So picture this: A party with pirates on pirate ships used in a little movie called Pirates of the Caribbean. Booze, good spirits, and YAR!ring all around. This sounds like the makings of a pretty cool venue with some pretty cool attendees, which is why my ComicCon group purchased tickets about a month before the convention! At the slightly steep price of ~$50 a ticket, we were anticipating lots of pirate mayhem!
We walked to the venue (San Diego Maritime Museum), which was about a mile and a half from the Marriott Marquis & Marina. Not terrible, but just far enough that we were like, “Man, that was a hike that we are going to have to do drunk.” We show our printed-off email tickets and board the ship around 9 or 10 (the party was scheduled from 8pm to 1am). There wasn’t too many people yet so we made a beeline straight to the little bar they set up on the ship. To our dismay, they accepted cash only. This should have been stated because I was ready to go with my plastic. We were told there was an ATM across the way in the small restaurant off the same dock so the two guys with us went over there. A few minutes later, they came back and said the ATM was broken and the gentleman inside the restaurant was rude and said they were closed. They also said security mentioned we are not supposed to leave the ship and board again but was nice about it. Thankfully, Nikki had cash that was able to get us through the evening.
After acquiring appropriate beverages, we began to explore the ship. It was much smaller than any of us anticipated, and we were limited to one ship. While the Star of India was docked nearby (probably 50 or so feet away), we were not allowed on it which the ticket originally implied (“Party on two ships from the Pirates of the Caribbean movie!”), so that was a disappointment. Still trying to make the best of it, we explored more and found two very pretty ladies dressed as sirens and that were more than happy to pose for photo ops. I have to say, they stayed in character the entire evening. Kudos to them. We were going to go up and see the steering wheel for some photos but apparently it was a VIP Only designated area. I asked the gentleman standing there where the trash can was and he said he didn’t know. Since I don’t litter, I held the cups of our group for awhile before we finally wandered downstairs and I threw the trash away in the bathroom.
Speaking of downstairs, there was a small little museum of random marine things including Wilson from the film Castaway. That was the highlight of the museum; everything else was just history on different ships. We passed a tiny room that looked as though it would house tarot or psychic readings but after several checks there was never anyone in there. Too bad. We hung out downstairs for a bit because there was a nice window that looked out to the ocean – and the upstairs became rather crowded. Once returning upstairs, we explored the one vendor that set up shop on the ship – he had some great pewter pendants, earrings, necklaces, daggers, rings, and more! This was a highlight since he had pieces from $5 to $200 — something for everyone basically. He also accepted cards. Most people were rather friendly on the boat at least but it seemed very much like a LARP party (though it said nothing on the invite about that). It did feel like we were the “odd ones out” as many people seemed to know each other quite well outside of this event, as if this was just an extension of a large group that had been together for quite some time. We mostly enjoyed the atmosphere, the alcohol, and the vendor.
While I did get a huge kick from being on the actual ship that was used in the movies (my fiancé got a kick out of peeing in the same toilet as Johnny Depp — it’s the little things, guys), I do feel it was a touch overpriced for how small and how limited it ultimately was. For $75 more we could have upgraded to VIP and apparently had free food and access to two other tiny areas of the ship, but that just did not seem worth it. The bartender made a mean Diet Coke & Malibu Coconut rum, but at $8 for a glass that was 6 or 8 oz was just a little ridiculous considering the ticket fee we’d already paid. Overall, I’m glad I took pictures and spent time with friends off-site but if we go to Comic-Con next year I would probably skip this party. I do hear next year is Star Wars themed, but having something slotted for Friday night really limits my opportunities for movie showings – which I could do for free instead.
Chan’s Camera Rating: 4 cameras out of 10 — As far as parties go, I have been to better house parties in high school. As far as pirate ships go, you can’t beat it. Taking pictures of the ship does not require a ticket if you stand across where it is docked!