Search this Topic:
Swindon Sal wrote:THANK YOU, all, for these wonderful pictures! I wasn't on the cruise, but thanks to you all, I feel the excitement you experienced on your great voyage.
Bonnie, I think your camera must have a special "John" button on it to capture the most delightful pictures of our favorite "rocker!"
And Judy, I won't worry about getting photos of the solo show in Wilmington-- knowing you will be there, too, I can rest assured that everyone will get the absolute BEST photos to capture that special event. (I'll still bring my camera and try for some shots, but I know you will get the really good ones!)
The generosity of spirit and sharing of everyone on the cruise is truly wonderful, and befitting the spirit of the Moodies.
Swindon Sal wrote:Bonnie, I think your camera must have a special "John" button on it to capture the most delightful pictures of our favorite "rocker!"
The Sound I had to Follow
Learn to forget the memories that cause you pain
The last whispered wish of age is to live it all again (JH/RT)
DISCLAIMER: Before I
write even the first word, I want to issue this disclaimer. What I say below is MY opinion of The Moody
Blues Cruise. Accordingly, there is no
right or wrong in what I write. Others
may have an entirely different view of the cruise and they are entitled to
their opinions just as I am entitled to mine.
Having said that, negative comments to this review will not be
appreciated since this is an opinion only and it is MY opinion. YMMV and probably will since we all see
things differently depending on our expectations. I went on this cruise for one reason only –
to see and enjoy the music of The Moody Blues.
Was this expectation met? You
will have to decide for yourself in the words below. So, having said all this, let me begin my
review with my title……..
One More Illusion Shattered,
One More Broken Dream (Part I)
Day One : Pre-Cruise Day (Sitting at the Wheel)
My husband and I left our home in central Florida on a
bright, sunny day around mid-day. We
were going to Ft. Lauderdale the day before the cruise. We don’t usually do that but so many of our
friends said things that scared us (what if your car breaks down, what if
something comes up that you hadn’t expected), we decided to err on the safe
side and we drove down to the Rodeway Inn and Suites where several of our
friends were staying. It was meant to be
a surprise but I had to tell a couple of them ahead of time so it didn’t turn
out the way I had planned. After we all
said our *hello’s*, it was close to dinner time and we went to the restaurant
in the hotel since no one felt like leaving the premises. It was called *The Reef* and it was fairly
good. Without my notes handy, I don’t
remember what I had for dinner that night, but you, dear reader, don’t really
care about that, do you? LOL!!! We spent a very enjoyable evening but then
went to bed, filled with Christmas-like anticipation of the morrow, when we
would see the MS Poesia for the first time, our home for the next five nights
and the beginning of my dream.
It’s no secret that I’m really turned on by Justin Hayward
of The Moody Blues. Most people
laughingly talk of their *bucket list*.
I wonder how many people actually have one. Well I do, and #1 on that list is to have my
picture taken with Justin. Now, I could spend
$400+ and have my photo taken with Justin (and John and Graeme <and I
wouldn’t even be able to stand next to Justin>) but I thought that with all
the money I had spent on this cruise, this would be a great chance, and an easy
one, to get that #1 crossed off the list.
You all also know pretty much that I’m not getting any younger and every
time I see The Moody Blues, I always think it could be *my* last, never mind
that it could also be *their* last as well.
So this cruise I looked upon as the possible fulfillment of all my
dreams. After all, MBC (Moody Blues
Cruise) had said that The Moodies would be on board the full five days and that
they WOULD be mingling with the fans.
Not only that, but there was a special category fare on this cruise
called a VIP group. If you were in this
group, you were promised a reception with The Moody Blues!!! I think everyone who booked the VIP fare did
so with this reception in mind. I
*thought* this meant that we, the fans, would be in a room with The Moody Blues
and we would be able to talk to them and ask questions of them and, in general
, it would be a civilized meet and greet part of the cruise. For this, we VIP’s paid probably an
additional $1000. above the regular fare for a cruise on board the MS Poesia. But more about that later.
Day Two: Cruise Day – (The
We took the 10:30 a.m. shuttle from the hotel to the
port. And then we got our first look at
her – the MS Poesia – the ship I had written about for over a half year!! And, as a veteran of 19 other cruises, I
thought, oh heck, it’s just another cruise ship! Nothing special! But then I recanted and thought, but, Arline,
think about who will be aboard!!! The
Moody Blues – and more importantly, Justin Hayward!! My husband needs a
wheelchair for boarding the ship since he is not able to walk any great
distance and since this was only our second time leaving from this port, we
weren’t sure how far he would have to walk.
Turns out we made the right decision since he never would have been able
to walk all that way by himself. Once
you’re in a wheelchair, it’s like all doors are magically opened. We did have a wait in the terminal for a
short time but then we were zipped through all the lines and on board before
you could say the names of the original Moody Blues five times
We were taken to our cabin and then the wheelchair was taken
away. My first negative comment: I have to say that this was the smallest
balcony cabin we have ever been in.
Hubby and I couldn’t even pass each other at the foot of the beds. One had to stand in-between the beds while
the other went which ever direction they needed to go. And the balcony was miniscule. At least of the balconies we have had.
Barely fit the two chairs and small table in between. Anyway, we were both hungry so we headed up
one deck to the buffet lunch. Negative
comment #2: I started at the salad bar,
which was sub-par, I thought, to what I could get at Golden Corral on any given
Sunday. This was their new million
dollar renovation??? Just four different
kinds of lettuce, a couple of vegetables and some big chunks of red beets. Okay, maybe the rest would be better. Geez, Carnival has them beat by a gazillion
miles. (Now let’s not go into Carnival’s
recent problems – I know they have had them in spades. But for the most part, Carnival is a great
cruise line and I would sail again with them in a heart beat!!) Let’s just take one example – the Carnival
Spirit. When you go to the lunch buffet,
there are EIGHT (at least) different stations to choose from! I don’t remember them all, but just to give
you an idea, there is an American station, and Italian station, a Chinese
station, a sandwich station, a Southern cooking station and a couple of
more. You just walked from station to
station checking out the daily menus (which changed every day) to see what you
felt like eating that day. At the Poesia
buffet, it was pretty much the same thing, day after day after day. There were two sides to the buffet, a hot
side and a cold side. The hot side
started out with greasy hamburgers, hot dogs and some other things I forget
right now. There were small sandwiches,
a pasta dish (which was the only thing I ate and which was pretty good – but
each day they just changed the sauce and cooked the same pasta it seems). Then you went into a third room for the
dessert bar. Again, it was nothing
really special – just some jellos and cakes and not what I expected. Okay, maybe I had high expectations! But Carnival has such a great dessert
station, they leave the Poesia standing at the gate. Anyway………
We set sail for Jamaica.
I didn’t go up to the sail-away party.
Why? I don’t remember. But I did hear that all three Moodies stood
on a high deck and waved to the fans below them. I even have the video to prove it!! I think (I haven’t watched it yet –
LOL!) But you know we Moody fans – any
sighting is enough to make us go mad with excitement and this was no
exception. I guess we all thought this
was just the beginning and that it would get better as the cruise went along. We had all *promised* to be on our best
behavior and respect The Moodies space, so they had nothing to fear from us,
right? Well, that was what we had
Either before or after eating (don’t remember which), we
stopped at The Moody Blues hospitality desk to pick up our special goodie bags
containing our VIP gifts. These
consisted of the bag itself, an autographed plaque with a record on it and embossed with
The Moody Blues 2013 Cruise – the Voyage on it and a special Collectors edition
of Moody Blues Phone Cards (Collection Series *A*). What
these were were actual phone cards that could be used for telephone calls
(although there was a disclaimer inside the folder saying that these
collectible phone cards no longer contained any long distance calling
capability!) Each card featured the
art work from a Moodies album cover.
There was a card for *Days of Future Passed*, *In Search of the Lost
Chord, *Every Good Boy Deserves Favour* *A Question of Balance* and *Time
Traveller*. A really great collectors
item, I thought. Positive comment
#1: I thought this was a fairly nice
goodie bag assortment and I am keeping all of this for myself since I liked
everything in it.
With all the other bands playing on the ship, I have to say,
dear readers, that I let you down! For
some reason or another, I did not see even one of them!! I walked through lounges while someone was
playing or saw someone playing on the pool stage as I passed by, but who it was
or what they were playing, I couldn’t begin to tell you. I am so sorry, but as I said, I was there for
The Moody Blues and the rest were just icing on the cake. But icing is fattening for you so I guess I
was still on my diet and just trying to stay a good girl!
Positive comment #2: I
suppose I can say something now that I couldn’t before the cruise
happened. For some reason that I know
nothing about, MBC called one of the people we ate our meals with. They said that apparently too many of the
VIPs had requested early seating in the dining room and not enough were at the
late seating. If our group was willing
to change from early to late, MBC, in turn, would do a favor for us. As a VIP, we were entitled to attend *one*
Moody Blues concert and *one* Storyteller event. MBC told this person that if we were willing
to change our seating, they would allow us to attend both Moody Blues concerts
and both Storyteller events. Now, let’s
think this over. Change from early to
late seating, a time change of 2 ½ hours in exchange for attending all four
Moody Blues events on the ship.
Hmmmmm…….. I really had to think that over when it was presented to
me……..for like about one tenth of a second!!
Hell, yeah!! I was in!!! So this person (who I’m not sure wants me to
mention their name) called MBC back and said all the people at the table were
on board with the change and presto, chango, we were going to all The Moody
Blues events!! The first time we would
sit in what are called *Band friends and family* seats, which are off to the
side of the stage and then the next night we would sit in our regular seats
that were assigned to us by our VIP status.
Now don’t jump on me and say *how come I wasn’t called* or *how come you
people got picked*? I DON’T KNOW!!! I had nothing to do with it and don’t know why
we were picked and others weren’t. In
fact, I don’t even know if *anyone* else got this deal or if we were the *only*
ones!!! But whoever up there was looking out for me, I
would like to thank Him!
I need to go back for a second to the pre-cruise hotel. In the middle of the night, I got up to use
the bathroom and while I was getting back into bed, I felt something hard under
the covers. I took the *thing* out and
put it on the night stand and thought I’d look at it tomorrow – being too tired
to care. Well the next morning I found
out that somehow my big toe on my right foot must have gotten entangled in the
blanket of the bed and the toe nail had been yanked out!! Ouch!
The only good thing was that I never felt it and it didn’t hurt
afterward!! I had to go back to this
episode because the second night, while I was eating dinner on the ship, I felt
something strange in my mouth. I had
been eating a hard roll and wasn’t sure what the hard bits were that I was
taking from my mouth. Then I felt a rear
molar wiggling around – in fact, it was wiggling so hard, the WHOLE DARN thing
came right out in my fingers!!! Again,
with no pain afterward, luckily, but I was getting a little freaked out by
now!! What the heck was going
on???? Okay, it’s only the first night
of the cruise, chill out girlfriend and relax.
Just because you’ve lost two parts of you in two nights doesn’t mean
you’ll lose more……….does it?????
Here we are on the first full day of the cruise. The big thing scheduled for today is The Moody
Blues concert for early seating diners.
We get to go to that, of course, because of *the deal* made to us by
MBC. But first, tonight is formal night at dinner. While we may look like drowned rats during
the day, we sure cleaned up nice!! I had
my hair done in the Aura Beauty Salon.
Positive Comment #3: Their charge
was only $27, including tip!! This was a
very reasonable price for a cruise line!
Best I’ve ever paid!! Everyone
was at their sparkling best and we women were superb!!! Giving credit to the men, most did wear
suits and even a few of them wore tuxedos!!
I don’t remember much about dinner except for the peach melba dessert
which was fabulous!! When hubby and I arrived at the Teatro (see, I
learned how to say one Italian word on the cruise – LOL!!) our group was
escorted to a row about four from the front over on the side. These are not really bad seats, except that
about ten minutes before the show starts, two people show up with tickets for
two of the seats our group is sitting in.
So there is a mad scramble and everyone does the *move down two seats*
shuffle except that means the people on the end wind up with no seats. Except that didn’t happen here – two of our
group somehow managed to fill two empty seats in the front row and because
there was a third seat, I plopped myself into it! My mamma didn’t raise no stupid child!! So instead of the *not so hot side seats* we
were supposed to have, three of us found ourselves with front row seats that no
one showed up for!! How strange is
that??? But needless to say, the concert
was fantastic!! It was the same two-hour
(with intermission) show that The Moodies perform at any given concert and they
didn’t hold back at all just because this was a ship. The Captain had the stabilizers out full tilt
and the ship was as sturdy as the Rock of Gibraltar!! In fact, that seemed to be the case for
almost the whole cruise. And if The
Moodies feed off the energy of the audience, well then they won’t have to eat
for the next year because, of course, this was a Moody Blues crowd! There was no one and nothing that The Moodies
had to swing to their side – this group loved every note, every syllable, every
nuance that came out of the mouths of each and every front and back Moody
Blue!! And when they wound up the show
with RMSS, I didn’t feel like this was my last show – I still had tomorrow
night to look forward to – my *legal* show!
Day Three: Arrival in Jamaica
(One Day, Someday)
So Justin says in his new CD “We put our faith in God and
man, and one of them betrays us every chance he can!” Up until the day we arrived in Jamaica, I
would have made a small *h* out of the word *he*! Are you following me, dear reader? But when we docked in Jamaica, me, a veteran
of 19 cruises, had swollen ankles so bad, I couldn’t even get off the
ship!!! In all my years cruising, I have
never had anything like this happen to me before!!! Of course, I have never been this old before
and I have never had trouble with my knees before like I do now. But still – come on, Lord, don’t play games
with me now!!! I want to get off the
ship and do some shopping in Jamaica.
But it wasn’t to be!! So I sat on
my small balcony and watched several of the tenders going back and forth. I heard that John Lodge and Graeme Edge did
the climbing Dunns River Falls excursion.
At first, their security was very strict and held people back while John
and Graeme were at the Falls. But, to
their big credit, both John and Graeme said, at the same time, *No, let them
climb with us! After all, they are our
fans and we owe everything to them!* Or
something similar!! Well done, guys!! I think that was a wonderful thing to
say!! I don’t know if that’s on the
video I bought but I hope it is. I want
to see John and Graeme in their bathing suits!!! LOLOL!!
We won’t talk about who was *missing in action* from these events.
That night, at dinner, something very strange and
interesting happened to me. As Steve and
I were about to sit on one side of the buffet, Diana Phelps called to me and
told me that Krys Britton had said that we should sit with them on the other
side of the restaurant since it was much quieter over there. In truth, it really was! What a surprising difference. Anyway, as I sat down, a waiter came up
behind me and handed me a small shopping bag and said it was for *the
star*. I looked at him and asked *are
you sure this is for me*? And he said
yes, it was. So I opened the shopping
bag and inside of it was a jewelry box of some kind. Inside the box was a gold bracelet!! And a note……the note said that I was to meet
this person at our assigned place on Deck 9 ¾ at midnight that night and it was
signed John Lodge! Now if anyone has not
been following my countdowns, this will make no sense. But in my daily countdowns, I had spun a tale
of my Mystery Moody looking at a bracelet in Jamaica and everyone, of course,
thought my Mystery Moody was Justin Hayward.
Instead, I twisted the plot to make it John. And he had bought a bracelet in Jamaica to give
me in anticipation of a night of love and when that didn’t pan out, he said he
would give it to his wife instead. J So here I was with a note from supposedly JL
asking me to meet him in our special rendezvous place at midnight that
night. Of course, I knew it wasn’t from
*him*, but I wondered who was playing the joke on me. The bracelet even had a card with it from a
store in Jamaica!! Kudos to whoever
thought this up!! Anyway, I was having a
really good time with this when Esther Hurden told me that *she* had bought the
bracelet and that everyone at our dinner table was *in* on it!! Kinda took the fun out of it and I wished she
had let it string out a little longer.
Every girl loves a fantasy and this was mine……..at least for a short
Tonight was the *Summer of Love* prom night. Steve and I wore our *costumes* to
dinner. I had on a long blue denim
peasant dress and lots of Moody Blues pins and other appropriate jewelry. Steve wore a bright orange (I ordered blue
but it was one of those places that you take whatever the next color on the
assembly line is) dashiki shirt. There
was another guy there with the same shirt, except that his wife was luckier –
he got the blue shirt!! LOLOL!!! Again,
it was hilarious seeing all the different get-ups people wore. Boots seemed to be a big item that night and
every time some lady would walk by, inevitably people would sing *These boots
were made for walking and that’s just what they’ll do*, etc., etc., etc. I missed seeing some of the better outfits
and I hope they were caught on the video.
I heard pbaub’s was great (and now that I’ve seen the photos I can truly
agree)!!! Way to go, pbaub!!!! I LOVE IT!!! I really loved seeing some of the really
*mature* people dressed with flowers in their hair and really cute blouses and
jeans. Whoever thought of that idea
should be given credit -- it was a lot
of fun. Anyway, I’m jumping ahead of
myself again. At the appointed time, all
of our group took their assigned seats in the Teatro for the second Moody Blues
concert. Since I had booked early, I
lucked out and had a third row center seat and I felt great about that!! Again, The Moodies were spot on and really
rocked the place!! They are just such a
great band; it’s really such a shame
that every time I turn around they are looking for another way to dig into my
pockets for more money……… And I didn’t
hear anyone say that *any* of the major Moody Blues were present at the prom! Since they were such a big band in the 60’s,
it would have been great fun for them to have participated in this event, I
think, in full costume and for their families to have done likewise. Can you imagine Kiersten Lodge done up as
Janis Joplin (i.e. Esther Hurden?)
At this point, I have to go back and check the daily news
programs that were given out in the cabins each day so I will be able to give
you the rundown on what was happening and my thoughts on the events. So pardon me for a moment, while I get myself
a sandwich and a Diet Pepsi, and review the news papers…....
How much fun was that? Sometimes when you focus on something so much and let that desire dictate your actions, you trip over your own feet. Arlene, I am sure you will meet Justin some day and get that picture with him that you want. Sometimes things don't work out the way we want, in the end they work out better.
© 2017 Yuku. All rights reserved.