Dolly Parton has outdone herself once again. By far, one of the best dinner shows I have ever been to, Pirate's Voyage in Myrtle Beach, SC, features some of my favorite things: pirates, divers and aerial artists. There's so many unexpected twists, turns and additions to the show, it's non-stop adventure.
Unlike many dinner shows, the food was actually good. There's something to be said about southern hospitality and cooking. Multiple courses keep your mouth watering, and you might need a doggy bag.
While chowing on some southern style favorites, performers are swinging from ropes, launching into air, doing flips and twists before splashing into the water. Sea lions dance along to music, balancing on one flipper like a break dancer, and children from the audience chase critters in a race, as the sapphire and crimson pirates challenge each other in a series of events, one side versus the other. Enjoy your seagull and slurp down rounds of drinks, as fire dancers amaze and light the moat of water on fire.
Four courses ensure you will not leave hungry. Voyager creamy vegetable soup and Buccaneer bread start the meal. Half O' Roasted Cackler, Captain's BBQ pork, a Cob O Buttery and Pirate Shipwreck Taters are served with Apple O Me Eye Pie dessert and unlimited Pepsi or tea.
Acrobats twist and flip over each other on the ground, while divers do flipping twists in the air, splashing into the water with a mixture of grace and tongue-in-cheek comedic bodily gestures. The skills to perform such stunts is remarkable, but they make it look so easy, with such fluid style. The quality of the performance is awe-inspiring, as there are so many stand-out stars in the show.
The animals are trained exquisitely. Mermaids snake on anchors dangling from the ceilings. A series of trampolines make the impossible possible, and performers contorts into amazing poses with skill.
Things happen in every direction. Look from one side to the other and back. They out-do each other.
Sshhhh!!! Don't say that name... If you say the name, his ghost will appear...
Of course, somebody says the name they know they are not supposed to say. Ghostly apparitions appear in the dark, as the set turns dark and a skeleton crew's bones glow brightly in the blackness. More amazing tricks defy gravity and make you think you cannot believe what your eyes are seeing.
The set itself is breathtaking. An overgrown pirate ship broken into three sections, divided and surrounded by a moat deep enough for extreme high dive stunts, with moving platforms that allow performers to rise up from the water with ease. The sides serve as a deck for fighting and dancing.
Skeletons and jolly rogers decorate the pirate ship. Masts up high double as platforms for divers and aerial artists. Planks off the sides of the ship double as spring diving boards for gut wrenching dives.
The show is interactive, as members of the audience are called to action. From little kids to grown adults, you never know who will get pulled on stage. Become part of the show on the pirate crew.
A black lab and a golden lab leap in the air, splash in the water and swim after each other in a race. South Carolina is known for its lab dogs, and it's a surprisingly cute way to include them in the show. Other unexpected critters cause cries of laughter and awe, and each new twist creates more smiles.
Will your pirate crew be lucky enough to win the treasure? There's only one way to find out. Be brave enough to hop aboard the pirate ship, let yourself be amazed by the talent and skills of the crew, and enjoy a feast fit for a pirate king while the crews compete in a battle to claim Davy Jones' treasure.
If you find yourself in the Grand Strand, Myrtle Beach, be sure sure to stop into Pirate's Voyage, which is conveniently located in the same parking lot as the Carolina Opry (also home to laser light shows). An evening of fun and be lined up with back to back shows, where you could eat at Pirate's Voyage, check out the Carolina Opry, and stay for the following laser light show. The whole family will enjoy.
For more information on Pirate's Voyage, visit www.piratesvoyage.com. For more on Dolly Parton, visit www.dollyparton.com. In 2011, the Myrtle Beach Dixie Stampede location received an $11,000,000 upgrade to become Pirate's Voyage; for more on the Dixie Stampede's other locations, visit www.dixiestampede.com.
Marisa Williams is the author of 100 books. She earned her Master's in Writing at the Johns Hopkins University. For more on Marisa, visit www.lulu.com/spotlight/thorisaz and www.wix.com/thorisaz/photography.