Loading...

Cruise Experience

Since 2004, The Smooth Jazz Cruise has been the gold standard, not only for jazz cruises, but for all theme and music charter cruises. During its 30+ sailings, more than 60,000 guests have experienced this amazing music cruise vacation and more than 14,000 of those have sailed 4 or more times. 

The cruise, which has earned the title of "The Greatest Party at Sea," provides guests with a week away from the issues of the day, transporting everyone to a place of true camaraderie, inclusion, and respect. The guests motivate the artists and musicians, who, in turn, up their game to further excite the guests. This upward spiral continues for 7 days and 7 nights, resulting in a totally immersive music and cultural experience that has created life-changing relationships among guests, artists and staff. 

Unrivaled Music Experience

There is more great music on The Smooth Jazz Cruise than any other event of its kind in the world. The expert presentation and production of the music is the most important programming feature and there are more of the top stars in this genre on the ship than can be found on any cruise or at any festival.  

Two music hosts, Marcus Miller and Boney James, command the respect of all guests, along with our ‘23 headliners, Michael McDonaldBrian Culbertson, Jonathan ButlerCandy Dulfer, Music Director Eric Marienthal … and the talent doesn’t stop there. The hosts and headliners are joined by amazing special guests, featured performers, three incredible bands and the amazing talents of DW3, topped off with the funniest man on the planet, our comic/host Alonzo Bodden

Great Venues, Production & Programming

Hands down, no one produces and programs a cruise like The Smooth Jazz Cruise. Our team of creative experts is simply unmatched in their ability to develop and present cool and exciting programs, shows, events, parties and just plain fun. Here is a partial list of the exciting programs you will experience on The Smooth Jazz Cruise:

Nightly Main Shows • Festival-Style Lounge Shows • All Star Shows with unique configurations • Late Nightclub for Dancing/Chilling • Cocktail Hour Performances • All Ship Pool Shows • Annual T-Shirt Party • Theme Parties • Pool Events featuring Performers • Autograph Sessions • Artist Hosted Excursions • Artist Interactive Activities • Q&A’s with Artists • Music Seminars • One-of-a-Kind Culinary Events • Hilarious Gameshows • Show Us Your Talent Competition judged by Artists • Annual BBQ Under The Stars 

Daytime Entertainment

On most cruises, a day at sea is a time for a good book and a nap. You may do that on The Smooth Jazz Cruise, but you would be missing special interviews, Artist-Hosted Events, pool parties, lunch events, and, of course, great music. Daytime music shows may be presented in any of the music venues (Celebrity Theatre, Rendezvous Lounge or Sky Lounge). Special shows may also be seen and heard on the pool deck or in The Metropolitan Restaurant, the main dining room of the ship. Daytime music shows are presented on a first-come, first-served basis.

Nightly Main Shows

Each night we present a 1st and a 2nd main show in the Celebrity Theatre. At the time of their reservation, Guests select their show time, which mandates their dinner time. Guests who see the 1st Show (starting around 5:30PM), enjoy dinner after the show. The other half of the guests dine first and then attend the 2nd Show (starting around 7:30PM). Your selection is reflected in the color of your Cruise Identification Card (BLUE - 1st Show or RED - 2nd Show). Main Shows are performed twice, sometimes on the same night, sometimes on alternate days, allowing for each guest to enjoy each different show.

Cruising After Dark

The Smooth Jazz Cruise is renowned for providing guests with special late-night entertainment called “Cruising After Dark.” Starting around 10:30PM, throughout the entire ship, there will be more music, parties, autograph sessions, comedy, dancing and much more. Besides concerts in the Celebrity Theatre and Sky Lounge, The Metropolitan Restaurant becomes a lovely late-night, cabaret-style venue.  The Rendezvous Lounge will become our “party” spot rekindling the spirit of the “Crow's Nest”, the (in)famous late-night venue on our previous ships that featured dancing, drinking and revelry until the wee hours of the morning.

"Learn" Events

Though music is the main event on the ship, The Smooth Jazz Cruise offers a series of “Learn” events, which include one-on-one musician interviews, panel discussions, instrument seminars and tutorials, and presentations of special topics for our music lovers. “Learn” events may also include cooking demonstrations, wine or whiskey tastings, and more. There's always something for everyone.

"Enjoy" Events

Sometimes, The Smooth Jazz Cruise presents events just to have fun. We try not to share too much of this information now as it undermines the surprise element, but here are three types of events we produce just for the sheer enjoyment of doing so.

Games

Some of the runaway hits of past cruises are Ping-Pong and Basketball competitions, like Brian Culbertson and Boney James competing against each other and guests at Ping-Pong on the pool deck. It's entertaining, fun and an experience you can only have on The Smooth Jazz Cruise. Brian and Boney are gearing up for rematches right now!

Cocktail, Wine, Food Events

No cool jazz program would be complete without cocktails, wine and food. The Smooth Jazz Cruise takes that to another level by pairing these events with performers who serve as hosts. It may be a Happy Hour Hang or a fine dining experience, but you can be there with your favorite performer.

The Comedy of Alonzo Bodden

Alonzo Bodden, winner of Last Comic Standing and Jazz Cruises' Comedian-in-Chief, will perform his hilarious show for an additional two nights of "Cruising After Dark." Famous for delivering funny and pointed comments about current events and taking performers to task, some of the best people-watching is found during an Alonzo Bodden show.

Forming a Union where GREAT MUSIC is the ONLY RULE

Blue Note at Sea was created by Great Music lovers for Great Music lovers. In 2016, Blue Note Jazz Clubs, Blue Note Records and Jazz Cruises joined forces to create a cruise program that was unlike any other music cruise. Most music cruises present a deep dive into a particular genre, but not every performer fits neatly into a niche. 

Just as these three iconic presenters have done independently for decades, they came together to present Great Music of all kinds in an innovative way to the world’s most discerning and passionate music fans. Yes, jazz is a prevalent component, but Blue Note at Sea performers, and the wall-to-wall music experience presented aboard a luxury ship, operate outside of standard industry classifications. They are truly the “Blue Note” of their craft.

Blue Note Jazz Clubs bring great skill and knowledge as a talent provider and presenter. Its leader, Steven Bensusan, is known by musicians, agents, and managers throughout the world, mirroring the expanse of his clubs.

Blue Note Records may be the most heralded jazz label in the world. Its list of musicians includes legends of the past and stars of the present. Under the watchful eye of Don Was, the label has risen once again to prominence and influence.

Jazz Cruises has been producing music programs longer and in greater number than any charter company in the world. Though it dominates the jazz cruise genre, it has also produced cruises that feature rock, country, gospel, and pop music.

IMAGE HERE

Past Sailings of Blue Note at Sea

Blue Note at Sea has sailed in 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020. Each cruise was a sellout featuring some of the GREAT NAMES in the world of GREAT MUSIC. Here is a partial list of those who have performed on Blue Note at Sea:

Marcus Miller / Robert Glasper / Wynton Marsalis / Pat Metheny / Kamasi Washington / Chick Corea  / Gregory Porter / Dianne Reeves / Melody Gardot / David Sanborn / Joshua Redman / Lalah Hathaway / Chucho Valdes / Terence Blanchard / Dee Dee Bridgewater / Kurt Elling

Due to scheduling issues caused by the pandemic, Blue Note at Sea did not sail in ’21 and will not sail in ’22. ’23 will be its big return to the high seas.

Show Style Presentation

Blue Note at Sea presents your GREAT MUSIC in several ways during the weeklong cruises, combining the very best aspects of a music festival, theater concerts and intimate jazz club shows amidst the comforts of a luxury cruise ship. At all times, the sound, lighting, and production elements are top notch. The Blue Note at Sea ’23 Production Team is led by Brian Rachko, who has been a part of Jazz Cruises’ programs for nearly 15 years. No sense in presenting GREAT MUSIC without providing the very best way to enjoy it.

Daytime Shows 

Daytime music shows may be presented in any of the music venues (Celebrity Theater, Rendezvous Lounge or Sky Lounge). Special shows may also be seen and heard on the pool deck or in The Cosmopolitan Restaurant, the main dining room of the ship, which converts brilliantly into a cabaret-style music venue. Except in rare occasions, all Daytime Shows are presented on a first-come, first-served basis.

Nightly Main Shows

Each night there is a main show held in the Celebrity Theater. The show is presented twice so that every guest is able to attend. Guests who see the 1st Show enjoy dinner after the show. The other half of the guests dine first and then attend the 2nd Show. Your Main Show Schedule is determined when you complete your Reservation and will be reflected in the color of your Cruise Identification Card. Half the guests will have a BLUE card and half will have a RED Card. Your card provides your entry to the show. Once inside the Celebrity Theater, your seating will either be assigned or would be open for you to choose.

Cruising After Dark

For nearly 22 years, Jazz Cruises has been providing its guests with a special late-night array of entertainment that it calls “Cruising After Dark.” Starting around 10:30 pm or so each night, after everyone has had dinner and seen the Main Show, the entire ship opens to guests. There will be music shows, parties, autograph sessions, comedy, dancing and much more. Once The Cosmopolitan Restaurant is cleared from dinner, that room becomes a lovely late-night, cabaret-style music venue. Particularly exciting on Blue Note at Sea are the late-night jam sessions led by Robert Glasper. Most start around midnight and end when Robert says that they end! When we talk about music events on the ship that do not occur on land, the late-night jams are at the top of the list.

IMAGES HERE

“Learn” Events

Another cruise specialty is our series of “Learn” events, which include one-on-one musician interviews, panel discussions, instrument seminars and tutorials, and presentations of special topics for our music lovers. Though music is the main event on the ship, “Learn” events may also include cooking demonstrations, wine or whiskey tastings, and more. Always something for everyone.

“Enjoy” Events

Sometimes we present events on the cruise just to have fun. We are skeptical of sharing too much of this now as it undermines the surprise element, but here are three types of events we produce just for the sheer enjoyment of doing so.

Game Shows

One of the runaway hits of past cruises are Family Feud-type game shows pitting Robert Glasper and his band against Marcus Miller and his band. It was hilarious and the teams are gearing up for a rematch.

Cocktail, Wine, Food Events

No cool jazz program would be complete with cocktails, wine and food. Blue Note at Sea takes that to another level by pairing these events with performers who serve as hosts. It may be a Happy Hour Hang or a fine dining experience, but you can be there with your favorite performer.

The Comedy of Alonzo Bodden

Alonzo Bodden, winner of Season 3 of Last Comic Standing, and the Comedian-in-Chief of Jazz Cruises, will perform his hilarious show for an additional two nights of Cruising After Dark in the Main Lounge. Besides Alonzo’s humorous and pointed comments and observations about today’s events and the various humorous ways of the public, Alonzo is always able to comment (a polite word for roast) upon the ups and downs of the cruise itself. Famous for taking the performers to task, some of the very best people-watching can be found during an Alonzo Bodden comedy show.

IMAGES HERE

Cookies help us deliver our services. By using our services, you agree to our use of cookies. More Information