Earlier this year, we spent seven days at sea with some of the finest jazz musicians in the world. Immersing ourselves in the music and the jazz family practically non-stop all day and night for a week was definitely a peak life experience for us. There is absolutely nothing to compare with the joy and connectedness with the artists one feels in a setting like this.
Now, we know lots of people turn their noses up at cruises and cruise ships in general. “It’s not really travel”, “It’s too confining”, “It’s too stuffy” are some of the common criticisms. But when you’re on a jazz cruise, the whole point is the music. The destination ports were really irrelevant. Where the heck were we? The ship could just as well have stayed at the dock in Florida or just chugged around in circles for a week and most of us wouldn’t have known the difference. In what other venue could we have chatted with Kurt Elling while standing in line ordering a pizza and then enjoy his singing a couple hours later? Or, seeing Jeff Hamilton and Joey Defrancesco enjoying cigars together on the Lido deck? Or having breakfast with Anat Cohen’s mom, sharing a story with John Pizzarelli. It goes on and on. Not crazy about the trio playing in the lounge? Well, just go up a couple decks to the Crow’s Nest to hear any one of a number of the top jazz talents on the planet. It was amazing. Here’s just a sampling of the week.