March, 2013 – Black Sparrow Pirate Adventures


AW Spotlight


Black Sparrow Pirate Adventures – A Delightful Cruise


By Krista Martinelli


Do you ever feel like it would be more fun to go through life as a pirate?  Well, if you’ve been on a pirate cruise with Black Sparrow

Captain Joker, the pirate who runs the ship
Captain Joker, the pirate who runs the ship
Pirate Adventures, you will know that it’s true. Being a pirate is awesome!  Being part of a crew on a mission to find lost treasure, battling with water cannons and learning the ropes as a pirate is something your kids will be talking about for many years to come. 

This 65-minute cruise sets sail from Riviera Beach Marina Saturdays and Sundays, as well as some week days, and is masterfully executed by the captain and crew. The lead pirate Captain Joker is exceptional at what he does, probably the best pirate in Florida. Besides dressing the part perfectly, he’s believable, extremely funny and has a gentle way of handling groups of rowdy children, channeling their energy the right way.  See the video in this month’s “Letter from the Editor” too.


For a typical cruise, you show up about 30 minutes before departure, allowing time for the kids get face painting or pirate tattoos, as well as outfitted with pirate vests and sashes.  Everyone is invited to wear their own pirate attire, if they have pirate things in their wardrobe. Pirate items are also on sale, including swords, muskets and eye patches. 

What makes the Black Sparrow Pirate cruises so popular?  According to owner Chris Gallagher, it’s the interactive aspect. “The

Captain and owner of Black Sparrow Pirate Adventures Chris Gallagher
Captain and owner of Black Sparrow Pirate Adventures Chris Gallagher

 kids are part of the crew. They understand that they are the key to finding the treasure. They raise the flag, learn the Black Sparrow Pirate oath, keep a look out for bad pirates out at sea and are always engaged in what’s going on.”

When my family went on the pirate cruise, I noticed how much fun the kids were having – yelling, laughing and carrying on in their pirate ways, and then I noticed that the adults were having a ball too.  They cleverly add in some funny material that’s aimed right at the parents, and the parents appreciate this too.  Also, it’s a wonderful opportunity for action-packed picture-taking against a beautiful backdrop, as they sail around Peanut Island.

Here’s what one parent (Amy) had to say, after the cruise, “My 8-year-old son had an amazing time! The crew was extremely kid-friendly, and every second of the trip was action packed and very well-orchestrated. The adults also had a great time watching the expressions of happiness on the children’s faces and taking lots of pictures. I highly recommend this adventure for children and adults of all ages!”

And here’s another big thumbs up from another parent (Kim), after a birthday party on the cruise, “This was honestly the BEST party we could’ve had for my daughter Reese’s 4th birthday! She had the TIME of HER LIFE! She looked at me halfway through the sail and told me, ‘Mommy, this is the best party EVER!’  So take this as a clear testament to their attitudes, abilities, and to the overall show put on. It’s AWESOME! Anyone looking into using Black Sparrow totally should!” See the Black Sparrow Pirates Reviews page for further reviews.

For birthday parties, Black Sparrow Pirate Adventures offer a memorable, one-of-a-kind experience.  You can share the boat with others or charter a boat, which holds up to 45 kids and adults. The birthday child gets a “first mate certificate,” a goody bag full of pirate loot, and a rowdy singing of “Happy Birthday,” of course, from the whole crew.  Camps or groups are also welcome. “We’re very open for whatever anyone wants to do – within reason,” says owner Chris Gallagher.

Shooting the water cannons
Shooting the water cannons

They’ve recently added an adult sunset cruise to their offerings. You’re encouraged to bring your own beverages and appetizers, kick back and enjoy the Intracoastal Waterway during sunset. 

The Black Sparrow colorful crew includes three captains – Chris, Bobby and Ryan and a band of pirates with Captain Joker running the show. The kids seem to be in awe of Captain Joker and the other pirates. They are ready to take orders, as soon as they learn that they need to serve as the crew mates on deck.  The kids also enjoy the other pirates including Mermaid McKenzie, Jonathon (AKA Skinny John), Dairo (AKA Sharkbite), and even, eventually, the menacing Pirate Jack. 

Captain Joker has had a love for acting since the age of eight and also serves as a musician in local bands, playing the sitar.  “Halloween’s my favorite holiday,” he adds, “because you get to be someone else!” 

While Black Sparrow Pirates are still relatively new to the waterways, after opening for business last summer, their fame is growing in Florida. They took 2nd place in the Palm Beach Christmas parade this year. “Word of mouth has really helped us,” explains Gallagher, saying that happy parents and kids definitely tell their friends about Black Sparrow Pirates, right after they go on the cruise. 

“It’s about bringing something special into our community for the kids,” says Gallagher. “Everyone enjoys the cruise, and it will grow a little each year. Also, the approximately one-hour cruise is the perfect length for young kids, just enough. We have a lot of repeat kids, who come back to us. It’s a high-caliber experience!”

For Captain Joker, the main pirate, it’s “the greatest thing in the world to see the kids so happy!”

It’s recommended to make your reservations approximately a week or more in advance, although they continue to take reservations until the ship is full.  With birthday parties, at least 3 to 4 weeks in advance is recommended.  And with a chartered ship, it just depends upon availability, but Captain Chris Gallagher encourages people to “just ask” and see if it’s a time and day that will work.  He adds that many of their customers aboard the ship have enjoyed going to the Tiki Waterfront Sea Grill (561-845-5532), right on deck a few feet away from the ship, before or after the cruise.

If your kids are ready to take the pirate oath, shoot water cannons, follow maps, fight other pirates and find treasure, you can make reservations today!  It will be an experience that your whole family will treasure!!



Black Sparrow Pirate Adventures

Riviera Beach Marina

200 East 13th Street

Riviera Beach, FL 33404


(561) 775-0139