What happens when 3 C27-ers takes on ‘Asia’s Largest Festival at Sea’?
An experience like no other.
So What Is ‘It’s The Ship’?
Picture a 4-day EDM festival on a cruise liner set out across the open sea with a beach rendezvous on the island of Phuket sandwiched in between. Since its debut in 2014, ‘It’s The Ship’ is a far cry from the regular cruises we are used to. Definitely no aunties playing bingo or uncles doing ‘taichi’ on the deck here.
So here’s a (hazy) recap of what went down:
After what feels like the longest 2 hours of my life, an unenthusiastic member of the organising team ushers us into our boarding groups before handing us our room keys and the itinerary booklet. We sit slumped over in our chairs mindlessly flipping through the pages looking for something to focus on as we try our best to mask our hangovers as a result of the (unwise) decisions of the night before.
One of the pages in the booklet, we tear out little cards that read: ‘Come Find Me. I’m At Cabin No.’ complete with spaces for you to leave your name and phone number. We innocently thought this was how you’d find your friends should you be separated from them.
Oh, how wrong we were.
You know how you get to the third day of a music festival absolutely knackered, dreaming of hot showers and clean sheets? These worries don’t exist on The Ship. I’m talking about a queen bed with fluffy pillows, fresh towels, comfy robes and if you are #blessed like we were, a balcony overlooking the ocean – perfect for pre-drinking before
the day night heading out.
The ship itself has 19-decks of luxury offerings like an onboard cinema, a selection of restaurants, a spa and even a waterslide. The service was immaculate. I never once stepped into a dirty bathroom even though attendance was in the thousands. Any trash lingering was immediately picked up by staff who seemed almost too eager to assist you.
It’s Day 2 and we stir awake thanks to the first sounds of a party coming from our balcony. The music started bumping the minute we set sail — and it never really stopped from then on.
This year’s lineup featured headliners like Cash Cash and Vini Vici who were joined by 80 other international and regional DJs to ensure there was always a party going on. And the shows had the stage setups to match with massive LED displays and stereo systems to get the crowd going.
Parties weren’t just limited to the stages either. There were pop-up parties in elevators, themed onesie parties, sunrise parties, foam parties and even two gala dinners!
Just in case you needed a break from all the drinking, side activities like intimate cigar and whiskey workshops, yoga and HIIT sessions, and even neon bowling with artistes to kept Shipmates entertained. All of which I fully intended on participating in but never managed to wake up for because let’s be honest, that’s what happens when you go to bed as the sun rises every day.
Somewhere in between Day 2 and 3, I started to lose track of time. Our mornings began totally disoriented, having gone to bed at ungodly hours but after a quick refuel of food and more beer (because when in Rome) we’d be as good as new.
For people running on lots of alcohol, little sleep and even less clothing, everyone we met was really decent. I never saw a single fight. People were friendly and just down to have a good time.
Maybe this had to do with the fact that everyone was on an unintended digital cleanse since Wi-Fi on The Ship was expensive and choppier than the waves we sailed on.
There seems to be this stigma of ‘It’s The Ship’ being a “sin ship” – a crazy mess of drugs, sex and alcohol. (A bit be hard to dismiss since ONE condoms is their official “Pleasure Partner”…) While I don’t deny that IT’S is a GREAT place to have all kinds of unadulterated fun, it was hardly the orgy-fest I was told about.
The Alcohol (& Drugs)
Drinks and cigarette prices are steep on The Ship. In order to maximize our enjoyment without imparting the same damage to our bank accounts, we picked the cheapest bottle of whiskey we could find (and stomach for the next 3 days) and supplemented the rest with beer.
Perhaps the drinking gods felt pity for us cause our Creative Director (Nic) found 15 drink coupons on the floor at one of the restaurants which we happily took even though the drinks were terribly watered down.
Drug use was very hush hush but with most festivals, I’m sure you could find some if you looked hard enough.
How do I put this lightly? A (NEARLY) 24 HOUR FOOD BUFFET WHEN YOU ARE PERPETUALLY DRUNK that did NOT consist of shrivelled frankfurters, neon orange dino nuggets or oily ‘mee goreng.’
It’s every drunk/high person’s dream: pick from a selection of burgers, pizza, roast lamb, ‘sambal petai’, pasta, kimchi, lotus root soup, and even legit Indian food (certified by a Shipmate from Delhi.)
I’m sure there’s scientific evidence to back this up but I am almost certain this was how we managed to recover night after night of all our debaucherous fun.
As an ‘It’s The Ship’ virgin, I contemplated if I would be able to make it through the entire thing since I get tired at 9p.m. on a school night. But veteran Shipmates constantly reassured me that all my worries would fade away the minute I was on the ship. And it was true. Maybe it was something in the air; a combination of adrenaline, alcohol, and loud dance music that forged an unspoken camaraderie through the many late nights/early mornings.
Would I do it all again?
Disclaimer: The views expressed by the authors on this blog do not necessarily reflect the views of C27, our CEO, the management, the fish in our fish tank, and/or all the awesome people within the agency. The content and opinions shared are the personal views of the author so please don’t sue us.
…or the author.