Even before back-to-school clothes were purchased and class schedules were released, a postcard from Carmel High came to homes of juniors and seniors announcing the 2014 prom, which will be held on a cruise ship in the San Francisco Bay. This change has been met with a variety of reactions.
Activities coordinator Leigh Cambra says there are multiple reasons for the change, attendance being one of them: 247 tickets were sold for the 2013, compared to 350 tickets sold in 2012.
“It kind of leads you to believe that if one hundred [fewer] people go to prom, and many of them didn’t actually go into prom, that maybe the prom…has run its course,” Cambra explains. “Let’s try something different.”
That something different is a destination prom that will begin with a pre-party at CHS and a bus ride to San Francisco, where students will embark on a multi-level yacht for dinner and dancing. Later in the night, buses will return students to CHS.
The activities coordinator believes it’s not worthwhile for the prom-planning committee to spend so much time and energy planning an event that is not well attended.
Another reason for the change is the culture of partying and drinking that often surrounds prom. Last year, CHS students rented two party buses through local companies, and Principal Rick Lopez says the party bus situation was a factor in the decision to have a destination prom.
“We talked to the staff… and students were part of the conversation,” Lopez explains. “What can we do as a system and institution that would be a fun event for our students? And we want to do the best we can to make sure it is an appropriate event.”
Cambra echoes the idea that prom should be safe and enjoyable for all students, including those who don’t want to give into the pressure to party.
“I want to appeal to those students who want to have a nice, wholesome good time,” Cambra says. “Let’s do a really awesome night that will keep everyone safe, and people that really don’t want to go don’t have to go.”
One junior says that he was on a party bus where most students were drinking and suspects that students might just throw private parties instead of attending prom.
“I brought four water bottles filled with vodka on the party bus,” he says, “and we drank them all. I know a lot of people are not even going to go and just have parties instead.”
While some students are concerned about their partying options on prom night, others are criticizing the cost of tickets. With a price tag from $125 with an ASB stamp to $135 without one, they are more than double the cost of tickets from last year. Junior Joshua Dormody says they are too expensive, especially for guys that want to purchase their date’s ticket.
“Most guys have to buy two tickets plus rent a tux,” Dormody says. “Last year not many people wanted to buy tickets because the price was expensive.”
Other students, like senior Matt Manniello, believe the cost is a bargain considering what it includes.
“I feel like a boat ride, dinner and photos is a good deal for $100,” says Manniello, who purchased his ticket at arena day.
Senior Lezah Winick, who attended Everett Alvarez High School’s prom last year through the same cruise company, says it was fun, and she is excited to go this year.
“There were three decks,” Winick explains. “The bottom was used for pictures, the others were for dancing and food. The bus ride there and back were just as fun. You just hang out and chat with your friends and relax your feet on the way back.”
Junior Josette Marsh, who formerly attended Pacific Grove High, says she was thrilled to find out the CHS Prom was going to be on a cruise this year.
“I was thinking, ‘Are you serious? It’s on a yacht?’” Marsh exclaims. “Pacific Grove’s prom is normally at a hotel.”
Cambra adds, “We get to have a prom on the bay this year. This is just another opportunity people should take advantage of.”