It’s the Ship is the foremost festival cruise in this part of the world. The third instalment of the epic journey just happened over the weekend and lucky me has just returned from it.
Three days after disembarking, I’m sick from over-partying (I didn’t know til now that there’s such a thing!), aching in every muscle – even ones I didn’t know existed, like that small bit of flesh above your kneecaps – and a sworn two-week detox from alcohol, smoke, and sweaty people.
Anyone who has been on the Ship will tell you – and I’ve been twice – that it’s quite literally eat, sleep, rave, repeat… on steroids.
Here are some of my biggest takeaways from It’s the Ship this year.
#1 – You don’t know the limits of how hard you can party, until you’re on the Ship
The line-up made it so conducive to party. Smoke machines, lasers, kickass MCs spitting lines and oozing ‘tude, rubber duckies, giant beach balls, humongous unicorn and flamingo floaties, multiple very well stocked bars and a giant pool flanked by hot tubs… how could we not wanna put our hands up in the air so much, we come back after the 3-day bender with achy shoulders.
Music was amazing with standout shows by Knife Party, Dada Life, Andrew Rayel, Marlo, Far East Movement, and regional & local acts that I’ve developed somewhat of a #girlcrush on Arabyrd and DJ Nadia (who collectively make up Twinkies), and loved local DJs H3, Dangerdisko, a young but lit AF Myrne from Singapore and the amazing Indonesian Dipha Barus.
#2 – Seeing the sunrise on the ocean (Straits of Melaka doesn’t have the same ring to it), specifically after a night of hard partying, can be a surprisingly spiritual experience
I was lucky enough to party til sunrise on 2 of 3 mornings on the Ship. It was nothing short of spectacular… and spiritual.
The first morning I saw a handsome moustachioed dude meditating and decided to join him. A few minutes and a couple sun salutations after, we said hello, hugged, and sang praises of Mother Nature for the wonder before our eyes; and The Universe for letting our paths cross in that perfect moment. Bliss. Like the perfect lull on your favourite trance track, when you’re *just* tipsy enough, right before the drop.
#3 – Aussies party REALLY hard
If you’ve ever been in a typical Aussie bar, you’ll know that broken glass crunching underfoot, people yelling at the top of their lungs and some bar brawls breaking out intermittently are part of a good ol’ night out. The fact that Aussies having topped the list of nationalities going for the Ship meant that it was gonna be a fuckin’ mental crowd. The lack of elegance totally made up for by their gusto for life. Aussie-style partying meant going hard until you crash – go hard or go home, right? And oh did they deliver. No single group of people from any bordered state were more present in their conscious moments (they’d be flat out unconscious at other times) than the Aussies. OY, OY, OY.
#4 – It’s the little things that count
This nod goes to the organisers who freaking KILLED it. If the first Ship was well organised, they’ve only gotten better over the years. Sure, I pined hopelessly for a Party Captain which The Hoff unfortunately didn’t fulfil (Andrew Netto you were missed!), but everything else was through the roof. Mermaids in the pool, dancing T-Rexes, and… The Hoff, who, instead of an act, turned out to be part of the props. But that’s okay. Having the Baywatch theme play and while he ran slow-mo in his get up was cheesy. But we love cheesy.
We also loved The Sexy Sax Man, who looks like a real life throwback of Gunther and actually DOES play the sax. He’s awesome AF and we’re smitten by his sweet, sweet
moustache and sexy mullet demeanor.
#5 – Party garb is sometimes the party itself
The chicks were in their hot-gear: hair and make-up done to the nines, flat abs and shapely pins put on display. They felt and looked pretty damn hot.
It must be said that Malaysians weren’t a shy bunch either. Amidst all the onesies, native Indian headgears, Baywatch getups and a guy riding a T-Rex with a squirt gun in the shape of a penis; a certain Cheras boy in a man-kini (and his other Borat-loving, mankini-donning possies) gave them a run for their money in the costume (and modesty) department.
#6 – Some people on the Ship are loaded AF
Short of buying a giant barrel of champagne and hooking it straight up to your rain shower at home, you ain’t gonna get any closer to a champagne shower in your muthafrikkin’ life than right in front of the stage at very major DJ set. I counted 12 bottles go off within a span of eight minutes at one point. What economic downturn? Pfft.
#7 – It doesn’t matter if an epic party is going on; For Malaysians, it’s food > party
On the first full day at sea, we arrive in Penang for the street party. That’s where most people went to. For the Malaysians, we prioritised our fave hawker fare, of course! Hell, we’re in Penang!
Yes, we did miss out on the street party – which honestly looks pretty damn fun – but we indulged in our share of char koay teow fried over charcoal, or chien (oyster omelette) and Penang Hokkien mee in exchange. It’s helluva worth it, in my books! A quick 30-min massage and a swift customs clearance later, we’re back on the Ship and ready to party again.
The 4-day-3-night cruise was taxing on the body and the wallet, especially with the Malaysian ringgit being down in the dumps like this. But FML, was it worth every ache, every sen, every missed minute of sleep in exchange of a mind-blowingly kickass party.