A quick trip inside the Bolts On Board inaugural cruise

TAMPA – What Happens on a Bolts on Board Cruise . . . probably gets recorded or photographed!

If you take a bug on a boat, you get fun!

You get mayhem when you invite Andre Roy.

The inaugural Bolts on Board Cruise (put together by the Lightning with the Sixthman group) set sail on Friday, January 12, 2024. Nearly 400 avid Lightning fans took the plunge, or rather, the boat, sailing on the Norwegian Jade for four nights.

Wonder what the Bolts On Board cruise was like?

Launch day kicked off at Sparkman Wharf in the morning where Greg Wolf and Gabby Shirley hosted the pre-cruise party. Cruisers were entertained by Calvin de Haan, Haydn Fleury, Austin Watson, and Jonas Johannsen, as the players answered questions from Shirley. Being the generous guys that Lightning players are, they hung around for photo opportunities before boarding the ship.

Once on board, an afternoon tiki party was the first event of the cruise, complete with mai tais, swag, and music. The next event featured the Lightning Legends – Phil Esposito, Bobby “The Chief” Taylor, Brian Bradley, Dave Andreychuk, Freddy Modin, Brad Lukowich, and Andre Roy. It was a story-telling session moderated by Wolf. Roy channeled Robin Williams with his singing and no-filter antics. His energy has not dropped off since 2004. Funny stories, trash talking, and interesting hockey history was shared by the legends and appreciated by participants.

Throughout the trip there were trivia sessions, Family Feud, and a session called Are You Smarter Than A Legend? Trivia contests pitted cruisers against each other and were hosted by a legend or two. The other contests pitted the Legends against fans who were randomly chosen for these games. Cool first prizes included signed mini sticks and pucks.

There was also an autograph session, casino games, and a hockey ball clinic. A special happy hour with Andreychuk and Espositio was available for a donation to the Lightning Foundation.

And Thunderbug seemed to be everywhere and the Legends were often found on board for selfies!

The oldest legend was the Stanley Cup, which was in need of a Florida tan. The Cup made its way, alongside Cup keeper Phil Pritchard (who was probably happy to be there in January), to Key West where the boat was docked for an excursion day.  The highlight of this visit, of course, was getting a photo with the Cup!

Also on Saturday, a loud fanatic group of Bolts fans took over most of the sports bar on one of the decks for a private watch party to cheer on the Lightning to a huge win over the Anaheim Ducks.

On Sunday, the next stop was scheduled to be Great Stirrup Cay in the Bahamas, but due to high waves, the boats used to transport cruisers to shore were not able to run for safety reasons. No problem, outdoor sports games were added and the fun continued.

As usual, the Lightning organization shows they know how to throw a party, complete with the Cup and a Bolts win as the frosting on the cake. Not a shabby way to spend four nights at sea!

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