Rob LeDonne is a comedian and journalist who has written material for the likes of the New York Times, Rolling Stone, Jimmy Fallon, Jay Leno, and Saturday Night Live's Weekend Update. He was recently invited to take a ride on the Bounce Boat. This is his experience.
When I had the opportunity to take a ride on the Bounce Boat, which can best be described as an EDM concert/cruise around New York Harbor, a few questions immediately popped into my head. What should I wear? Are there free drinks? And perhaps most importantly, what if the ship goes down and takes everyone with it? Considering I'm not into the club scene as much as some people, I had no idea what to expect. As I was learning more about what the experience would entail, I became increasingly intrigued. For starters, the "boat" they use is actually a humongous yacht. Considering the closest I've ever been to a yacht was seeing the one Leonardo DiCaprio owns in The Wolf of Wall Street, I was IN!
BEFORE THE CRUISE
What does one wear to a dance cruise... An oversized T-shirt that says YOLO? A suit? My friend and I couldn't figure it out, until we read that the dress code simply said, "You do you." Assuming this wasn't a euphemism for masturbation, I threw on a polo and some jeans and we were off.
This particular Bounce Boat was docked at Manhattan's Pier 40, so we took one of those world famous New York City cab rides (which is just like a normal cab ride, but with extra B.O.), and arrived at the dock in no time. Walking up to the yacht, I saw a guy in a Santa Claus hat and ripped tank top. "You do you," indeed!
The yacht the Bounce Boat takes place on actually has a name: the Hornblower Infinity. Docked were three Hornblower yachts: a small one, a medium one, and a large one (much like the fries from McDonalds). This particular cruise took place on the large one. Why? Because this is 'MERICA! "U-S-A! U-S-A!"
It's finally time to board, and once on the yacht it's quite impressive. There are a variety of places to hang, whether it's the two-level main room (complete with a disco ball and couches), or outside on the lower or upper decks. The yacht is so big that it wasn't until a few hours in did we discover a SECOND club area with an entirely different atmosphere and DJ. It was kind of like walking into Narnia. Our passes came with a stub for a free drink, which we exchanged for some champagne. As I chugged the champagne from a plasic cup, I felt exactly like Jordan Belfort (without the pills and hookers).
Our first hour onboard consisted of walking around the yacht saying things like, "Oooooh" and "Aaaah." As everyone danced in the main area, the movie "Poseiden" came to mind; the one with Fergie and the guy from "Transformers." Remember how much that movie blew? I then made my way to one of four bars on the ship and got myself a Gin and Tonic.
The setting sun reflecting on the Hudson River is a captivating sight to behold. As I start to think about the beauty of nature and fragility of life, I suddenly realize: I'm drunk.
A guy wielding a camera with a very bright flash is going around taking video and pictures. I jump in a group shot with a bunch of strangers, clenching my body to try to look as ripped as possible. Surprisingly, nobody seems impressed.
An wasted guy jumps in front of the camera. "Let's do this! We in New York, baby!!," he yells as if everyone somehow forgot where they were.
The ship is still docked, but the music is already blasting. Today's cruise has the DJ stylings of Solidisco and Brenmar. However, I was most excited for a set from Capital Cities; they're best known for their hit "Safe and Sound." In case you haven't heard "Safe and Sound"- do you live under a rock? It's a federally mandated law that it's played on the radio every 10 minutes. Luckily for all of us, the song is pretty catchy and has a sick trumpet solo as well. (This marks the first time anyone's used the word "sick" when describing a trumpet solo.)
It's now more than an hour after we first hopped on the yacht and it's still docked. Apparently there's some sort of delay. Looking around, I see a single life preserver. Considering there are supposed to be 1,000 people on the boat, I suppose we can pass it around in the event we hit an iceberg? I'm later assured they have more. Phew!
While waiting, I hit up Wikipedia on my phone to learn some nautical lingo. Apparently when looking towards the front of the ship, the "port" is what you call its left side and the "starboard" is the name for its right. This brings up a very important question. Why not just call them what they are: the "left" and "right" sides? The answer is a mystery, much like the sea itself.
Finally we set sail, about three hours after boarding. As we speed up the Hudson River and cruise past the picturesque skyline, I couldn't help but feel lucky to be in a magical place such as New York City: the center of the world. Suddenly it occurs to me... I'm actually looking at the skyline on the New Jersey side of the river. Nevermind! I quickly avert my eyes and look the other way.
I'm going to try to write the most cliche-ridden EDM concert review of all time: "Bro, the Hudson River wasn't the only thing making waves on this Friday night! Brenmar was a beast. The only thing hotter than the city's summer sun were the sizzling beats blasting through Hornblower's mad speakers. Solidisco had me chillin' like a villain, and Capital Cities were bangin'. Thankfully, there weren't many THOTS on board, or else I would have peaced out! Feel me?"
It's already 11:30 as we breeze past the Statue of Liberty. 100 years ago, our great-great grandparents arriving from Europe sailed past this very same statue seeking a better life. Tonight, we sail past the Statue of Liberty seeking Bud Light Limes.
By this time, everything is starting to blur together. We make our way from the outer deck, back inside, then outside again, then to the main room, and then back towards the outer deck. Back inside, due to the darkness it's hard to tell when we're moving and when we're not. At a certain point, it seems like we're going in circles. Suddenly, I realize it again: I'm drunk.
A remix of "Safe and Sound" blasts as Capital Cities is finishing up their set. Six hours in, I start to notice some of my fellow passengers passed out on the couches in the upper level of the main room. Too much milk, I assume? (Wink-wink, nudge-nudge).
Right on time, the yacht docks and everyone hops off. As we try to find a cab, I reflect on my journey. On the upside, the yacht didn't sink. On the downside, there were no downsides. Bounce Boat is definitely a solid way to spend a Friday night. Why? Because, "We in New York, baby!!"