NFL Cruise For The Workforce I Do not Like

“Tampa!” shouted a disgruntled voice on the PortMiami Cruise Terminal. “bay!” Replied the refrain of other folks from all corners of the check-in space. As I regarded round and noticed a sea of ​​crimson and black, I started to really feel that one thing used to be extraordinarily unsuitable.

I used to be about to embark on Superstar Cruises’ Superstar Summit for what I believed can be a typical quick commute to Key West, Florida, and Nassau, Bahamas — a handy guide a rough commute that I determined to take to escape for a couple of days of R&R. Booked for As a substitute, I unwittingly discovered myself at the first Tampa Bay Buccaneers cruise.

As a diehard Philadelphia Eagles fan, I used to be astounded – most commonly along side myself.

How did I to begin with really feel after I came upon that I have been booked on a theme cruise for a rival workforce? Ashley Kosiolek / The Issues Man

The tale as outdated as theme cruises is going: Unsuspecting passengers e-book themselves on sailings which are partial charters however they do not know it till embarkation day.

So, used to be my enjoy a fumble or a landing? You could be shocked.

Join TPG’s cruise publication for extra cruise information, guides and pointers.

Tampa Bay Books Cruise

An legitimate and Captain Concern, mascot of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, look forward to the pool volleyball recreation to start out. Ashley Kosiolek / The Issues Man

About 500 of the send’s 2,000 passengers had been aboard as a part of a partial constitution. Why the organizers determined to send out of Miami as an alternative of Tampa is a thriller. I used to be additionally curious how a lot it value lovers to take part within the unique enjoy, so I headed over to the legitimate web page for crusing.

There, I discovered that the quite a lot of cabin classes, from fundamental inner lodging to spa-themed Aqua Elegance balcony rooms that incorporated gratuity, beverages, and Wi-Fi, had been up for grabs. the latter offered for $1,349 in keeping with individual. Even though pricing wasn’t indexed for the opposite cabin varieties, which were not totally offered out, a Bucs fan I met throughout lunch on the send’s buffet informed me she booked ocean-view rooms with out the additional inclusions. Paid $ 900 in keeping with individual for.

You are more than likely questioning what, precisely, is incorporated in a soccer cruise for the ones costs. As is same old for themed cruises, handiest those that have booked and paid for the themed enjoy might take part in maximum actions.

Signal Up for Our Day by day Publication

An indication checklist day after today’s actions at the Superstar Summit aboard the Tampa Bay Buccaneers theme cruise. Ashley Kosiolek / The Issues Man

Crusing’s devoted web page lists such occasions as a Salaway Celebration, a distinct Key West Scavenger Hunt Ashore, Pirate Dinners, themed picture alternatives, workforce minutiae, VIP cocktail events, meet and greets with the gamers (Leonard Fournette, Tristan Virfs, Martin Gramatica) and others), and appearances by way of the Buccaneers cheerleaders and the workforce’s mascot, Captain Concern.

Superstar Summit executives fight participants of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers soccer workforce in pool volleyball throughout the Bucs theme cruise. Ashley Kosiolek / The Issues Man

What I appreciated as an interloper had been probably the most occasions that had been open to all vacationers. There have been some delicate nods to the workforce — like screenings of flicks within the “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise on outside film displays each evening — or in-your-face video games like pool volleyball video games, which compelled the send’s officials to swim in opposition to the present for a number of hours. Made it stand and previous Bucs participant. (The latter used to be a figurative massacre at the aspect of the Bucs.)

Public presentations allowed all passengers to enroll in in in the event that they had been enthusiastic about looking at, however those that sought after to steer clear of the topic had a troublesome time. Finally, it used to be just about not possible to leave out all of the costumes, flags, and normal swag masking each deck.

“Tampa!” adopted by way of “Bay!” Had been additionally interfering. At the second-to-last evening of the cruise, a person dressed handiest in Bucs swim trunks got here to a minutiae consultation that used to be no longer Bucs themed and began cheering. Both there were not every other Buccaneers lovers within the room, or everybody used to be drained as a result of no person responded — at which level he slid again to the living room.

the way it went

A fellow Eagles fan catches rays at the Solar Deck throughout the Buccaneers theme cruise. Ashley Kosiolek / The Issues Man

Nonetheless reeling from the Eagles’ Tremendous Bowl loss (which, fortunately, I could not watch as a result of I used to be within the Galapagos), the very last thing I sought after used to be to be surrounded by way of lovers of the opposite workforce. Even if I wasn’t a part of their team, it felt like a betrayal by hook or by crook.

In a while after boarding, I used to be lounging at the pool deck, taking within the view, when, like a beacon, a lady wearing complete Eagles regalia seemed. I did a double take and yelled, “Cross birds!” She grew to become round and shouted, “Oh, thanks! Thanks!” In combination, we lamented how we had in reality been at the unsuitable commute.

Because it seems, the Eagles had been intended to have a fan cruise in 2021, however COVID-19 had different plans. The crusing used to be postponed till 2022 and in the end cancelled.

Whilst crusing the Bucs, I used to be shocked by way of how pleasant the lovers had been. Finally, I am surrounded by way of the similar fanbase that infamously threw snowballs at Santa Claus throughout a recreation and that shattered their very own the city, win or lose.

As I waited in line for ice cream, the fellow subsequent to me—who used to be dressed in a Hawaiian-style blouse with the Bucs brand—informed me that his spouse had booked crusing. I peeked at his matching Bucs shoes and noticed that he additionally had the workforce brand tattooed on his arm. This is determination.

A bunch of Tampa Bay lovers dressed as pirates earlier than a themed dinner at the Buccaneers theme cruise. Ashley Kosiolek / The Issues Man

Once I stopped a gaggle of costumed pirates for a photograph on my option to a themed dinner later that day, I remarked how delightful everybody used to be, in spite of no longer understanding the place my loyalties lay.

“Smartly, we are not from Philly!” one in every of them joked. After which, extra critically, he informed me that Bucs lovers like it when lovers of alternative groups come to their stadium.

Two days later, at the boat again to the send after an island seashore tour in Nassau, I chatted with any other lovers who informed me they’d a spot in Pennsylvania the place they discuss with their son.

“We have had a nasty few seasons as a workforce, so we are very humble,” stated one in every of them, including that they had been having a good time crusing.

Learn how to Analysis Theme Cruises Sooner than Reserving

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers flag flies at Superstar Summit’s ice cream bar, Scoops. Ashley Kosiolek / The Issues Man

Discovering your self amongst a gaggle of other folks with a not unusual hobby you do not percentage makes for a really perfect post-cruise tale, but it surely won’t at all times be a excellent one when you’re out of doors your convenience zone. Take, as an example, households with small children who hastily see a Harley Davidson-themed boating, or a gaggle of faculty scholars partying however as an alternative to find themselves bumping into a gaggle of weavers.

This is some recommendation that are meant to be evident however as a cruise skilled I did not even suppose to practice: Google earlier than reserving your commute.

A easy seek for your crusing date, cruise send title and “theme cruise” can provide you with a warning to partial charters that can be at the similar crusing as the only you might be hoping to e-book. Then again, it does not at all times paintings, as I discovered after I attempted that trick with Books Cruise after the reality.

I discovered that Superstar Summit incessantly hosts theme cruises and there are a couple of to come back, together with a “Golden Women” crusing, a Swingers commute, some track sailings (disco and rock ‘n’ roll) or even a Moira Secret is birthday celebration boat could also be incorporated. , which is a nod to the TV display “Schitt’s Creek”. (Phrase to the sensible: The Norwegian Pearl and Royal Caribbean’s better Oasis- and Quantum-class ships additionally incessantly host themed sailings.)

You’ll be able to check out asking your shuttle agent or contacting the cruise line at once to inquire, however there is a excellent probability they both would possibly not know or would possibly not let you know despite the fact that they do.

floor stage

A cabin door embellished with Tampa Bay Buccaneers swag. Ashley Kosiolek / The Level Man

Even if Bucs lovers made up just a quarter of the passengers on board, they no doubt stood out crusing. The ladies, who dyed their hair shiny crimson for the cruise, sported customized nails and wore Buccaneers bikinis. Males donned jerseys and shoes with their very own names in workforce colours, and dozens of cruisers embellished their cabin doorways with Buccaneers swag.

Even though I anticipated the partial constitution to detract from the onboard enjoy, I used to be pleasantly shocked to search out that it added to my enjoyment. It did not really feel like personal occasions had been inflicting key onboard places to be inaccessible, and the general public element used to be based totally handiest on actions that may had been introduced anyway. I will more than likely catch some warmth from different Eagles lovers for announcing this, but it surely helped me understand that bonding over a love of the sport is extra a laugh than traumatic lovers with other allegiances.

My mistake had a contented finishing, however no longer everybody who inadvertently finally ends up on a partial-charter theme cruise is excited about it. Sadly, as soon as you might be on board, all you’ll be able to do is make the most productive of the placement and check out to experience crusing.

With that, I simply have one last item to mention: “Eagles! Eagles!”

Making plans a Cruise? Get started with those tales: