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Monday, October 21, 2013

Keep on grooving with B.B. King's Blues Club and Dancing with the Stars on the ms Eurodam

   Out to Sea for Oct. 19-20/13

   (c) By Jim and Barb Fox

   News Update: The B.B. King's Blues Club is being expanded to other Holland America Ships:

B.B. King’s Blues Club Schedule
    Entertainment options and activities on board cruise ships continue to evolve to keep the good time rolling on the high seas.
   Holland America Lines’ (HAL) Eurodam has added the overwhelmingly popular B.B. King’s Blues Club along with Dancing with the Stars: At Sea.
   On a recent Canada-New England Fall Colour cruise from New York City to Quebec City, we found the blues club packed nightly as were the dancing competitions.
   A new addition to the ms Eurodam is the popular B.B. King’s Blues Club. (Barbara Fox photo)
   Culinary enhancements include visiting celebrity chefs and authors to enhance the Culinary Arts Centre program.
   Tasty additions are An Evening at Le Cirque, replicating the famous New York restaurant, in the Pinnacle Grill one evening on each cruise.
   There’s also the Taste of De Librije dinner with dishes and menus from chef Jonnie Boer’s restaurant in the Netherlands.
   The new Master Chef’s International Dinner in the Rembrandt Dining Room showcases signature dishes from around the world.
   Other additions are the alternative dining Canaletto Italian restaurant and Tamarind for fine Asian cuisine with its Silk Den lounge and views from atop the ship.
The ms Eurodam at port in Saguenay-Lac Saint John, Quebec. (Jim Fox photo)
   An expanded “On Location” program on HAL ships provides itineraries for cruisers seeking enrichment activities and experiences at ports of call.
   The Alaska CruiseTour program will be called Land and Sea Journeys next year with more opportunities to explore and personalize vacations.
   The cruise line has also renewed its partnership with Microsoft to continue with free computer and digital camera enrichment classes.

   Let the good times roll
   Direct from the home of the blues – Beale Street in Memphis, Tenn. – is the at-sea version of B.B. King’s Blues Club aboard the ms Eurodam.
The ms Eurodam below the Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac in Quebec City. (Jim Fox photo)
   “We get great feedback; guests love it,” said Erik Elvejord, HAL public relations director. 
   The club’s All Star Band had showgoers at two performances in the Mainstage theatre on their feet, grooving with the Memphis sounds by such artists as B.B., Sam and Dave and Otis Redding.
(Barbara Fox photo)
   The usual venue is the Queen’s Lounge on a stage resembling a Memphis club with guitars hanging in the backdrop.
   Band leader Primo even has a legendary Hammond B-3 organ heard so often in the blues classics while Tony, who along with vocals, recreates the guitar playing of the late Jimi Hendrix.
   “Bringing the vibe of Memphis aboard Eurodam has created a new atmosphere on the ship,” said Richard Meadows, a HAL executive vice-president. Consideration is being given to expanding it to other ships, he said.
   Available are specialty cocktails from the land-based King clubs such as the rum-based Lucille and Rock Me Baby concoctions mixed with fruit liqueurs and juices.

   Moving and grooving
   Another fan favourite is the new “Dancing with the Stars: At Sea” featured on all 15 HAL ships.
   Six theme cruises through early next year feature dance lessons, meeting the dancers and a production with celebrities and dance pros.
   Set for the Jan. 5 and 12 sailings on the ms Nieuw Amsterdam are pro dancer Tristan MacManus and celebrity show participant Sabrina Bryan.
   Additional pros and competitors are planned for the ship’s seven-day eastern and western Caribbean sailings.
Tristan MacManus and Sabrina Bryan perform
   There are on-going competitions on the ships in which the audience takes part in the judging.
   It will result in 15 dancers being selected to receive a free cruise and compete for the Mirror Ball Trophy in the championship round.

   Day at the beach
   Spending a day at the beach has been enhanced at Half Moon Cay, HAL’s private island in the Bahamas.
   On the 1,700-acre uninhabited Little San Salvador Island with a crescent-shaped, white-sand beach and warm, blue-green waters are two-storey beach villas.
   The five colourful luxury hideaway villas available for rent have hot tubs on the second floor while the other beach cabanas were “refreshed.”
   The Grand Cabana has received new decor and a slide from the deck into the ocean.
   A new glass-bottom boat carries 290 people to view the island’s underwater colourful reefs and sea life.
   Six more horses have been added for riding along the beach and swimming on them in the ocean.
   There’s also a refreshed Bahamian church and private chapel in a garden overlooking the sea for wedding ceremonies and vow renewals, and a pirate-ship designed Captain Morgan’s Bar.
   For more details or to book a cruise: www.hollandamerica.com; 1-877-SAIL-HAL (1-877-724-5425)


Jim and Barb Fox can be reached at outtosea50@hotmail.com
For more Out to Sea trip tips: http://outtoseatravel.blogspot.ca

Other links:

Toronto Sun

Vancouver24Hours (Sun daily)

Canoe.com (Sun Media website – 7-million unique travel pages hits a month)

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