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Ten Essentials for a Heavy Metal Cruise

Genre-themed concert cruises are the new black.

In 2014, there's a floating music festival curated for fans of everything from progressive rock (Cruise to the Edge) to whatever the hell you want to classify the artists that sail on the Mad Decent Boat Party as. Hell -- there's even a Kiss Kruise! If you dig a sound and feel the call of the sea, there's a boat with your name on it these days. However, nothing found within this musical flotilla is more intriguing than the heavy metal cruises.

With names like Barge to Hell and 70,000 Tons of Metal, the heavy metal cruises that sail from South Florida's shores actually provide an astounding amount of bang for your buck. The lineups are always solid, the ports of call are pretty cool, and you're not driving the boat -- so you can spend a few days chasing down the zenith of early Metallica alcoholism. These cruises also benefit South Florida's land lovin' metal fans as there are always a few acts that choose to play a local date.

We understand that the archetypical metal fan is not necessarily the cruise type. Why would you want to chill in the Bahamas when there are so many other substantially more metal vacation options? You could have a pint next to the Phil Lynott memorial in Dublin, or you could go tour the rebuilt Scandinavian churches that had burned in the wild and crazy early days of black metal. At any rate, we're here to help prepare you, esteemed metal cruiser, with a bit of packing guidance. Here are our ten metal cruise essentials.

10. Sunscreen

This one is glaringly obvious, but skin cancer is the least metal way to die. Also, sunburns are for amateurs, and you probably paid money for those tattoos, why not protect them?

9. Prophylactics

Another obvious choice, but let's be real: You probably don't even know what state he or she is from, and it's going to be really rough explaining to your future offspring that they were conceived in international waters between Napalm Death and Mayhem's sets. Also, the clap.

8. Probiotics

Diarrhea at sea ain't no joke, especially when you've dropped major coin to party with your favorite bands! So sidestep the cruise grub plague with a bit of precaution. Also, what could possibly more metal than pills that are actually teeming with (healthy) bacteria? Nothing.

7. Novelty Tuxedo Shirt

Because if metal cruises are anything like real cruises, you're going to have a formal dinner night you shouldn't cut the sleeves off of a real tux. Get yours here.

6. Shampoo/Other Bottles Full of Booze

Drinks are expensive. Cruise drinks are super expensive. But you're resourceful, right? Grab some opaque shampoo bottles or use one of the tricky Youtube methods, empty those suckers out, rinse the residue out thoroughly, and fill with the liquor of your choice. Now you have more money to pay for rare the European acts' rare merch!

5. Spacey Baked Goods

Smuggling actual marijuana on to a cruise ship is sort of a big deal because you can still get arrested for that shit, and let's face it -- you're not Han Solo. We suggest getting baked via baked goods. Substantially more conspicuous, and (supposedly) this form of ingestion will provide for a hell of a ride in the jacuzzi.

4. Nail Clippers

We know there is no need to keep your toenails under control when your doggies spend most of their time hiding in the darkness of a pair of 20 year old Doc Martens, but the odds of them making an appearance on a cruise ship are as high as that dude eating your brownies. So groom that shit and look civilized.

3. Permanent Markers

Wanna get a body part signed by your favorite metal band? Better hope that your maker is up to the test of chlorinated pool water and sunscreen. Why not grab some of those super heavy-duty Sharpies? Also, when your buddy passes out on a chaise lounge after finishing off his shampoo bottle of booze, you're going to want to make absolutely sure the penis you draw on his head sticks around for at least the rest of the trip.

2. Spiked Water Wings

This one might take a touch of creativity, but we know there are plenty of people who have never been taught to swim. We also know there may come a time during your adventure when you might well be a little too drunk to rely on your own buoyancy. Grab some water wings, some black spray paint, some hot glue, and some spikes, and make those floaties Halford approved.

1. Water Resistant Corpse Paint

Don't embarrass yourself with some amateur hour, Party City corpse paint job. It insults both the bands on stage and the gods themselves. Get the good shit, take your time, and be the most intimidating motherfucker on the shuffleboard court.

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David Von Bader