Long before Myrtle Beach and the Grand Strand became one of America's top vacation destinations, this stretch of the Carolina coastline was a popular hideout for pirates, including the most feared name and notorious privateer on the high seas – Blackbeard.
Nearly 300 years later, “Captain Blackbeard” has returned to his old haunting grounds, but this time to deliver family entertainment instead of stashing buried treasure. The colorful character has joined the cast and crew at the Myrtle Beach Pirates Voyage Dinner & Show.
Located near Restaurant Row in Myrtle Beach, less than a mile away from the coastline where the real Blackbeard carried out his legendary acts of piracy, Pirates Voyage offers an extravagant show where the stages are replicas of the old clipper ships that sit above a sea of water and the actors are rope-swinging, sword-fighting swashbucklers.
The arrival of Captain Blackbeard coincides with a new and updated script and the addition of several new feature acts, including more live animal acts like a sea lion and tropical birds and a beautiful school of mermaids. A new opening act allows guests to enjoy their four-course feast while watching amazing display of aerial acrobatics.
That's when the real action begins as Captain Blackbeard and his trusty quartermaster and sidekick Calico Jack lead the crews of the Crimson and Sapphire in an epic battle for treasure. Singing, dancing and cutlet-wielding pirates compete in contests of conquest in the air, on board the ships and in the water to the audience's amazement.
There's no need to issue a spoiler alert for this high-flying and high-diving showcase. Each show allows the crowd to determine the winner by vote of applause, and the guests get to share in the spoils. Pirates Voyage is also a part of popular entertainer Dolly Parton so the content of the show is both family-friendly and geared toward all ages.
The dinner is also a hit with the whole family as costumed servers present you with a four-course Pirates Feast. Start things off with the Voyager Creamy Vegetable Soup and Buccaneer Bread before moving onto the main course of the Captain's Pork Barbecue or Half O' Roasted Cackler (Chicken), with corn on the cob and herb-roasted potatoes. Apple pie and unlimited tea, coffee and soft drinks set the stage for the main show.
OK, we won’t divulge any more of the plot, except to say that Pirates Voyage draws rave reviews from families for the entertainment value. Admission includes the show and dinner so you are basically eliminating the cost and additional driving to go to and from a restaurant. The spectacular stage and open-seas setting alerts audiences that they are about to see something unlike any other show on the Strand, and the sound and lighting are state of the art.
Perhaps the most popular aspect of the show is the cast and crews interaction with the audience, before, during and after the show. Arrive early to visit the Pirates Village so the kids can get their pirate gear, temporary tattoos and face painting to get in character for the show. Pirates rove through the crowd and select eager volunteers to be a part of the show, and pirates, mermaids and even Captain Blackbeard and Calico Jack themselves meet and greet guests while posing for pictures. A souvenir shop gives patrons the chance to pick up some unique merchandise to remember their visit, and the kids can take home their plastic “grog mugs” as a keepsake.
Pirates Voyage hosts four shows a day during the summer months – at 1, 4, 6 and 8:30 p.m. Reservations can be made online at www.piratesvoyage.com.