CLEVELAND (WJW) – You may have been picturing sailing around Lake Erie with your best friends from the Muni Lot, but organizers assure us the first ever Browns fan cruise is nothing of the sort.
Instead, you’ll be sailing around the Caribbean with Cleveland Browns legends and fans and getting up close and personal with the alumni.
Guests will set sail from the Port of Miami on March 11. As the ship heads toward the Bahamas, you can raise your glass with Cleveland Browns alumni for a “Welcome Aboard” party.
The ship is Royal Caribbean’s Independence of the Seas. And while the Browns may be why you got on board, the ship has 9 restaurants (and a candy store!), shopping, dance classes and all the entertainment you would expect to see on any cruise.
“It’s a fan cruise within a regular cruise,” Robert Chamberlin of Seaside Events shared with FOX 8.
But for Browns fans, they have the opportunity for a one-of-a-kind experience with former players.
“The goal that we have is that each person walks off the ship with an autograph for each alumni,” Chamberlin said.
Chamberlin says the former players are excited to set sail too.
“For them it’s a great opportunity to once again connect with the fans that cheered for them during their playing years, as well as thank them for all the support they received. It is also a great opportunity for them to reconnect with ex-teammates and relive some of their glory days,” Chamberlin shared.
Guests will have a beach party on a private island in the Bahamas with the Browns greats.
Jamaica is also on the itinerary, and on the event schedule, those autograph sessions and “Down Memory Lane,” where players re-live big moments of their Browns careers with fans.
Josh Cribbs The former Kent State grade was signed as an undrafted free agent to the Cleveland Browns in 2005. The return specialist and wide receiver was with the Browns through 2012. He went on to play for several other teams but retired as a Cleveland Brown in 2017.
Ben Davis Now 77 years old, Benjamin Davis was drafted by the Browns in the 17th round of the 1967 NFL Draft. The cornerback and return specialist stayed with the Browns until 1973. He later played for the Lions. He has been involved in media companies and also Xerox in the Cleveland area.
Hanford Dixon According to his social media, he started Cleveland’s legendary Dawg Pound. The All-Pro cornerback played his entire career in Cleveland, from 1981 to 1989. Dixon says he rallied the defense during the 1985 season by calling them “Dawgs,” and that season at training camp, the Dawg Pound was born.
“Whenever the defense would get a regular sack or a coverage sack the defensive linemen and linebackers would bark,” Dixon said in a quote on the Dawg Pound wiki page. He has a podcast with Bernie Kosar and also coached for the Cleveland Crush in the Lingerie Football League.
John Hughes Ohio’s own John Hughes played for Cincinnati and was drafted 87th overall by the Cleveland Browns in the 3rd round of the 2012 NFL Draft. The defensive tackle is now 35. He last played with the Bills in 2018.
Reggie Langhorne The wide receiver was drafted by the Browns and played in Cleveland from 1985-1991. He opened up a bar and grille in Virginia and resides in Cleveland.
Kevin Mack The fullback joined the Browns in 1985 and was named AFC Rookie of the Year with 1,104 rushing and 7 touchdowns. He played for the Browns until 1993 and has remained associated with the team’s Alumni Relations Department.
Greg Pruitt The legendary, history-making running back spends a lot of time at FOX 8. He is our expert on the Browns and gives insight throughout the season about what he’s seeing on the team. He achieved All-American status when he played for the Oklahoma Sooners, before many other teams were fully integrated.
His first year with the Cleveland Browns was in 1973. Pruitt went on to play nine seasons with the Browns, leading them team in rushing five times. He recorded three 1,000-yard seasons. He is a Super Bowl champion, (XVIII) although not with the Browns. He played 12 seasons overall.
Also, how you know you’re really a legend: There’s a rule named after you. The “Greg Pruitt rule” banned tear-away jerseys in 1979 because the running back used it to get more yardage.
He’s a down-to-earth guy, which fans will get to experience on the ship.
This is what Greg Pruitt says about life, “Dreams do come true, and prayers are answered.”
You may also see him on the FOX 8 Celebrity Turkey Bowl – tune in!
Frank Stams Cleveland’s Own and a St. Vincent’s-St. Mary’s football star, played four seasons for the Browns. The linebacker is currently a Cuyahoga Falls councilman in Ward 8. “Ward 8 Councilman Frank Stams, a lifelong Cuyahoga Falls resident, community servant,” his bio states. He helped St. Vincent-St. Mary win Division III football championships in 1981 and 1982. He also helped win a Class AA state basketball title in 1984. He also played for Notre Dame in 1988, the last year the fighting Irish won a national title.
Felix Wright This DB initially went undrafted and signed on with the Browns as a free agent in 1985, after 3 years in the Canadian Football League (CFL). He remained with the Browns through the 1990 season. He played his last year in the NFL with Kansas City in 1993.
Dave Zastudil Cleveland’s Own Dave Zastdil played quarterback, punter and placekicker at Bay Village High School. He was a standout at Ohio University and was one of only 2 punters drafted in 2002. He joined the Browns in 2006. He was sidelined with injuries in 2009 and 2010 and was cut by the Browns that season. He was released by the Cardinals in 2015 and still lives in Bay Village.
How much does it cost?
Pricing depends on the kind of room you want, ranging from $1,950 to $6,000. Some accommodations have already sold out, and the least expensive rooms are going fast.
“The reaction was tremendous,” Chamberlin shared.
It’s all-inclusive – and that goes for the Browns events too.
“You can walk on the ship without a cent in your pocket because everything is covered,” he said.
That includes the autographs, the parties, football clinics, excursions, group dinners with alumni, wi-fi and a beverage package.
“No additional expenses,” Chamberlin stressed, making sure fans knew there were no surprise costs.
When does it set sail?
The five-day cruise leaves from the Port of Miami on Monday, March 11, with stops in Nassau, Bahamas and Falmouth, Jamaica. Fans will sail back to port on Saturday, March 16.
What about next year?
Maybe it’s not in the budget this year. But now you know it’s going to happen again next year.
Organizers say this is a long-term agreement with the Browns, and that this is hopefully the first of many.
“2025 and every year after that,” Chamberlin told FOX 8.
Their goal? To make it “a new tradition for Browns fans.”