Imagine a balmy February cruise to the sun splashed waters of the Eastern Caribbean aboard one of the highly styled, beautifully served ships of the fabled Holland America Line. Savour the idea of visiting such beautiful sights as Grand Turk, Half Moon Cay, Saint Thomas and Puerto Rico.
Then throw in a raft (pun wholly intentional) of top line entertainment, including Gladys Knight, KC And The Sunshine Band, and the legendary Spinners, along with a host of others. Sounds good- maybe too good to be true?
Oh, but true it really is.
Following on from the success of similar sailings to the Caribbean and Mexican Riviera, a company called Entertainment Cruise Productions has chartered Holland America’s stunning Eurodam for another of it’s Soul Train cruises. The idea is simple; take a large, luxurious vessel with a substantial entertainment handle, and then fill it with a whole conga line of established soul and disco acts to provide some sizzling, after dinner shows; everything from frantic dance stuff to some slow, mellow grooves.
It’s all a play on the once immensely popular, long running Soul Train television show and, this far, these cruises have been massively successful with cruisers and party goers of a certain vintage. Built around a week long circuit out of Fort Lauderdale, the opening cruise of 2015 looks certain to be another sell out.
The Eurodam cuts loose from Florida on February 22nd, 2015, on a voyage that takes in the four ports mentioned above. As far as the line up for the actual Soul Train shows go, here’s the list of artistes and performers already booked to be on board;
Maze featuring Frankie Beverley- Gladys Knight- KC And The Sunshine Band- The Spinners- Harold Melvin And The Blue Notes- Russell Thompkins, Jr And The New Stylistics- Marilyn McCoo And Billy Davis, Jr- Regina Belle- Valerie Simpson- The Delfonics.
By any standards, that’s a hugely formidable line up. Personally, I’d go just to hear McCoo and Davis- former lead singers of the legendary Fifth Dimension as well as successful solo artists, and just for half a chance to meet the legendary Valerie Simpson who, with her former partner- the late Nick Ashford- wrote so many of the early landmark solo hits for Diana Ross, as well as many others.
This is really several voyages rolled into one; it’s a voyage through a sea of stunning culinary creations that Holland America serves up with such extraordinary aplomb. And it’s a voyage to a quartet of idyllic, sun splashed Caribbean idylls, each one as distinct as a human fingerprint.
But, above all, this is a voyage back in time; a chance to reconnect with a more graceful, stylised groove. A time when good was ‘bad’. and ‘bad’ was as good as it got. Wonderful stuff.
Just imagine; a day where you can chill out at somewhere as beautiful as Magens Bay on St. Thomas, and then enjoy a night dancing on deck to KC And The Sunshine Band?
Bad. In the very best sense of the word.