Puerto Rico! The Fantastic Voyage motored down to Puerto Rico for Day 4 of the cruise. Since folks didn’t need to be back on board until early evening, some elected for excursions. Others headed to the “Sybil’s Book Club Presents A Conversation with Drea Kelly,” who shared her testimony about her life with the embattled R&B singer R. Kelly.
If you managed to get up early after last night’s amazing show with Sheila E, then you could wake up to water aerobics, an early morning stretch, a hip-hop choreography class or a full-body burn class.
We’re trying to figure out how anybody made those classes after Mardi Gras Night, but they were surprisingly well-attended. We salute those hearty souls who stay focused on their fitness after a night of partying. Because if you are able to get more than four hours sleep a night, we want to know your secret.
But Drea Kelly’s event was the highlight of afternoon for those who stayed on board. Kelly, who has shared the abuse she suffered as the ex-wife of R. Kelly, shared a video that you can see on her website, that tells the complete story of her relationship with Kelly from their meeting all the way through to their divorce.
It was emotional viewing and some members of the audience responded with tears. Kelly shared that she is opening a shelter for women in Anguilla and told the audience that a test only becomes a testimony and through your mess, you can deliver a powerful message which is what she is committing to do from now on.
White Night meant that cruisers had to break out their best white outfits and if you know anything about Black folks and a white party, you know those looks ran the gamut from funky to fantastic. Black men look particularly fabulous in all-white as you know, so the brothers definitely showed out in the different variations of fashion. We even saw a brotha in a white top hat and tails!
Maxwell was only on the cruise for one night, but what a night it was! Maxwell has roots in Puerto Rico as he is both Puerto Rican and Haitian and he acknowledged those roots during his show, while also proudly proclaiming that he was a “Black man from Brooklyn.”
Let us say that we’ve seen Maxwell before but he showed out on the Fantastic Voyage. He was inspired by the crowd response as they were vibing with him enthusiastically from the very beginning. The performance took place on the Lido Pool Deck on a warm San Juan night.
Maxwell thanked Tom for all of his support through the years and then went through all of the classics from his 20-plus year career. He paid tribute to Prince during his set and hiis stellar band, who hailed from all over the country, backed him up with the musicianship he’s long been known for.
No matter what stage of his career you appreciated from his very first album, 1996’s “Maxwell’s Urban Hang Suite” to 2016’s “blackSUMMER’snight” Maxwell delivered on a song. His show will definitely be counted among the most legendary in Fantastic Voyage history. Tom Joyner joined him onstage to thank him for his support of the cruise over the years and both looked good in their white suits.
On to the “Solid Gold: One Night Only” show with the legendary Millie Jackson who proved that despite being 74, she was as raw as she has always been. Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis, Jr, formerly of the 5th Dimension, went through their roster of hit songs but the night was owned by The Whispers, led by Wallace and Walter Scott, who always win the crowd with their huge classic hits, “Rock Steady” and “And The Beat Goes On.”
Marvin Dixon played his set at the Ocean Plaza and was funny as he always is, making sleepy concertgoers part of the joke. Most of the Black comedians in America, well, a good portion of them gathered with Guy Torry hosting for the Late Night Comedy Show to discuss how they get started. Kym Whitley said that she started as a “fluffy stripper” and we’re not sure if we believe her or not.
Late night parties roared on in both Vibe nightclub and in the Atrium – and despite all the fabulous white outfits, people weren’t afraid to sweat as we spotted many cruisegoers going hard on both dance floors. But on Lido Deck, the “90’s Hip Hop: New York Takeover” got underway at about 2:15 a.m. Nice and Smooth, Black Sheep, DJ Kool, Bizmarkie and Mase.
If you enjoyed hip-hop classic hits like “The Vapors,” “This or That” and more, you might have felt you were experiencing a throwback in time to when 2 a.m. shows were the norm along with Bamboo earrings, Starter jackets and asymmetrical haircuts. Mase definitely turned it out – even without Diddy – while going through their Bad Boy catalogue days. He even wore Versace.
If you made it to the end of the hip-hop show and were still able to party, we have to give you your props. But we was tiiiiiiiired and finally made it to bed, so that we could be up and at ’em for Day 5.