Daily archives "September 13, 2015"

Alaskan Cruise

Just got back yesterday from a week long cruise to Alaska with my wife celebrating our 40th wedding anniversary.  We had a wonderful time and heard lots of great music in the evenings, especially by a blues and R&B group: The BB King Blues Club All Star Band, all great musicians (sax, trumpet, guitar, drums, bass, keyboard) and two terrific vocalists.


I brought my Takamine 132CS cedar top cutaway classical and played every day, sometimes in our cabin or on our balcony, but also in a quiet sitting lounge on deck 2 near the dining room.  When I played there I never failed to attract an audience, and after a few days began to be recognized by other cruisers who wanted to know if I was on the music staff and when I would be playing next.


I’ve cruised before and was always curious about what it would be like to be a musician on a cruise ship.  My friend Miche Lambro told me that he recently did a 2 month hitch on a cruise ship.  I’ll have to ask him depth what that was like.  I can imagine a lot of it depends on whether you are hired to play in the orchestra for the large shows–for which good sight-reading skills would be a must (that rules me out)–or as one of the lounge acts.  Though we never went in, the piano bar in which a solo pianist and vocalist played every night, was always packed to overflowing.  Judging from that, and similar circumstances I’ve seen on other cruises, I get the impression that these guys–the solo pianist/vocalist–who are exceptionally versatile in playing all kinds of music and taking almost any request–are actually at the top of the food chain when it comes to on-ship musicians.  I’d be interested to find out if I’m right about this.


So all in all, had a great time.  My wife told me today that when we retire–perhaps in 5 years or so (I hope)–she would like to go on a longer cruise, 10 days at least.  I guess we’d better start saving up…

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