It turns out cruises aren’t just for your nan anymore, as Anchored (by Unique Cruises) sailed 2,500 revellers through luscious locations with a formidable dance line-up, and almost every moment was premium Instagram fodder – plus you could STILL play shuffleboard.
From the rugged vistas of Santorini to the quaint alleyways of Mykonos and even the idyllic seaside port of Villefranche, there were easy targets waiting to be snapped, hashtagged and reposted for lots of social love. The soundtrack included the likes of Sammy Porter, Skream and Ants.
Meanwhile, the festival’s crowd pulled in the sort of glamorous clientele who wouldn’t look out of place in an episode of TOWIE. In fact, some of them literally were from episodes of TOWIE. The rest of the crowd was made up of fitness models, influencers and a handful of mere mortals like ourselves.
Behind the Instagram filters, the trip – which sailed on The Royal Caribbean’s Jewel of the Seas – wasn’t quite as perfect. Perhaps it was down to the teething problems of being the first event of its kind, but simple things such as transfers, nightclub entry and line-up times were blighted by queuing, miscommunication and some straight-up cancellations.
Pre-advertised headliner Tinie Tempah was swapped out for Giggs – a better choice in our opinion – but this wasn’t communicated properly to fans. Meanwhile, one event featuring MK at Mykonos’ Club Cavo Paradiso required revellers to pay an expensive club entry and charged for transfers, both of which weren’t explained until the last minute. Those issues aren’t huge problems but are still difficult to swallow when fans had already paid well over a thousand pounds for accommodation and drinks passes.
The accommodation, staff and food at the event were exquisite, though, and the Royal Caribbean Cruise saw to everything imaginable. (It’s an American company, so be wary of the inevitable tips added to your drinks and room service.) The cruise liner’s normal all-inclusive drinks deals were unavailable, so a £399 all-inclusive drinks package or paying around $12 per alcoholic beverage were the only options.
Overall, Anchored by Unique Cruises is somewhere between a festival, a floating Ibiza pool party and a cruise. Highlights included the thumping daily pool parties with solid dance music labels taking over each night, from Disturbing London to Hot Creations, and the attempt to break a world record for the most champagne sprayed while at sea. We’re not sure many people could afford to challenge that one, mind.
There were also some incredible moments where the usual cruise clientele (read: people over 60) who were also sailing on the ship, wandered into the thumping parties and were soon popping and grinding on tables with the young’uns.
If you’re a diehard music fan looking for a foreign festival fix, Anchored is probably a bit too light on the music variety. However if you simply want sun, lots of house and loads and fun with some of the most Instagrammable humans on Earth, then this is for you. And yes, that is CBB’s Calum Best below.
Anchored 2017 by Unique Cruises sailed from Rome to Santorini to Mykonos to Villefranche across seven days. Next year’s trip is already accepting booking and will travel from Barcelona, through to Sete, Ibiza, Palma and back to Barcelona.
Book Anchored by Unique Cruises 2018 here.
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