Monday, January 21, 2008

The Smooth Jazz Cruise Monday at Sea On Board Westerdam

Even on a dreary afternoon yesterday in port Everglades we could feel the electricity generated by fellow passengers during embarkation on Westerdam. Many were repeat Smooth Jazz Cruisers and are here to enjoy their favorite music and artists in concert. Later, as we waited in the Sports Bar (Giants versus Green Bay) for our after-dinner show, one music (and football) enthusiast told me this was his fourth Smooth Jazz Cruise—he’d only missed the first one.

To kick off the Welcome Show, Rick Braun and his trumpet made a grand entrance, giving the audience a close-up as he played his way to the stage. While the music swept over the Vista Lounge, everyone was on their feet, moving and clapping to the beat. A few bars of “won’t you let me take you on a sea cruise” were met with approval.

Smooth Jazz Cruise posters awaited on our beds last night—pillow gifts that are great for collecting autographs, as are the program books we received earlier. We’ll have plenty of opportunity to use them.

Although today’s seas are a tad rough and we’ve encountered strong winds and some rain, we began the day on a high note during a rousing Gospel Hour with Jonathan Butler. What an appropriate way to celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on this, his national holiday.

Don’t get the impression that it’s all seriousness on board Westerdam. Today is also T-Shirt Party Day with complimentary afternoon cocktails and snacks served poolside and later a behind the scenes look at “how songs become” and then Daiquiris with artist Mindi Abair. Naturally, we’ll attend another concert after dinner.

Because we set our clocks forward an hour tonight I may have to cut my time short at the PA-JAM-A party. At least I’ll be ready to fall right asleep—the late night dress code calls for PJs and, of course, jazz.

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