A year since Parahoy

In March 2014, Paramore (and friends) set sail on the maiden voyage of Parahoy!, a four-day cruise from Miami to Great Stirrup Cay, in the Bahamas, and back again, and what a voyage it was! People from all corners of the globe gathered on a boat and had what can only be described as a magical experience.

You may have occasionally heard people talk about what it was like on Parahoy and how it had such an incredible impact on people’s lives. As the anniversary was approaching, we wanted to gather the stories of the people who went, to get an idea of the impact that those four days had on each of those Parahoy cruisers. At worst it was a fantastic vacation with friends, old and new, at it’s best, it was an incredible, life changing experience, that will genuinely have such a lasting impact on the lives that it touched. Another cruiser and a blogger wrote a nice blog post about everyone’s experiences as well, you should check our Claire Louise’s blog post here!

Let’s hear from some of the different people who joined Paramore and shared this wonderful experience!

Lidia P. (@invalidia)

Helsinki, Finland

“Before Parahoy, I had had a really rough few months. I had just started college in another city, away from my friends and family. It wasn’t as easy as I thought it was going to be, so I ended up dropping out of college just before Parahoy. I was supposed to go on Parahoy with a friend from Sweden, but she ended up not being able to go, so I asked another Finnish girl, Linda, one of my best friends, to join me. She had never been to the States and couldn’t have been more excited. So it all turned out to be okay in the end. We thought we would have been the only Finnish people on the ship, but turned out the captain of the ship was from Finland as well! What a small world.

On our first day in Miami, we met up with some Norwegian Parahoyers. We had lunch on the Ft. Lauderdale Beach until a rain storm came along. We had to take a cab to get to a shopping mall, which was only a mile away. There were six of us and a bunch of other people waiting for a cab, so we had to hop on the first one we could get. It was a 5-passenger car, and there were six of us and the driver… us girls ended up squeezing ourselves into the back of the cab while one of the girls’ mother sat in the front with the driver. We have never laughed so hard. We were sitting on top of each other, it was humid and sweaty. Just how we (don’t) like it. The cab driver laughed and said: “I’ve had groups before, but man, you laugh sooo much!”

My friend was particularly excited about the buffets on the ship. She would wake up before me and eat, and when I woke up, she was ready for a second round! I must admit I didn’t eat as much as I could have, I only had one scoop of icecream! What’s up with that?! I guess I was just so excited about everything that I forgot to eat. I have never been as happy to wake up as I was on that ship. I would stay up until 3am and wake up at 8am, just so I wouldn’t miss out on any of the activities. I was really excited about room service, we didn’t order anything, but the fact those sweet people made our beds and left a towel animal every day was too awesome. I made sure to thank them for that. Washy Washy people were also great, taking care of our hand hygiene.

I met so many friends on that cruise. We are now going to the Nashville Writing The Future show together. Everything about the cruise was so perfect, okay, well not really. If there’s ever going to be another Parahoy, I hope a certain sparkling water beverage company isn’t sponsoring it. Their drinks were so bad someone said she took one because they were free and she was thirsty, took a sip of it and walked back to the stand to ask if she could return it. I heard the New Found Glory guys called it LaCrap… Ok well, they say there’s no such thing as bad publicity? Eh. Anyway, no, the cruise was perfect. My favorite moment, excluding the shows and activities with the band, was when my friend Linda and I were on the top deck on the first night. It was just the two of us. It was pitch dark and all you could hear were the waves of the ocean. We put on “Stay The Night” and started dancing around the empty deck. Neither of us are dancers, so it must’ve looked pretty stupid, but I’ve never felt more free.”

Aaron B. (@fueledbyaaron)

Hull, England, UK

“My favourite moment from the cruise was during Tegan and Sara’s set on the pool deck, I was with my friends Jodie, Jamie and Kaylee and we were just splashing around in the pool at the back. I was so at peace, just so happy, it was the first time that I truly felt that the cruise was actually happening and that we were genuinely experiencing this amazing thing.

I spent a total of 10 days in America (my first trip there) and it was genuinely the greatest 10 days of my life. Although I didn’t get to spend any time with them on the cruise, I met my best friend because of Parahoy and for that I will be truly thankful. Before the cruise was announced I didn’t really have that many friends but now I find myself with a wealth of amazing people in my life, some of which I’ll be moving to Australia with in July, so I think it’s safe to say that Parahoy has changed my life.”

Joanna R. (@paramusicrocks)

Los Angeles, California, USA

“One year ago today I was on my way to get on a plane with some of my best friends in the world, never did I think that when I got back I would be a complete different person, this cruise changed my life. Not only did I spend four days and nights with 13 of my best friends, but I got to hangout with the people who brought us together the ones we came to see perform, our favorite band, the only reason we all became friends in the first place.

We learned so much from each other and fell more in love with our personalities. The 1st day on the boat I had front row and met my now best friend Mikaelyn she’s from Ohio. We had an unbelievable time, even though at the moment we didn’t know each other that well we bonded during this set & we even held hands during a song.

After the shows being able to walk around the boat dressed up in 80s outfit was awesome. We met our now friend who lives in Florida Mandy at the Shiny Toy Guns & NFG show, she was sharing a room with people she didn’t know who spoke different language so we took her in and is now one of our best friends. The next day was the most important day on that cruise, it was Paraprom and dinner with Paramore. A month before we be boarded the ship my love Russell (best friend) asked me to Paraprom, this was my first prom. When he picked me up at the door to my cabin I couldn’t believe my eyes, he looked so handsome.

The day of the Bahamas we reserved a cabana for all 13 is us and we were the only ones in the water singing Paramore and Disney songs. At one point we looked up to the sky and in the clouds there was a dove shaped cloud we all stopped and sang Hallelujah, it was so incredible felt just like a movie. My best friend Britany brought a go-pro and caught most of our footage our conversations, our laughs, our jokes, just to think about all the incredible memories we made brings tears to my eyes.

Just to be out there in the middle of the ocean with people that are your best friends that you trust that are not jealous of you, but more excited about all this amazing things are happening and all they want to do is hear all about it. That’s when I new we were going to be best friends for life. Memories like this will remain in my heart and soul for the rest of my life. I can’t thank Paramore enough for having this life changing event go from a dream to a reality. Parahoy will always be the best days of my life hands down.”

Violet S.

Lockport, Illinois, USA

“For me Parahoy was my first ever cruise, my first time in Florida, my first time on an island and my first time seeing a Paramore show FINALLY. So it was a lot about popping my cherry you could say, haha!

I remember a night where my boyfriend and his dad fell asleep and I being a horrible insomniac took a walk around the boat alone, it was the second night I think… But coming around to the anniversary I have been able to literally smell and feel that night. Everything about it, I was on the pool deck walking towards where that fitness room was the deck was wet and I decided not to wear shoes so I felt it all on my feet and the pool looked so still and compared to the concert everything was so quiet it felt like I was the only one on the ship. It was beautiful.

Haha, sometimes I still smell the cafeteria at random times. But ultimately what Parahoy meant to me was moving forward and doing something that I genuinely WANTED to do for ME and no one else.”

Megan W. (@meggiemonstre)

Nashville, Tennessee, USA

“Two years ago, if you’d told me I would be aboard a cruise ship with my favorite band and several thousand of their fans…well, I would have gotten just as excited as I did when I booked my room during the cruise pre-sale. I consider Parahoy to be one of the absolute best experiences of my life, no question, if not the best.

I guess it all started one fine afternoon in high school in 2007 when a friend of mine told me about a band she thought I’d like; of course she meant Paramore. I went to my first show that year to see them play which, subsequently, was their hometown Riot! release show and the first time they played ‘crush crush crush’ live. Fast forward 7 years and you’d find me aboard the Norwegian Pearl sailing away from Miami, Florida with the sun setting and Paramore playing on the main cruise deck; this was my first cruise, as well as many others as I came to learn over the next four days.

Having been a part of the much-loved Paramore Fan Club, I had grown up with a group of online friends who shared my love and passion for this band from my little town of Nashville, and now, we were all finally united in one place. After knowing this amazing group of friends (literally from all over the world) for years, I finally got to meet them all and it was nothing short of incredible. I got to have dinner with these people, rock out to our favorite band in the same crowd, scream out the same favorite lyrics at the same time, play in the same sand in the freaking Bahamas, and each French fries at eleven at night if the mood struck us. And the even better part was that, anywhere I looked, I knew everyone had one thing in common: Paramore. We were all there because we loved the same thing; how rare is that? How amazing is that?

And then there were the new friendships I made, and the friendships that were made stronger for finally being able to talk and interact face to face instead of through virtual communication or via Skype. I finally got to hug a friend from Ireland who ended up being my very near twin thanks to our same hair color and style. I got to walk under the night sky in the middle of the Atlantic with one of my new best friends from Finland; I’m actually going to go to Finland this year because of Paramore—how cool is that?

But then came my favorite night of all…the show that everyone talks about; it’s either their favorite show or the show they wished they could have seen. The second show Paramore performed aboard the Pearl (which I still can’t say without thinking about Jack Sparrow-excuse me, Captain Jack Sparrow) was such an emotionally raw and infectious performance. I meant to hang off to the side with my Irish twin and a friend from the Connecticut, but I ended up five feet away from the stage with tears in my eyes when the band segued from ‘Let the Flames Begin’ to ‘Part II’. I still can’t say why that particular performance got to me, but I can say that it was an moment that was not felt solely by myself, and I still can’t imagine any show ever eclipsing that fabled night. With a minimal light show and a smaller stage than usual, Paramore exploded that evening with a force I haven’t met before or since.

There are also many other moments that are still so present to me that I can close my eyes and experience them again. Walking around the cruise ship in my Elmo pajama pants, laughing my head off when our trivia group thought that the real name of the pope belonged to a Spanish pop singer, being clad in white with neon glow sticks all over me as I danced next to my Irish twin, coming up with the next best all girl international pop singing group ‘the Lil Mermaidz’ with two of my red-headed friends from Canada and Ireland, being out-danced for the Prom Queen title in my Doctor Who costume by a drag queen with the slickest dance routine since ‘Chicago’, out-bowling Taylor York in my Joan Jett costume, getting my first sunburn in over four years while I chatted and floated in the ocean with a group of girls from California. There are too many memories to think back over without giving myself a clinical case of nostalgia, and I find that I do this all too often.

I can only ever be indebted to Paramore for providing me with such an amazing opportunity, but I could never rightly express my gratitude. All I could ever say is that I’m sorry it was so short and that I cannot wait for the next one. Jeremy, Taylor, Hayley…you brought together a group of people from every end of the earth with one thing in common: you. You are where the lines overlap, and no one is as lucky as us-your fans. From the bottom of my Nashville heart, thank you for Parahoy. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU.”

Ryan M. (@mockadoodle)

Watsonville, California, USA

“For me, Parahoy! can be summed up by the second show. The second show Paramore performed on the cruise was the concert I had been waiting almost 10 years to experience.

At one point I remember thinking to myself just how strange and new it all was. Here I was, having travelled thousands of miles by myself, standing in a crowd full of people I’ve barely met, gathered together on a moving boat in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, listening to songs that no one had (until that point) ever heard performed. One could say that the situation could not have been more foreign to me. And yet, it still felt like home.”

Siw Linda S.

Braskereidfoss, Norway

“I was 13 when I started listening to my favorite band, Paramore. I am now 21 and this same band still gets me through just as much as they did when I was a teenager. In 2013 I got on stage at a Paramore concert in Oslo. When we got off stage me and one of the other girls looked at each other and said HOLY SHIT. I didn’t know her yet. We were tagged in a picture together and started following each other on Instagram but didn’t talk. The news about Parahoy came out and this girl I was on stage with but didn’t know tagged me in a picture saying “Parahoy!!? Me and a friend are thinking of going, wanna come with?” Something in me told me to go, so I traveled to Miami with two people I didn’t know. They are now two of the best people in my life.

Someone organized a meet-up in Miami, on March 6th, right before Parahoy set sail. After the meet-up we met a girl and a guy from Canada who were also going on the cruise. We met at Hooters, actually. GREAT STORY. Anyways, we were together every day on that cruise, and they are amazing people. Paige, the girl, is the most amazing person I have ever met in my entire life. Her mom died just a few months before the cruise. I cried during Last Hope, and not because of something personal, but because she was crying. That’s when I knew she was going to mean a lot to me. All of us have now been to Miami, Toronto, Norway and LA together. I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart for making Parahoy happen. These 3 people mean the world to me and I wouldn’t know them if it wasn’t for you. I personally went from being miserable to being the happiest I have ever been, and still am – because I can now call these people my best friends. THANK YOU.”

Morgan M. & Kayla R.

Scranton, Pennsylvania, USA

morgan“For the past eight years we have been going to see Paramore. It wasn’t even a question when news about Parahoy broke that we were going, but I don’t think anyone realized how amazing this experience really was going to be. Around this time we knew a few people in the Paramore family but we kind of kept to ourselves at shows and always went together since we are cousins. We made plans to meet up and travel to Miami with our friends Bobby and Kendall, who we only have met twice before but have been friends on social media with since 2006. We were very nervous but excited for our first cruise experience with our favorite band. Once we got to Miami and began the check in process, our friends introduced us to Karen, Sarah and a few other friends that they knew, that we ran into. No one knew that by the end of these 4 days we would become each other’s best friends.

In between shows and activities on the boat, we spent a lot of time at the buffet stuffing our faces and at night, going to the headphone disco (which we all swore we wouldn’t be caught dead at), relaxing together on the beautiful beach, and hanging out in each other’s rooms. We shared all of our Paramore memories from the first time we ever saw them, to the first song we ever heard. We walked around the boat and ran into people we didn’t know having a sing-a-long and joined right in. No one was being judged or criticized. We were a family.

When we really started to realize we were becoming close friends was after the second Paramore show. Throughout the set we laughed and cried together. At the end we starred at each other in shock that that experience really just happened!

kaylamorganBecause of this cruise we met some lifelong friends that we would have never met if not for it. Since the cruise ended, we all keep in touch on a daily basis, we have visited each other in the cities we all live in, went camping together and attended Good Morning America and four Monumentour shows together. More recently, we all won a contest to see Paramore at the Hilton @ Play concert in New York City where we got to spend the whole day together doing fun activities and in the end saw one of the best Paramore shows we have ever seen. We all had a great experience together.

We are beyond grateful for this cruise and more particularly this band because we met so many amazing friends through them. We’re patiently waiting for the next Parahoy Cruise to build more friendships and make many more memories.”

Lene H. (@hagenftw)

Stokmarknes, Norway

“Coming all the way from Norway, meeting the great Para-family, and being able to be togehter on a cruise ship in the middle of the Bahamas with our favorite band(s) is an experience I will take with me until the day I’m not on this planet anymore. I was originally not supposed to be able to go due to the fact me and my friends were all under the age of 21, but thankfully my friend’s mom volunteered to go with us. She ended up enjoying the cruise just as much as we did!

I’ve made friends for life, amazing memories and met my idols, who are so nice, loving, down-to-earth and caring. I am so grateful that I was able to go to Parahoy, and I thank everyone who was there for making Parahoy the greatest holiday ever. WE MADE PARAMORE HISTORY GUYS! I love everyone who went on that cruise.”

Delaney M. (@USParamoreUK)

Boston, Massachusetts, USA

aysp004“I attended Parahoy with my mom (who has a pretty kickin’ music taste) and it was absolutely my favorite few days of 2014! We flew down from Massachusetts and the anticipation was overwhelming. I got to meet so many people I had talked to online for years, which was the coolest thing.

One of my favorite moments happened before we even stepped foot on the boat. My friend Jamie (a.k.a @TheParamoreCrew) saw me from a mile away, screamed my name, and ran up to me and almost knocked me over with the biggest bear hug I’d ever received.

The cruise also marked the first time I got to meet my friend Jess, who co-runs @USparamoreUK with me, the first time I ever set sail on a cruise, and the first time I truly felt like I fit in somewhere. Being on a cruise ship with 2,000+ other people who understood my love for music/bands was amazing. Parahoy was easily the coolest things I’ve ever gotten to be a part of as a Paramore fan. It was such an amazing opportunity and I can’t wait to feel that sense of magic again someday.”

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