Blues and rock on the high seas (written before coronavirus ruined cruising for everyone)

You know you’re getting on a bit when you start writing about ocean cruises. Not that I’m expecting to hit the high seas any time soon. Unfortunately, my wife has the twin fears of the cruise ship sinking, and being trapped on board even when it’s floating, so she’s vehemently anti-cruise. That’s stopping me but it’s not stopping you.

Happy patrons aboard Joe Bonamassa’s Keeping The Blues Alive At Sea cruise.

Just departed from Miami (on February 18), blues icons Joe Bonamassa and Buddy Guy headline 24 quality blues acts as part of Joe’s sixth Keeping The Blues Alive At Sea cruise. The five-day blues-fest aboard the Norwegian Pearl, finishing up in the Bahamas on February 22, was fully sold out.

Rockin’ all over the world.

Indeed, Joe Bonamassa’s blues cruises are so popular, there’s a long waiting list. At the time of writing, August’s Keeping the Blues Alive at Sea cruise from Barcelona, Spain, still has spaces – just – so you better be quick.

Joe Bonamassa fronting his Keeping the Blues Alive Foundation and Sixthman cruise concert aboard the Norwegian Pearl.

For details call Keeping The Blues Alive At Sea toll free in the USA on 1-877-379-9170. If outside the USA call 1-770-738-6009 for what looks like the price of a local phone call.

Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Famers.

Next month, my old 1970s colleagues, The Zombies, take part in the Flower Power cruise in the Caribbean along with The Hollies, Herman’s Hermits and The Turtles.

Recently voted into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame, the Zombies also have the distinction of being second English band to hit number one in America after the Beatles in 1964. Said lead singer Colin Blunstone: “There’s a stage on deck and a lot of camaraderie – fans of a certain age but young people too.”

Peter Asher, (ex-Peter & Gordon), is MC.

I used to do the press and PR for Rod Argent (left) and Colin Blunstone of the Zombies when they had left the band to become solo artists on Epic. Zombies’ lead guitarist Paul Atkinson and drummer Hugh Grundy used to work with me at CBS, London, in the early 1970s. It’s great to see they’ve reformed 50 years later.

As part of the fifth annual Star Vista Flower Power Cruise, the Zombies and co. depart Port Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on March 28, 2020, stopping on the U.S. Virgin Islands and UK’s Bahamas, returning to port on April 4, 2020.

This cabin will set you back US$3,229 per person aboard the Flower Power Cruise.

Who’s Who of rock ‘n’ blues.

Next year’s 2021 Flower Power Cruise line up offers a veritable ‘who’s who’ of blues, rock and pop acts including Canned Heat, The Yardbirds, Spencer Davies Group, Guess Who, Procol Harum, Box Tops, Felix Cavaliere’s Rascals, The Association, Paul Revere & The Raiders singer Mark Lindsey, Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels and more.

Cabin prices range from US$1,949 per person for an interior stateroom to US$9,646 per person for a penthouse suite with veranda. In the USA, call Star Vista on 844-700-3569-9 (FLOWER) for more details.

Jon Bon Jovi, Roger McGuin, Jules Holland.

Last year, Jon Bon Jovi, Johnny Rzeznik of the Goo Goo Dolls and a host of other top acts cruised the Mediterranean on the Norwegian Pearl from Barcelona to Palma, Majorca. Artists performed multiple times and all shows were first-come, first-serve with guests coming and going as they pleased. This year, Roger McGuinn of the Byrds gives talks and performs his hits aboard The Viking Sun in the South Pacific. Fairport Convention plan a Rhine river cruise in June and UK rock’s national treasure and TV music show host, Jules Holland, is the currently the face of the UK’s Saga cruises for the over-50s.

Jules Holland performing aboard Saga’s Spirit of Discovery.

Jules has his own upmarket steakhouse and music club aboard The Spirit of Discovery, next leaving Dover on April 23, 2020, for Venice, Croatia, Sardinia, Sicily and Malta. Prices start at £5942 for two for 26 nights. Ring 0808 223 0021 (in the UK) for details.

It’s a far cry from lying in the mud at the 1970 Bath Festival of Blues & Progressive Music (forerunner to Glastonbury)