Glow-in-the-dark Gronkowskis, lemon drop shots and way too much twerking: A guest aboard football’s most talked-about boat trip fights through his debilitating hangover to tell the story of a bro weekend to top all others
The MMQB asked a fan on Gronk’s Party Ship to piece together his hazy weekend cruise with Rob Gronkowski, the Gronk family and 800 or so other partiers. Here’s a 27-year-old Eagles season ticket holder on his wild ride with the Gronkowskis—because what happens on Gronk Island certainly does not stay there.
BY KEITH CARMAN
When my girlfriend, Alexa, got us two tickets at roughly $800 each for “Gronk’s Party Ship” for my birthday back in July, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Was it going to be a bunch of shirtless meat donkeys (myself included) on a boat in the middle of the ocean? How involved would Rob Gronkowski and his family really be? How much fun would it really be for the Gronks to be forced to party with their fans? Well, after our three-day cruise with Rob, his brothers and their dad, Gordy, I can tell you this: Nothing was forced. Every human, and every Gronk, on that ship had the time of their lives.
We arrived at the port in Miami around noon on Friday, and there were people of all ages ready to get Gronk’d, from girls in neon yellow shirts that read “Yo Soy Fiesta” to 40-year-old married couples wearing matching No. 87 Patriots jerseys. The first order of business was to purchase the premium drink package—$275 per ticket, which ended up being a bargain. The package included beer, wine, top shelf liquor, shots, etc., for the entire trip.
About to board the Gronk ship! pic.twitter.com/EvcNXSTudD— Birds Pulse (@BirdsPulse) February 19, 2016
After getting settled into our rooms and having a few drinks, we checked out the pool deck before our “Gronk Photo” (everyone on the cruise got a photo with Rob). We were greeted with complimentary lemon drop shots while we waited in line to meet Gronk. Alexa and I shook hands with him, and Alexa asked if he would twerk for her, right ther. “Oh trust me,” he said. “We will be later.” We thought this might be the only interaction we’d have with any of the Gronks, but we were happily mistaken.
Let me just say: However ‘bro’ you think this sounds, amplify it by 20 and it still probably isn’t enough to accurately describe it.
That night was possibly the best part of the whole trip. We arrived at the Stardust Theater around 9 or 10 p.m. (things get a little hazy after a day full of Ketel and clubs) to take in the tail end of Finesse Mitchell’s stand-up routine. After the show, people apparently forgot, or didn’t care, that Flo Rida was performing next, and we walked up to the second row and sat down right behind “The Creator,” Gordy. He was with his wife, Diane, and another of his sons, Chris. During the down time between shows, we talked a little football with the Gronkowskis, asked how this insane cruise came together, and wondered how we’d all survive three nights at this pace. Later we took some shots with the “Hype Crew,” some of Gronk’s friends, teammates and other fun-loving characters who made sure everyone was “hyped” and having a good time.
Gronk took the stage around 11:45 p.m. to introduce Flo Rida and thank everyone who was attending the cruise. Flo Rida launched into “My House,” and the crowd went wild. Gronk started dancing on stage, and then more Gronks joined in—Chris, then Gordy Jr.
Flo Rida wrapped up around 2 or 2:30 a.m., but we only had an hour before Waka Flocka Flame took the stage. There was a conveniently placed casino right outside the theater where we played some roulette with the luckiest bro I’ve ever seen. I don’t even know if I asked his name, but we kept winning money and telling people to “RIDE THIS TRAIN!” Apparently the Gronks all took this time to change into neon glow-in-the-dark gear because as soon as Waka took the stage, they were up there with him, jumping around and having a blast. Let me just say: However “bro” you think this sounds, amplify it by 20 and it still probably isn’t enough to accurately describe it. Toward the end of the show, Gronk had a crew of about 30 girls on stage dancing, jumping and twerking to their hearts’ content. The concert/party wrapped up around 5:30 a.m.
Because I’d mixed in meals, water, Gatorade and coffee, I was miraculously not hung over at all on Saturday. We got up around 10 a.m. and went to Gronk Island. The Gronks apparently weren’t suffering either because the intensity level easily matched Friday night. There were epic celebrations when they won flip-cup games, and Gronk signed women’s bare bottoms, and danced around with Flo Rida and Waka on the beach. On our way back to the boat, Waka Flocka, “just wanted to pick coconuts,” so we got to know him a little bit too.
Once we were back on board the ship after partying on Gronk Island, Alexa and I got dressed for the “White Party” theme night. We went to one of the bars, where we met a couple NFL types whom we’ll call Bob and Bill, and were joined by a rather husky and intoxicated girl. The group did five or six shots of Jameson, a couple shots of Jägr and a few Fireballs, and that was the last we saw of Bob and Bill until Sunday morning.
In Family Feud, the Gronks answered almost every question with the same word: ‘Chicks.’
After they had left, we met a couple of girls from Ohio named Susie and Heather. Originally they had stopped to rip on me, and rightfully so, for wearing my all-white LeBron James jersey, but then we became best friends. We went up onto the pool deck and saw a few DJs (don’t know who, didn’t even care) and danced for another few hours, to the point where my calves were cramping up and I was left extremely sore for the next two days. Side note: Here’s how you know this trip was great. Where else can you lose your iPhone, then go to guest services, get it back, and get two complimentary Cuban cigars? Only on the Gronk Cruise.
Sadly, Sunday seemed to be when all the booze caught up with people. We bumped into Bob and Bill, and Bob simply told us, “mistakes were made last night.” But we already knew that. Bill didn’t have it much better, as he had recently received an IV for his dehydration. Gronk was walking around drinking tea, The Creator was only drinking water, and a lot of other people were hydrating with non-alcoholic beverages. However, that all changed when we docked at Nassau and everyone went to Señor Frogs, where we got to see LMFAO perform a mini concert 50 feet in front of us. There was a Gronk Q&A session where we learned that Rob really enjoys beating the Colts, the Gronk family loves lemon drops, and Gronk can lift four girls at the same time.
For the final attraction, the Gronks attempted to gain redemption in “Family Feud.” (They were beaten by the family of Holly Robinson-Peete on the TV show.) Rob, Gordy Jr., Chris and WWE wrestler Mojo Rawley were all out in matching black jump suits, light-up shoes and glow-in-the-dark apparel. Their outfits were the highlight of the performance. The Gronks answered almost every question with the same response: “Chicks.”
In all honesty, I’m able to say without hesitation that this was the best vacation of my life. The whole Gronk family was incredibly nice and interactive with the fans. Rob signed autographs after almost every single activity, he and his family took photos and interacted with guests throughout the day, and even his artists/guests were pleasant to interact with. The Norwegian Cruise staff were truly excellent at their jobs and were constantly making sure that everyone was enjoying themselves. Even though I have what I suspect to be heartburn for the first time in my life, gained at least 10 pounds and am suffering from a vicious headache, I’ll be online to register for the Gronk Cruise 2.0—if we’re lucky enough to have one.
• Do you have fan story? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org