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Rock and Romance, 80s Cruise, and my other 2024 music adventures


Honolulu Blue
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I just realized that the majority of the fall 2024/winter 2025 Sixthman music cruises will be on the Gem, not the Pearl. According to threads on this board, the two ships are nearly identical. I believe that when the Pearl became a "music boat" some obstructions were from the lido deck to help with seeing the stage when they have shows out there.

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Today, November 20, was the day StarVista Live promised they would make a decision the future of the UDC. They did, making an announcement on their site.

 

The UDC is officially a go for 2025! Yay! 

 

They said that 55% of cabins have been sold so far, which seems a little light, but if TPTB are happy with it, then I'm happy. They also promised additions to the lineup. I'm looking forward to them.

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I hope everyone here had a happy and filling Thanksgiving.

 

I wanted to take a little time to muse on the fact that it's very likely in 2025 I will be on three different music charters featuring music from three different decades. I've told you about the UDC; disco ruled the mid to late 70s. I just booked my spot on The 90s Cruise last week. The one we don't know about yet is The 80s Cruise for 2025. I don't expect to hear much about it until February. At this point I would say there's about a 90% chance that I will book it. ECP could book a lineup that I actively hate. They could sail from a port that I refuse to go to. There could be a conflict between its sail dates and another cruise or something else in my life. None of them are very likely, but we'll have to see.

 

Anyway, I heard some chatter on both my UDC/TEC doubles the past two hears that others have joined me. No confirmation, but I believe someone other than me pulled of that tricky double. This would be even trickier - three different cruises, three different cruise ships (probably), three different music styles, three different sets of themes. I'm looking forward to it. 👍

Edited by Honolulu Blue
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Here are some very quick notes.  First, Internet rumors are pointing to a name and logo change for the UDC - now called the Ultimate Disco Cruise and Beyond.  Take THAT, Lisa Lisa haters!

 

And second, I recently received my 80s Cruise brochure in the mail.  Most of the stuff in it was things I already knew, though the breakdown of the themes by night was nice.  Also, there's a list of renamed venues onboard.  I find it amusing that the Schooner Bar on every other Mariner cruise was Goonies Bar in '22 and Isaac's in '23, and will be Raiders of the Lost Bar next year.

 

But to me, the most interesting tidbit was the last paragraph on the last page.  It revealed that the 2025 edition of TEC will set sail in March '25.  No ship or itinerary listed, but they promised details on those soon.  What's so interesting about this announcement?  First, they're not going to sail in February like this upcoming cruise.  And second, they're going to have to get a different ship unless they want to sail out of Galveston - Mariner is moving there starting in May 2024.  

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20 minutes ago, Honolulu Blue said:

Here are some very quick notes.  First, Internet rumors are pointing to a name and logo change for the UDC - now called the Ultimate Disco Cruise and Beyond.  Take THAT, Lisa Lisa haters!

 

Ha! There was previously chatter that UDC might become the Ultimate Dance Cruse. Regardless of the name, it makes sense that both the branding and programming will extend into 80s and 90s dance music (as it already started to last time with Expose and C&C Music Factory). I love disco more than those later genres, but there just aren't enough actively performing original disco recording artists to keep programming UDC without heavy repeats, and so far not enough disco fans to sell out the ship. 

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40 minutes ago, NinS said:

Ha! There was previously chatter that UDC might become the Ultimate Dance Cruse. Regardless of the name, it makes sense that both the branding and programming will extend into 80s and 90s dance music (as it already started to last time with Expose and C&C Music Factory). I love disco more than those later genres, but there just aren't enough actively performing original disco recording artists to keep programming UDC without heavy repeats, and so far not enough disco fans to sell out the ship. 

Thanks for the reply.  I'm the opposite - I like 80s music more than disco, though obviously I like some of the disco performers from my past cruises.  The 2025 list, other than Lisa Lisa, seems to lean heavily towards classic disco.  I wonder which way they will lean with their future announcements.  Like you said, there are fewer and fewer original performers from the disco era that are still around.  Let's see if that fact forces their hand.

 

Since you mentioned Expose, here's a picture of them in concert on last year's UDC for the fun of it. 🙂

 

IMG_20220227_192234.thumb.jpg.746c054ba5a05e509e30431910e74e64.jpg

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On UDC's FB page, they made a post asking for everyone's favorite performers on their past cruises.  They featured four photos and who they picked was very interesting - The Jacksons, KC and the Sunshine Band, Kool and the Gang, and Taylor Dayne.  I saw the first three in '22 and the last three in '23 on this cruise.  None are listed as performers for this cruise, yet.  Is this perhaps a subtle hint of who's to be announced??

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In the Always Something There To Remind Me department, on the way home from work, I heard "December" from Collective Soul, "You're the Inspiration" from Chicago, and "Cold As Ice" from Foreigner.

 

Collective Soul will be on The 90s Cruise in 2025 and they're almost sure to play this song - which would make me happy, since it's my favorite from them. 😍

 

I get two upcoming chances to hear "You're the Inspiration" live. Jason Scheff, current lead singer for Generation Radio and former member of Chicago, will be on next year's Rock and Romance Cruise in March. And I will be seeing Chicago on land a couple of months later.  I think the odds that either will play this one is close to 50-50; Chicago has had a lot of hit songs through the years. I'm sure it will be well received if they do play it.

 

Foreigner is another double. I saw their former lead singer Lou Gramm on The 80s Cruise earlier this year. He played this one. And I also expect Foreigner to play it when I see them on R&R.

 

And yes, the current temperature outside is as cold as ice. 😱

Edited by Honolulu Blue
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Another quick post.  First of all, this is Lou Gramm on TEC 2023:

IMG_20230309_192426.thumb.jpg.127535451da3dd4083cc6d072f4b0e76.jpg

 

Second, this is UDC's new logo - all gold, sparkly, and shiny.  Note the new wording:

 

UDC-5thanniversarylogo.thumb.png.ac9f1a9dfea68b7cb816707c00ee5797.png

 

Third, the UDC has updated their site to look like other StarVista Live cruise sites and like the old UDC site in the past.  I didn't see any performer additions or deletions.

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The band Lit, who will be performing "My Worst Enemy" and other songs on The 90s Cruise, is already on Sixthman's Rock Boat. That ship will sail in late January '24 and into February.

 

I found out about this because they've released their tentative performance schedule already. I'm jealous; I wish I could get my cruises to do that. Lit will be performing three times on this 5-day cruise - once in the main theater and twice by the pool.

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A few updates:

 

  • From the UDC:

UDC-2025-promo-email.jpg.c07ac61da0a5f94a9129377dafbef2f9.jpg

 

I think we're getting hints at who they plan to put in the main theater shows.  I agree with the Spinners and Shalamar.  I like the Bros, but I think they're a stretch to headline.  Maybe during a matinee?

  • I got monthly payment notices for my four current music charters.  Ouch!  I feel like I'm making TWO car payments these days.  Oh well, three of them will drop off in February as they're almost paid off.  The bad news is that I'm probably going to replace some of them...
  • Styx, Foreigner, and John Waite will be going out on tour starting in 2024.

Styx-Foreigner-Waite-tour-2024.thumb.png.e92ce4516fe514b0a4caf03b0e9dff8b.png

 

They're opening relatively nearby in Grand Rapids.  I wonder why they're opening up in my middle of nowhere state, but I kind of answered my own question - since they're in the middle of nowhere, it won't matter much if they make lots of mistakes.  I saw Foreigner's former lead singer Lou Gramm earlier this year on The 80s Cruise.  There's a picture of him earlier in this thread, so I won't repeat that.  I will also see the current foreigner on the Rock and Romance Cruise in a few months. 

 

I saw Styx three months ago in a different town in this nowhere state.  Let's see if I can squeeze in a picture of those guys...

20230901_203454(1).thumb.jpg.e2f4864c5d7f1c2e9582bf3c6bfd73ac.jpg

 

John Waite I've never seen live in concert.  I like him well enough.  Not mentioned is my favorite song from him - "Tears".

 

The GR stop is on a Tuesday, which might be a little difficult.  It's a 7 PM start.  There are several other stops of interest if I'm willing to stay overnight.  I'm thinking.  Tickets go on sale in a week or so.  We'll see what happens.  Stay tuned.

 

  • According to an article at CNBC, the Southwest pilots are close to reaching an agreement with the airline.  This has been a cloud hanging over my head for the past two years as I have a CC with SW and have A LOT of points with them, which I've been using on A LOT of flights - both past and future.  Let's hope both parties get this done.
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On 11/29/2023 at 10:54 PM, Honolulu Blue said:

In the Always Something There To Remind Me department, on the way home from work, I heard "December" from Collective Soul, "You're the Inspiration" from Chicago, and "Cold As Ice" from Foreigner.

 

Collective Soul will be on The 90s Cruise in 2025 and they're almost sure to play this song - which would make me happy, since it's my favorite from them. 😍

 

I get two upcoming chances to hear "You're the Inspiration" live. Jason Scheff, current lead singer for Generation Radio and former member of Chicago, will be on next year's Rock and Romance Cruise in March. And I will be seeing Chicago on land a couple of months later.  I think the odds that either will play this one is close to 50-50; Chicago has had a lot of hit songs through the years. I'm sure it will be well received if they do play it.

 

Foreigner is another double. I saw their former lead singer Lou Gramm on The 80s Cruise earlier this year. He played this one. And I also expect Foreigner to play it when I see them on R&R.

 

And yes, the current temperature outside is as cold as ice. 😱

Seen Jason Scheff a couple of times , really good. Best concert I ever attended had him with Christopher Cross, Todd Rundgren singing there hits plus all the songs from Rubber Soul and Revolver had first row tickets and got autographed posters and our picture taking with Todd and Jason. Currently on harmony which has a great cast doing Grease. 

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41 minutes ago, George C said:

Seen Jason Scheff a couple of times , really good. Best concert I ever attended had him with Christopher Cross, Todd Rundgren singing there hits plus all the songs from Rubber Soul and Revolver had first row tickets and got autographed posters and our picture taking with Todd and Jason. Currently on harmony which has a great cast doing Grease. 

Thanks for sharing. I'm glad you're having a good time on Harmony.

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1 hour ago, Honolulu Blue said:

Thanks for sharing. I'm glad you're having a good time on Harmony.

Harmony is nice but can’t wait to next cruise on rock and romance, they do have a terrific piano player singer in schooner bar he said he saw Don McLean on a couple of ships. Nice going on a non smoking casino.

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I want to note the VIP packages available for the Styx/Foreigner/John Waite shows:

 

  • No package for JW, but fan club members do get early ticket access
  • The Styx Renegade VIP package is pretty simple - premium ticket, special long-sleeved shirt, 8x10 band photo, Styx enamel pin, Styx challenge coin (whatever that is), Styx tour bag, commemorative tour laminate, lanyard, and ticket.
  • Foreigner's VIP packages are split into four tiers..
  • The Bronze tier has a ticket, a merch pack, a VIP laminate, the opportunity to shop for merch pre-concert (yay), VIP host and dedicated check-in, and early entry
  • The Silver tier offers the above, plus a ticket in the first 10 rows, the opportunity to submit a question to the band for a special Q&A - which I assume I would have the opportunity to attend, inside info from the touring crew, and a "socially distanced" (their words, not mine) photo op with the band in front of the stage
  • The Gold tier offers the above plus a ticket in the first 4 rows, a behind-the-scenes backstage tour, and a special autographed item
  • The Diamond tier offers the above plus a ticket in the first 3 rows, a seat onstage for Foreigner's first three songs ("Down On Love"?  Dream on), and a super special VIP limited-edition item

I'm still evaluation whether I want to do any of this.  Stay tuned.

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A few quick notes, one group for some of you, and one mostly for me.

 

Some of you may be mystified by the abbreviations I commonly use in my posts.  Here are the most common ones:

 

UDC - Ultimate Disco Cruise.  I sailed on this in 2022 and 2023 and am booked for the 2025 sailing.

TEC - The 80s Cruise.  I sailed on this in 2022 and 2023 and am booked for the 2024 sailing.

TNC - The 90s Cruise.  A new cruise that was just announced last month.  I'm on the inaugural sailing in 2025.

ECP - Entertainment Cruise Productions.  They produce TEC and TNC, among other themed cruises.

R&R - 70s Rock and Romance (Cruise).  I will be on this one along with special guest poster @George C in 2024

DTW - Detroit Metro Airport, the airport I depart from most of the time for my adventures.

 

All right, the rest of this post is for me.  These are the prices I found for the packages I mentioned in the last post

 

  • Styx VIP - $279.50, row 12 center or row 6 left
  • Foreigner Bronze - $264.50, row 10
  • Foreigner Silver - $549.50, row 3
  • Foreigner Gold - $1150, row 2
  • Foreigner Diamond - $1500, front row
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The only item of note from the McDonald LaBelle cruise newsletter I received yesterday is that they're now over 80% sold with only interiors and balconies left.

 

On the drive into work I heard "Hold On Loosely" from 38 Special and "Night Fever" from the Bee Gees.  I'm sure 38 Special will play the former on next year's 80 Cruise.  Bee Gees Gold will probably take care of the latter on Rock & Romance a few weeks later.

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Stop the presses... Def Leppard has just announced a tour with Journey and Heart, Steve Miller Band, and Cheap Trick.  It'll be just one of those last three in each location.  All the stops are in stadiums, which aren't my preference.  The closest stop, Detroit's Comerica Park, has Steve Miller Band.  That's probably the best one for me of the three.  GA ticket sales start next Friday, but some tickets will be on sale as soon as Tuesday.

 

This is another one for the "maybe" pile.  Stay tuned.

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More big news from The 80s Cruise - the artist hosted events onboard have been announced!  They start booking Tuesday, December 12 at noon EST.  Here's the schedule:

 

Friday, March 1st, 2024 (At Sea):

  • 9:00AM – 10:15AM: Best Friends Animal Society Charity Breakfast with Stephen Pearcy ($100 per person)
  • 3:00PM – 4:00PM: Wubba, Wubba, Wine Tasting with Downtown Julie Brown ($110 per person)
  • 5:00PM – 6:00PM: Vodka Mixology with Farrington and Mann ($90 per person)

Saturday, March 2nd, 2024 (At Sea):

  • 11:00AM – 12:15PM: Headway Charity Brunch with Soft Cell ($100 per person)
  • 3:00PM – 4:00PM: Wine Tasting with Sheena Easton ($110 per person)

Monday, March 4th, 2024 (Curaçao):

  • 2:00PM – 3:00PM: Sushi Making Class with Mark Goodman ($85 per person)
  • 5:00PM – 6:00PM: Curaçao Drinks with Larry The Duck ($90 per person)

Tuesday, March 5th, 2024 (At Sea):

  • 4:00PM – 5:00PM: Cupcake Decorating Class with Lori Majewski ($60 per person)

Wednesday, March 6th, 2024 (At Sea):

  • 3:00PM – 4:00PM: Rum Tasting with Alan Hunter ($90 per person)
  • 11:00AM – 12:30PM: Sip & Brunch with Midnight Star ($85 per person)
  • 5:00PM – 6:00PM: Wang Wangs with Wang Chung ($90 per person)

A few quickie notes:

 

  1. I note that there is a lack of events on the day we're in Aruba
  2. It looks like Sheena and Stephen will both be on the ship early in the cruise, which could mean they're getting off in Aruba.
  3. What in the world is a Wang Wang?  Do I really want to know??
  4. Sheena's hot enough and I like her enough to seriously tempt me to do this wine tasting with her.  Those who did these tastings last year got souvenir glasses.  Is that enough?
  5. The charity breakfast with Stephen is a must-do.  I'll have to find time to book this.  I wonder if I should use this occasion to wear my shirt of many bands again, or save it for the concert?  Or do both?? 

More study required.  I'll comment later on this with what I decided to do.

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On 12/2/2023 at 12:29 PM, George C said:

Seen Jason Scheff a couple of times , really good. Best concert I ever attended had him with Christopher Cross, Todd Rundgren singing there hits plus all the songs from Rubber Soul and Revolver had first row tickets and got autographed posters and our picture taking with Todd and Jason. Currently on harmony which has a great cast doing Grease. 

I forgot to mention that Denny Lane from the wings and Moody Blues and in rock and roll hall of fame was also performing, he just passed away at age of 79. 

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I'll take a bit of time to take a look at the 2024 edition of The 80s In the Sand event.  It's now rebranded as The Sands, as apparently some people had problems with identifying too strongly with the 80s.  The next edition will be its 7th and it will be November 4-9 at a resort in Cancun.  It's pricey, especially for those going solo. 

 

I attended in 2021 (yes, in the middle of the pandemic) and was disappointed by the experience.  To make an extremely long story short, I enjoyed the compactness of my music themed cruises much more.  One thing that didn't disappoint was the room, which I still rate as the best I've ever stayed in.

 

IMG_20211027_064153.thumb.jpg.1053b44cccb66fe75518f7c4ac2ddb39.jpg

 

I've tracked their lineups through the years, and they've been very, very good.  The initial lineup they announced for next year is not exception.  I'll go through the highlights:

 

  • The Fixx - one of my favorite bands.  I gave up on them in the late 80s for some reason that I can't recall.  But in the early and mid 80s, they were 🔥
  • Billy Ocean - he was supposed to be on the UDC earlier this year but had to back out.  I'm happy that he's performing again; I still wish I could spend time with him.
  • The English Beat - they're on next year's 80s Cruise.
  • John Cafferty - they were on last year's 80s Cruise.

IMG_20220309_195510.thumb.jpg.a7f1a7047f6cd8364109a487beab5fd9.jpg

 

  • Mary Jane Girls - they were strongly linked to Rick James.  Also strongly linked to Rick James is his Stone City Band.  They'll be on the UDC 2025.
  • Strangelove - Depeche Mode tribute band that was on TEC 2022.  I should've gone to see them that year, but didn't.  I won't mind getting a second chance at this.
  • Electric Duke - David Bowie tribute.  We'll get our own China Girl fan tribute on R&R next year.
  • The Reflexx - The Sands' house band.  They did a special gig at our official hotel that I stayed at just before this year's 80s Cruise.  I didn't attend.  I'm sure they were good.
  • Sunset Blvd - another popular choice by The Sands.  They were chosen in a band competition by TEC.  They did a couple of concerts on this year's cruise.  I didn't see either one.
  • "Downtown" Julie Brown, Alan Hunter, Mark Goodman - former VJs that were on this year's TEC and will also be on next year's edition

Overall I think they're off to a good start.  I'm sure they'll add more acts as time goes on.  Perhaps they'll get me to a point where I'll more strongly regret not giving them a second chance.  But I can't imagine it happening.

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I see they have one of my spouse's favorite groups, Technotronic, although who exactly is in Technotronic these days seems far from clear. Original lead Ya Kid K has come back and left again and YouTube videos from the past decade seemingly alternate between her and a new lead. John Cafferty is from Rhode Island so he often plays around the Boston area where I live -- not really my thing but my friends who see him always enjoy his shows.

 

I remember HB's posts about going to it. I don't think I'll be considering the 2024 edition, but if I'm ever tempted I'll go back and read those posts before I pull the trigger.

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1 hour ago, NinS said:

I see they have one of my spouse's favorite groups, Technotronic, although who exactly is in Technotronic these days seems far from clear. Original lead Ya Kid K has come back and left again and YouTube videos from the past decade seemingly alternate between her and a new lead. John Cafferty is from Rhode Island so he often plays around the Boston area where I live -- not really my thing but my friends who see him always enjoy his shows.

 

I remember HB's posts about going to it. I don't think I'll be considering the 2024 edition, but if I'm ever tempted I'll go back and read those posts before I pull the trigger.

They do have Technotronic, who would have been worth a visit had I planned to go to this.  As usual for performers from the 80s and 90s, I preferred their second hit "Get Up!" to their first, bigger song.  They'd be a decent choice for The 90s Cruise, if they're still looking for performers.

 

Thanks for the notes on them and Mr. Cafferty.  I enjoyed him on TEC last year.

 

For @NinS and random others of interest, here are my notes on my visit to The Sands back in 2021.  I reviewed them just now, and it brought back a lot of memories.

 

 

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