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Some 2,600 fans of Kid Rock gather on the Carnival Destiny for the kickoff concert of the musician's four-day Chillin' the Most cruise April 26.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times

Kid Rock's fans are reflected in his shades as he performs his first concert of the cruise, which also included sets by performers he handpicked. The cruise departed Miami on April 26 for Half Moon Cay, Bahamas.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times

Roxie Decambra, of Hilo, Hawaii, shows one of the 14 Kid Rock tattoos she sports.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times

Women in the audience are clearly amused by a contestant in a men's Speedo contest on the beach at Half Moon Cay in the Bahamas, a stop along Kid Rock's Chillin' the Most cruise.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times

A bare-breasted woman kicks off a "bikini contest" on the beach at Half Moon Cay, which Kid Rock declared Redneck Paradise.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times

Kid Rock playfully sits on a large beach ball that floated onstage during his seaside performance at Half Moon Cay on April 28.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times

Kid Rock fans cheer as they wade in the shallows of Half Moon Cay during a seaside concert by the self-described "King of the Rednecks," a highlight on the itinerary of his third Chiilin' the Most cruise.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times

Kid Rock pauses and postures for dramatic effect during his beach concert at Half Moon Cay. The Chillin' the Most cruise is accurately billed as a four-day fest of unbridled inebriation and hedonism.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times

A group of Kid Rock fans bask in the afterglow of a seaside concert by their idol in Half Moon Cay, Bahamas.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times

Empty beverage containers litter the beach at Half Moon Cay as the crowd disperses following a seaside concert by Kid Rock.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times

Kid Rock pauses to pose for a picture with a fan after a question-and-answer session April 29 on the pool deck of the cruise ship, a popular feature of the four-day music and alcohol fest known as Kid Rock's Chillin' the Most cruise.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times

The party goes late on the casino bar dance floor during the Chillin' the Most cruise.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times

Yelawolf performs aboard the Carnival Destiny. The Alabama-based rapper is a protege of Eminem and close friend of Kid Rock.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times

A couple of Chillin' the Most cruise passengers kiss at 5 a.m. on Saturday, April 28.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times

A a whip-wielding Catwoman joins the crowd in the casino bar aboard the Carnival Destiny during a "Red Carpet Rejects Night" dance, one of numerous onboard activities that featured high-decibel musical performances and drunken merriment.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times

Women dressed in '70s garb crowd onstage during a "70s Night" performance by country rocker John Stone aboard the Carnival Destiny on April 27.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times

A Slash lookalike joins the crowd in the casino bar during a "Red Carpet Rejects Night" dance April 28.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times

Yelawolf and Kid Rock embrace onstage after singing the last song of the 2012 Chillin' the Most cruise aboard the Carnival Destiny as it sails back to Miami on April 28.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times

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Luis Sinco, Los Angeles Times

It was the trashiest time of my life. And I’m sure the self-proclaimed mob of partyers I spent it with would take no offense and instead toss one back in memory of our lost weekend together in “Redneck Paradise.”

Reporter Gerrick Kennedy and I, and some 2,600 of the mostly heavy drinkers aboard the Carnival Cruises ship Destiny, sailed from Miami to Half Moon Cay, Bahamas, for a beachfront concert by the king of the motley gathering, Kid Rock, the rapper-rocker turned country singer from Detroit.

On this cruise, which was my first, I met and photographed a range of hard-core, middle-aged fans: an attorney from Houston, an investment banker from Maine, a Methodist pastor with a flock in South Carolina, a tattooed mother from Hawaii and a guy who hangs bumpers at a GM plant in Michigan – all of them cutting loose on Kid Rock’s third annual Chillin’ the Most Cruise.

At times, the crowd was shameless and profane, fueling an All-American bacchanal on steroids that could make Caligula smile. I had to dial down the shutter speed to blur numerous middle-fingered waves and frontal nudity directed at my camera.

On long, late-night stakeouts in the ship’s smoke-filled casino bar, I waited to catch a glimpse of Kid Rock and witnessed all types of outrageous behavior.

Not really my kind of confab – but the whole scene made great pictures. The challenge was to get images that would not offend common civility and sense.

On the highlight of the cruise, I stood knee deep in warm Caribbean waters and watched a live performance on a nearby stage. Around me, people sang along, raised bottles of beer and had the times of their lives. I imagined some of my favorite acts – U2, or Neil Young, or Prince – in this same scene, a moment to die for.

It was fun for a time, a memorable fest of good ole boys draped in American and Confederate flags, but at some point the irreverent morphed into crude before becoming completely soaked in alcohol-induced obnoxiousness and vulgarity. By the conclusion of Kid Rock’s seaside concert at Half Moon Cay, which he dubbed Redneck Paradise, I was ready to swim back to Miami.

As the Destiny docked in Miami and passengers began to debark, an announcement came over the ship’s public address system. There would be no farewell drinks offered at any of the ship’s numerous bars, the announcer said, because there wasn’t a drop of alcohol left aboard.

To no one’s surprise, the Kid Rock crew had drunk the ship’s stores dry.

Read the full story by Gerrick Kennedy “Kid Rock’s ‘Chillin’ the Most’ cruise floats fans’ boat

6 Comments

  1. May 18, 2012, 9:44 pm

    Kid Rock knows how to have a blast in Clarkston, MI, and redneck paradise! Rock on!

    By: Tonya Herschfus
  2. May 19, 2012, 2:27 am

    I hope you had a good time Bob. I sure wish Ed and I could have been with you but as you know, I am deathly afraid of bathing suits and anything to do with nudity. I sure would have liked to hang out with you and your friends and Ed sure could have used a vacation as well. Maybe next year. Maybe you could do something besides a cruise where there are bikini-clad women. Do something like a tour to the Holy Land. That would be right up my alley. I really do love you bob and would enjoy hanging out with you and your friends!

    By: juliegeneva
  3. May 19, 2012, 11:05 am

    A guy who dresses like Diane Keaton and a white gangster crapper and a bunch of drunken, ignorant rednecks. Pathetic.

    By: guest
  4. May 19, 2012, 6:33 pm

    Did you get hazard pay for this assignment?

    By: pkbrady333@aol.com
  5. May 21, 2012, 9:37 am

    I didn't go on Kid Rock's cruise but have been on plenty of others with rock and souther rock as the theme. To the person who referenced the folks on board as "ignorant rednecks", get over it. These are people having fun and causing harm to no one. Leave them alone. Is the cruise for everyone? No. Can the cruise get rowdy and bawdy? Yes. Better watch out…those so-called rednecks are some of the nicest people you'll ever meet and they come from all walks of life. Give me one of those so-called rednecks any day of the week over your uninformed type any day!

    By: joking@va.rr.com
  6. May 22, 2012, 11:11 pm

    I'm sorry for this post Kid Rock. I know you are not a "Holy Land" type guy. I still love you. Your pictures look like so much fun! Your friends seem like such nice people who enjoy a good time. I'm sorry for trying to change you, bob. I know you are on your own path and I respect that. I also trust the process. My mother taught me that. She also taught me truth is truth no matter what mouth it comes out of. I believe in that. Love you from Julie Geneva

    By: juliegeneva

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