Today is Embarkation Day for The Smooth Jazz Cruise ‘20.1. Blue Note at Sea and The Jazz Cruise are next!
Our Take: The Music Is Starting
Today is Day 1 of The Smooth Jazz Cruise ‘20.1. Our advance team and I have been on the Celebrity Infinity since Monday, working with the ship staff preparing for three weeks of amazing music and fun. Frequently, guests ask what exactly do we do during that pre-cruise time. Here is the rundown:
We board the ship together to observe precisely how our guests will go through that process. As I have said before, no one has created an easy way to board a ship, but we try to make sure that the process is as quick and efficient as possible. At this time, nearly 60 percent of our guests have completed their online check-in. The more guests who do so, the more likely the process can be expedited.
Next, we do our walk through of the ship. This is the last time we sail on Celebrity Infinity before its Revolution (the multimillion-dollar upgrade due before our 2021 sailings), so we are being a bit more particular this year with our inspection. We want the ship to be at its very best. After the tour, we unpack, go through the same Safety Drill that our cruise guests endure and then we have a team dinner in The Trellis Restaurant (Main Dining Room).
The next few days include meetings with Entertainment Staff, Food & Beverage Staff, Hospitality Staff, Guest Relations Staff and Production Staff. We walk them through our cruise outline, which we call an EPS. The EPS is a spreadsheet that chronicles every event, meal, show or program that we produce during the week. Part of the EPS includes our desired ship participation with each item. By the way, these meetings are repeated daily during the cruise, only these meetings address the current day only.
Next, we go venue by venue setting up our production elements. Those amazing plasma screens and LED lighting features are ours. We bring them onto the ship and need to set them up before sailing. We also bring on 600 chairs, which we use to augment the seating in the various venues.
Finally, we check the Cruise Identification Cards that guests receive upon embarkation, the Daily Programs and any other items that relate to the guest experience. Our cruises are for our guests. Their experience is our total focus and their enjoyment is our sole pursuit.
Now, after all that stuff, it is time for the guests to board and for the music to start. After all, it is the music that brought us all together in the first place.
Our Take is written by Michael Lazaroff, Executive Director – Jazz of Entertainment Cruise Productions. Feel free to express your views or pose questions to him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SAVE THE DATES: Open Booking for Blue Note at Sea ’21
and The Jazz Cruise ’21
Wednesday was the last day to complete a Pre-Sale Reservation for the 2021 sailings of Blue Note at Sea and The Jazz Cruise. While this marked a new process for making reservations for both cruises, the response from guests was overwhelmingly positive. Hundreds of guests made Pre-Sale Reservations for both programs, which locked in special benefits including priority stateroom selection.
Guests joining us for the 2020 sailings of Blue Note at Sea and The Jazz Cruise have through the second day of their sailings to rebook their current stateroom for 2021. Many of them already did so via our new early rebooking procedure.
Now, that sets the stage for Open Booking for the general public. That starts at 10 a.m. Central Time on February 10 for Blue Note at Sea ’21 and 10 a.m. Central Time on February 17 for The Jazz Cruise ’21.
With hundreds of guests completing Pre-Sale Reservations and even more guests rebooking their current stateroom for next year, those interested in joining us for these sensational jazz programs should make their move as soon as possible when their desired cruises go on sale.
If you are not sailing with us this year, we hope to see you in 2021!
What Comes After Cruise Season?
The Sarasota Jazz Festival!
Coming up right after we return from The Jazz Cruise is the Sarasota Jazz Festival, which celebrates its 40th Anniversary March 8-14. Among the headliners booked by the festival’s music director Ken Peplowski are The Manhattan Transfer, Dick Hyman, Clairdee, Houston Person, Charles McPherson, Russell Malone, Terell Stafford and La Lucha.
The festival’s main stage concerts will be presented in the Sarasota Municipal Auditorium, with other concerts staged at several venues, each within a short walking distance of the Auditorium. In addition, several long-established festival events will be held in their traditional venues at Phillippi Estate Park, Burns Court Cinema, and nightclubs in downtown Sarasota.
Another set of releases in the Tone Poet Audiophile Vinyl Reissue Series from Blue Note Records is on its way, with the first group of reissues to be released on February 28.
Among the two dozen Blue Note albums to be reissued in this audiophile format are classics such as Hank Mobley’s Poppin’ on February 28, Herbie Hancock’s The Prisoner on March 27 and Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers’ Roots & Herbs on September 25.