Pow-wow dance on the sea

Story & Photos by Kimberlie R. Acosta
Miami, Florida (NFIC)

Erica Scott, 2007-08 Miss Powwows.com, and Pow-wow Cruise's MC Dennis Rogers

All aboard... the ship is departing... are you ready to POW-WOW? This year’s East Coast Pow-wow Cruise was another big success, with Native Americans from across the U.S. and Canada heading out to sea for a 4-day cruise... Pow-wow style.

The East Coast Pow-wow Cruise departed out of Miami, Florida, earlier this year and returned four days later. This spectacular cruise included stops in Key West, Florida, where you got to enjoy half-day shopping and sight seeing and a full day in Cozumel, Mexico, where your opportunities were endless. You got to choose between hanging out on the beach, snorkeling, fishing, shopping, eating great Mexican dishes and visiting ancient Mayan ruins.

If you wanted to go off the beaten path, you could catch a ferry to the mainland of Mexico like I did, along with a handful from our Pow-wow group. The ferry ride was under an hour long and ported in Playa del Carmen. From there we caught a ride with a tour company and headed off to the Mayan ruins in Tulum.

The ruins in Tulum were just amazing and beautiful. They are right on a bluff facing the rising sun looking out on the views of the Caribbean. You could just feel the spirits as you walked the grounds. The energy was intense and very uplifting.

In Maya, Tulum means “Wall,” and the city was christened thus because it is a walled city; one of the very few the ancients ever built.


The cruise was truly a relaxing fun time in the sun. If you’ve never been on a cruise, this is the cruise to book. There is nothing like being out in the middle of the ocean, with the sound of the ocean waves, the beat of the drum and dancing atop the upper deck of a huge Carnival Cruiser.

This year’s cruise brought back the ever popular Joanne Shenandoah along with her sister Diane and daughter Leah to perform for all those aboard. Opening for the evenings show was newcomer and 2007 Nammy nominee Michael Bucher.

With around 30 cruises over the past 13 years, the Pow-wow Cruise continues to grow and excite all those aboard.

Yellow Moon from New Orleans, Louisiana, was the host drum for this year’s cruise, and Dennis Rogers was the MC for the third time. Dennis also entertained the group with a spectacular hoop dance special during the pow-wow and also during the concert performance.

If you missed the chance this time around to experience dancing at sea don’t worry, there are two more cruises you can experience this coming year. The 7-day Alaska cruise will be departing Vancouver, B.C., Canada, on June 2, to Anchorage, Alaska, with stops in Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway plus cruising Glacier Bay and College Fjord. A bonus for those on board with the Pow-wow Cruise – a day trip to the Sea Alaska Celebration that is only held every two years.

Micheal Bucher was one of several performers featured during the cruise

The West Coast Pow-wow Cruise will be a 5-day cruise from San Diego, California, departing on September 20. This cruise includes visits to Cabo San Lucas and Ensenada, Mexico. Entertainers for this ship will be announced in the coming months.

Even though the Pow-wow Cruise continues to grow – having anywhere from 100 – 300 people per cruise, it just isn’t enough numbers to charter its own ship, so it must share ships with other groups.

Dancing at sea... exploring distant lands of our ancient relatives. Just think, a Carnival Cruise Ship can occupy approximately 2,000 guests... imagine all those guests being on that cruise just for the Pow-wow. How powerful that would be... 2,000 Indigenous people from around the world dancing on the sea... honoring those who came before us.

This is the intention... I am putting it out there for all of you to take hold of and make happen. It is now up to you... grab your regalia, your families and friends and take the journey out to sea on a ship chartered just for the Pow-wow Cruise.

FMI: 877.369.2232