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Calling all jazz cruisers


wwcruisers
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Hattack -- We were actually a little surprised, on last year's SJC -- that the two 'head-liners': Dave Grusin and Lee Ritenour did not join us until San Juan (half-way through the cruise). However, once on board, they were EVERYWHERE -- large and small venues around the ship, as well as autograph and Q&A sessions -- what a treat!

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to paraphrase  our friend Dave Koz , these Smooth Jazz Charters are a way of "Seeing the World Together Though Music" 

 

the introduction of the popular Artists Smooth Jazz Get- A- Way Weekends ( Earl Klugh, Brian Culbertson etc) along with the growth of the "Ultimate Weekend of Smooth Jazz " Festivals (Sea Breeze , Catalina Jazz Trax, Berks Jazz Fest, Mallorca etc) as documented thru our "Unofficial Bible" Smooth Jazz News demonstrates that it's a great time to be a Fan of the music  & the Artists that play it 

 

I've been Cruising since 1975 , my 1st music theme cruise was 1992 and 1st full charter Jazz Cruise was 2003 and cruising as a form of vacation has been enhanced because of the music and the full charters have generated multi friends for life and introduce me to a different life style of family style reunions at the Smooth Jazz Festivals 

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OK -- so I thought I was seeing things, at first. 😵

 

I just pulled up the Blue Note at Sea '21 web page, and guess who I saw back in the headliner section: Sheila E! At first, I thought that I must have clicked on an 'old' link -- but, scrolling around, I was able to find things like: current stateroom availability (no suites, and only a handful of inside cabins left). Plus, artists that have been added (eg: KebMo) since Sheila E disappeared from the line-up last month, are still there. Fingers crossed, folks! 🤞

 

HATTACK -- if you are thinking about booking this one soon, and thinking about a veranda cabin, I can point you in the direction of some 'hidden gems' on Infinity's deck plans! Looks like veranda cabins are what the inventory has the most of, right now. 😎

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Another very cool thing about jazz charters is that they offer shore excursions hosted by various artists onboard. A couple of years ago we attended a 'Salsa-making & Salsa-dancing class' in Costa Maya, hosted by Rick Braun, and his lovely wife Kristianne. It was a lot of fun -- but Rick Braun can't dance, LOL!

 

For our upcoming SJC 20.2, we signed up for a snail-n-snorkel with DW3 and Candy Dulfer. (My DH would sign up for anything hosted by the Saxy Lady, herself!)

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if you are lucky your DH will surprise you for NYE and take you to Rick's annual fundraiser and Candy will be performing 

 

still have not pulled the plug to book BNAS 21..this past October, I went to my High School 50th Reunion and reconnected with my childhood classmate who wants to go on The Flower Power Cruise in 2021 (our 1st "unofficial date was to see The Rascals at Saratoga  (NY) Performing Arts Center in 1969 ) 

 

did you by chance catch 60 Minutes tonight to see the segment on the Jazz Prodigy Matthew Whitaker ..amazing...he appeared at Jazz Fest last year and maybe if the ECP Promoter caught the segment he will be on one of the Jazz Cruises in 2021 

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4 hours ago, hattack said:

did you by chance catch 60 Minutes tonight to see the segment on the Jazz Prodigy Matthew Whitaker ..amazing...he appeared at Jazz Fest last year and maybe if the ECP Promoter caught the segment he will be on one of the Jazz Cruises in 2021 

 

Yes, Hattack -- I did see that amazing 60 minutes piece tonight. Oh -- and from your mouth to Michael Lazaroff's ears!!😁

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I suspect Michael does not need my musical scouting ability .....he does just fine all by himself and probably gets an earful every year on his Jazz cruises from guests representing their regional favorite ...I bet he will be invited back to the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival this year and perform in front of a larger audience 

 

BTW, you might mention to your DH that Candy is performing with Jonathan Butler at the Capetown International Jazz Festival March 27th -28th which would be a great opportunity to use all those extra frequent flyer miles you have accumulated flying to Florida every year for your Smooth Jazz Cruises to "surprise" you for a weekend Get- A -Way

 

I've noticed that more of our favorite Smooth Jazz artists perform at Capetown International Jazz Festival every year and the Essence Festival has a marketing agreement with the Durban Jazz Festival so you might think about alternating between doing a Jazz Cruise and a major international Jazz Festival every other year so your DH can support Candy both on land and sea 

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13 hours ago, hattack said:

WWW Cruiser ..did you happen to watch PBS American Master  special on Miles Davis "Birth of the Cool "...I have a whole set of questions to ask Marcus Miller on the next BNAS 

 

Hattack -- I DVR'ed it -- but haven't had a chance to watch it yet. Knowing what a good job PBS usually does -- plus the excellent subject matter, I'll bet it was a good show! Oh, and isn't Marcus just a fountain of information? On our very first SJC, he put together a late-night two hour show, that he called 'The History of Jazz' -- it was a 'DO NOT MISS!'

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Marcus is an AMAZING Renaissance Man and the PBS special featured him a lot...22 years old and playing with Miles Davis..I never knew Miles Davis & Prince performed together on stage with Marcus ..of course his biggest commercial hit "Da Butt'

 

perhaps ECP will work out a deal with PBS to show The Birth of Cool on BNAS 21 which is the perfect conduit between The Jazz Cruise & The Smooth Jazz Cruise 

 

Marcus would have fit in perfectly during the era of the Cab Calloway Big Band Era in the 40's-50's 

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I've often wonder why ECP or Star Vista have not looked into chartering Celebrity Eclipse 7 day  repositioning cruise in late March from San Diego to Vancouver (or reverse in late September )  and coordinating with the West Coast (SAN- LAX -SFO (overnight) - SEA ) Brick & Mortar Jazz Clubs & Smooth Jazz Festival communities 

 

traditionally repositioning cruises are great value ( in part to offset higher 1 way air fares which could be offset by a deal with Celebrity Choice Air or Amtrak ) ..because of the high number of repeat guests for each offerings, one might think a change from the Caribbean might be appealing (just ask Dave Koz or Rick Braun ) 

 

I'm sure there is a logical reason on the part of both the Promoters and the Cruise Lines..I noticed Celebrity is advertising a $399 pp rate for an inside cabin 

 

 

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Well, Hattack, I think that Lazaroff & Company prefer the Celebrity 'M-Class' ships for their jazz cruise charters, because of their superior performance spaces. Sadly, those spaces were already lacking on the larger Solstice-Class ships. Even the house bands are forced to perform in open (poor acoustics) hallways. And then, I heard that part of the 'Revolution' dry-dock process for the Solstice Class ships involved cutting out part of the large forward lounge -- to put in more 'signature' suites. 😣

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makes sense and I remember the Celebrity Century we were on in 2009 for the Smooth Music Cruise was perfect size wise and venue wise ,,Capital Jazz Super Cruise X was on NCL Breakaway and it was a total nightmare logistical wise for performance venues 

 

if it works don't mess with it 

 

now that Mardi Gras is over we are entering the Food & Music Festival Every Weekend Season between the end of March thru early December ,,...planning on doing the Sea Breeze Smooth Jazz Festival in late April to get my Smooth Jazz "fix" until a Jazz Cruise 

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Hattack -- I finally had time to sit down and watch that PBS special on Miles. You were right -- Marcus is prominently featured in it. Afterwards, I spent a little time on Utube and found a video clip of Miles performing (1982) with a VERY young (and surprisingly hat-less) Marcus, backing him up on bass! Now, I've got to go dig-out my 'Kind of Blue' CD, and play it all day! 😎

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like most of us Male Jazz  Cruising fans of a "certain age", Marcus had a full head of hair back in the day and thus no need to wear a brim ..I'm still in awe Marcus jammed with Prince & Miles ..prior to watching the PBS special I was not a big Fan of Miles because I didn't understand a lot of his Music and now I know why so I don't feel as guilty 

 

I have found after seeing  our favorite Artists performing live on the Smooth Jazz Cruises I have a much greater appreciation when I get home and listen to them on CD,Vinyl or Radio...especially having attended a CD Release party on the ship to understand the meaning behind various tracks 

 

now that you have placed that bug in my mind, I will have to dig out my  CD's of the Artists performing on BNAS 21  and load up my CD player, put the tv on mute while watching NHL Hockey & XFL football..thanks God the New Orleans Music & Food weekend Festivals start up at the end of the month 

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And, it's amazing what you learn, when you start doing a little research on your favorite artists. I was pleasantly surprised to see in Marcus's bio, that from '78 -'80, he played in the 'house band' for Saturday Night Live. Time-wise, he might have crossed paths there with a young sax player, named David Sanborn, who was there briefly, in 1980.

 

LOL on the 'brims'. The running joke on the SJC's is that if either of our hosts (Boney & Marcus) feel the need to walk about 'incognito' -- they just take off their hats!

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Boney's trademark **Non Hood ** Sneakers would get him busted if he was trying to be incognito...LOL ...one of my favorite Boney James stories...I own every Boney James CD he has ever made and he was kind enough to sign them all..my all time favorite is "Ride" that I love to play on my Fender Sound System in my VW Bug when I go to the local Car Wash hang out on Saturdays and both the Old School Players and the Young Turks love the CD and when I show them the Photo we took while on one of the Smooth Jazz Cruises they are stunned 

 

my Cruise Buddy is from Detroit and a hard core Straight Ahead Jazz Fan ..for our 1st date I invited her to go on the Capital Jazz Super Cruise and in looking at the line up her response was OK, but it's not Real Jazz and she had never heard of most of the Smooth Jazz artists ..her closing argument were the shopping ports of call..the line up included Maysa with Incognito, Kirk Whalum,  Phil Perry, Jeffrey Osborne, Ledisi, Teena Marie, Brian Culbertson, Lalah Hathaway, Take 6, Will Downing, Spyro Gyra, George Duke, George Wallace, Leela James,  Chuck Brown, Richard Elliot, Rick Braun among others 

 

needless to say at the end of that Cruise she has become a "convert"..looking at the Blue Note at Sea line up for 2021 my selling point to her is that the line up is meeting her half way 

 

prior to my inviting her on our 1st CJSC, she had only been on one other cruise (which was a 'normal' cruise ) and absolutely hated cruising because she said it was boring and the ship was asleep by 10 pm ..now if I would suggest going on a non Smooth Jazz Cruise Theme Charter she would laugh in my face 

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Sad to announce that we just canceled our SJC 20.2 sailing. Since embarkation is this Saturday, my DH and I have been calling and e-mailing ECP, airlines, and hotels all day -- as well, of course, as our trip insurance company (TripInsuranceStore). Right now, I am SO glad that we purchased "Cancel for any reason" insurance, for this one. Since we are currently in good health, we would not have been covered, otherwise. Even with the current State Dept. & CDC's DIRE warnings against people over 60 flying and/or cruising -- that apparently is not enough for a standard trip insurance claim. And, as ECP was sad to report, Celebrity's much touted 'Cruise with Confidence' refund policy does NOT apply to charter cruises on Celebrity ships. 😞

 

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great minds think alike ...I was thinking of you while watching CBS Nightly News which showed the Celebrity Infinity sailing out of Miami with lots of empty cabins  ..if one stops to think about it , you would not have been able to enjoy yourself.(social isolationism and Smooth Jazz Cruises with Candy Dulfer onboard do not mix well together ) ..glad you purchase an independent policy with Cancel For Any Reason" clause...cardinal rule #1 it's not a good idea to purchase Trip Insurance Offered by the Cruise Line you are sailing for a litany of reasons  (IMHO) ..we were on a cruise out of Venice the week of 911 on Sun Line Cruises and were actually in the Blue Mosque in Istanbul when we were notified by the Turkish SWAT team (there were about 30 Americans onboard ) ..Sun Line made us whole and covered our expenses and air fare to get back home a week later, so I did not have to make a claim ..also when flying domestic I choose Southwest when I can because of their very liberal policy of travel credits for 1 year (which is normally the same time of the Jazz Cruise the following year ) 

 

when my health started to fail ,my Family Practice Group have placed all of my medical history on a J Drive that I carry with me both domestic and international and Thank God, I never had to use it 

 

I'm pretty sure ECP & Celebrity are having "Coming to the Lord" meetings as we speak to maintain the relationship as well as the other Music Promoters for these types of Full Music Charters because of the long term relationship with their guests ..the Travel Industry is taking a huge hit and much like post 911 it's going to take a while to rebuild (look for huge discounts on regular cruises  & air fares especially to Europe 

 

if your DH is looking for alternative options a romantic road trip to the San Juan Islands in early September with stops at Brick & Mortar Jazz Clubs and Outdoor Jazz  Festivals might be in order 

 

sometimes events happen for a reason that opens up other travel experiences ..if you can't reschedule your vacation time for next week you can create a Virtual Reality SJC at home 

 

 

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Thanks so much for the kind thoughts and words, Hattack! In addition to all of the fabulous advice that I got from you, before we booked our VERY first SJC (2018.2) -- the single best words of wisdom that I heard on CC were this: Pony up the extra $$ for CFAR insurance coverage. Because, every single payment (from deposit on) is NON-refundable -- and a LOT of things can happen, over the course of a year! Yep -- little did I know that the Zombie Apocalypse would be one of them!😱 SO glad I heeded that advice!!

 

But, we'll be fine. DH and I are just chillin' here at Ground Zero (WA) -- trying to stay healthy, and counting the days until next year's BNAC!😎

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PBS American Experience 1918 Influenza is a fascinating reminder of the impact of social media on today's handling of this type of crisis ..I suspect Ground Zero will be shifting almost daily ..you are wise to sit this out..a good book and lots of Smooth Jazz to keep you company and be thankful you had good trip insurance 

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3 hours ago, SD Cruzr said:

So sad for all the passengers and the artists who are in their way to Florida now.

 

Yes, that would have been us, had we not decided to cancel, earlier this week. We just figured that -- especially flying all the way cross-country -- there were just too many things that could go wrong. Looks like they did.... 😞

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