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500 Newfoundlanders Had a Blast on a Cruise Together

A Celebrity Apex cruise to the Caribbean this month turned into a rocking Newfoundland kitchen party when hundreds of people from Canada’s easternmost province happened to be booked on the same ship.

By a stroke of luck, 250 couples from the province, along with kids, grandparents, and even Newfoundlanders residing in other parts of the world, all found themselves on the same cruise, according to Mark Hiscock, a member of the popular Newfoundland-trad band, Shanneyganock.

With so many Newfoundlanders onboard, the company organized a party exclusively for the passengers from the province, recounted Mr. Hiscock.

“You had to show your ID proving you were part of the Newfoundland contingent,” the musician said in an interview. “I performed ‘The Islander’ and ‘I’se the B’y,’ and everyone had a great time.”

When the ship set sail for the Caribbean on April 6, around 3,000 people were on board. Pamela Pardy, who bought her ticket in November, soon discovered that many friends and acquaintances from Newfoundland would also be on the cruise.

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“Additionally, there were many people on the ship who aren’t from Newfoundland but have connections to the province,” she explained in an interview. “So it was a gathering of Newfoundlanders from all over the world who, by chance, ended up on the same cruise.”

For Ms. Pardy and her fiancé, who frequently embark on cruises, the experience of sailing with so many fellow Newfoundlanders was exceptionally memorable. The passengers felt a strong connection, freely engaging in conversations with both friends and strangers. They even displayed a Newfoundland and Labrador flag over their deck chairs to welcome others for a friendly chat.

Ms. Pardy remarked, “Normally, riding an elevator on a cruise ship doesn’t lead to social interactions, but when you hear phrases like ‘Come on in, my ducky,’ or ‘What floor are you going to, my trout?’ being from Newfoundland made it heartwarming.”

The inclusive and open atmosphere extended to non-Newfoundland passengers as well, offering them a taste of “Newfoundland hospitality,” according to Pardy, who spoke with several interested individuals without Newfoundland connections.

On the final night of the voyage, many Newfoundlanders gathered on deck for a group photo and to sing the Ode to Newfoundland, the official anthem of the province.

“You felt part of something bigger,” Ms. Pardy expressed. “That’s the only way that I can explain it.”

She expressed hope that Expedia Cruises will organize another cruise exclusively for Newfoundlanders in the future, this time intentionally.

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