Cruising Aboard the Black Dragon

by Jessica on June 27, 2011

The Black Dragon at the moorings.

The year is 1619 and the rowdiest band of pirates ever to sail the seven seas has pulled into port to take on daring new crew members. The life of a pirate is fraught with danger but the promise of treasure and fame lure us to climb aboard the infamous Black Dragon for the adventure of a lifetime!

The nefarious crew of the Black Dragon

Black Dragon Cruises sets sail from Port Isabel, TX three times daily, 12:00, 3:00, and an award winning sunset cruise at 7:00 pm. During the two hour cruise landlubbers are completely immersed in the jovial world of the pirates. From the moment you step on deck, it is obvious that you are in for more than just a boat ride and some entertainment. The pirate’s yarns and every possible childhood delight are woven together seamlessly and with a certain amount of genius. Before you know it two hours have passed and you have spent the entire time keeping to the code of pirates, while grinning ear to ear.

Michael the Magnificent Magician

The fun begins even before the anchor is hoisted, as guests are entertained by a variety of pre-boarding performers. Michael the Magnificent Magician, a salty pirate with a flair for knot tying and jokes, treated us to a show that kept the kids in stitches. The show began 45 minutes before our boarding time, so by the end of the show the kids were already pretty impressed with the afternoon’s entertainment and still giggling from the jokes. Imagine their delight when they were summoned to the water’s edge for the firing of the cannon and the boarding of the Black Dragon.

All Aboard the Black Dragon

As we stepped aboard, we were treated to a photo with El Capitan and then we hoisted the mizzen for the open sea. The cruise began with a rundown of the rules-but not too many, they are pirates, after all. The final rule would become the motto for the entire cruise: Live life in the moment. It’s the only one you get!

Ryan and Ruby, the Pirate Queen

I could give a blow by blow of all the fun we had aboard the Black Dragon. I could tell you about the epic sword fights,

the raucous water pistol battle,

the scrambling for treasure.

I could tell you about the musical parade,

the splendid dolphin sightings,

and the tattoo painting.

But the story of the Black Dragon is not what they do, but how they do it. Anyone can hand out plastic swords and water pistols. They turn it into a pirate adventure.

The crew of the Black Dragon does it all with ultra high energy that is fun for every age, both boys and girls. Masters of their craft, each crew member engages personally with every member of the audience.

Even the grownups will suspend their disbelief and become immersed in the moment. Never do you feel as though you are watching a pirate show. You are a pirate!


As we pulled into port, I realized that I had not only been on a pirate adventure, I had also experienced a bit of a miracle.

After all, only a miracle could make a ‘too cool for words’ ten year old jump up and down and make a fun-filled fool of himself.

And only a miracle could enrapture a two year old who had missed his afternoon nap.

It’s a miracle for sure when a dad who has been around the world more than once says it was the most fun he has ever had. And it has to be a miracle that for two hours mom didn’t think about what to do for dinner, or tell anyone to stop misbehaving, but instead got to be fully engaged and enjoy her kids. Yep, it’s a miracle, or the masterful magic of the Black Dragon.

The Black Dragon generously provided complimentary tickets for our family.  I was under no obligation to write about our experience aboard the Black Dragon, but I am happy to share about a truly great family experience.  All opinions are my own.


~ Mona June 27, 2011 at 3:42 pm

Looks like tons of fun!
~ Mona : )
Mona’s Milestones

Mrs. Zwieg June 27, 2011 at 3:59 pm

This was a GREAT post! Thank you so much for sharing this…I am not showing it to my kids. It is not in the budget and they would BEG to go based on your pics! :)

Lisa Goodmurphy June 27, 2011 at 6:50 pm

That looks like so much fun! I want to drop everything and fly to Texas to sail on the Black Dragon!

Amy July 2, 2011 at 11:19 pm

Oh man that looks like fun. My boys would be in pirate bliss!

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