Sunday, January 1, 2012

Delbert McClinton's Sandy Beaches Cruise 16--Another Week In Paradise

Cruiser Log: 

Day 1--Set Sail From Tampa Florida, January 10, 2010
The weather is cold in Tampa, but the excitement is hot as cruisers look forward to another week in music and cruising paradise. The gangway is raised, we do the drill, and we are on our way.
Nick Connolly, Wayne Toups, Marcia Ball, Mingo Fishtrap, Big Joe, host Delbert McClinton, and the first night jam kick off the week-long music fest.

Day 2--Day at Sea
A day at sea is a day in music heaven for the Sandy Beach cruisers. Concerts, dancing, noshing,  imbibing, reveling make it a nonstop party. And of course mingling with your favorite artists and catching up with friends from cruises past. Everyone is so happy that Delbert provides this opportunity. (I overheard someone say that she is very grateful--that the cruises have changed her life because she has met so many lifelong friends over the years.)

On the schedule today: the singles mixer, Seth Walker, Teresa James, Cyril Neville, Nick Connolly, Clay McClinton, Tab Benoit, Raul Malo, Big Joe, Fred Eaglesmith, Jimmy Hall, the Songwriters panel, and of course, the jam session.

Day 3--Cozumel

I was excited about Day 3, because not only do I love the music, I love the sightseeing too, and I have wanted to go to Cozumel for a long time. The order of the day was to figure out how to get the most out of the day. Do we rent mopeds or a jeep? Consensus was a jeep, and five of us went tooling around the island. Of course, we took time out for margaritas and a little shopping too.

When they say the gangway is raised at 4:30, boy do they mean it. If you are late, too bad! Mingo Fishtrap provided the sailaway concert, and other performers that night included Nick Connolly, Raul Malo, Doyle & Debbie comedy show, Paul Thorn, Mike Farris, Foy Vance, and Marcia Ball, as well as a songwriter-o-rama and the nightly jam session.

Day 4--Costa Maya
Seemed like a hop, skip, and a jump to Costa Maya in Mexico. It was still a little cool to swim and rain threatened, so many of us stayed close to the pier where the ship was docked. Plenty of things to do there. Good food and great drinks. A market for shopping. What else do you need?

Dick 50 did the sailaway cruise that evening, and Nick Connolly did his nightly Ocean Bar gig. The lineup also included Wayne Toups, Fred Eaglesmith, Cyril Neville, Big Joe, Mingo Fishtrap, Songwriter's panel, and jam session.

Day 5--Mahogany Bay, Roatan, Honduras
The excitement of going to Honduras was tempered by learning more about the grim results of the earthquake that occurred in Haiti on Tuesday while we were in Cozumel.  Oddly enough, Haiti was really not that far from where we were.

Some cruisers ventured into Roatan, but others stayed on Mahogany Bay. The weather was warm enough to swim for the first time, so some of us jumped in,. There was a great bar by the beach and rumors have it that some were dancing on the bar!

Music that night included Tommy Castro for the Sailaway concert, Nick Connolly, Gary Nicholson, Clay McClinton, Jimmy Hall, Raul Malo, Teresa James, Songwriters panel, and jam session.

Day 6: Another Day at Sea
Sailing and music make a perfect combination. Concerts included Mingo Fishtrap, Pianorama, Wayne Toups, Delbert, Nick Connolly, Clay McClinton, Doyle & Debbie, Seth Walker, Paul Thorn, Whitey Johnson, Fred Eaglesmith, Cyril Neville, and of course the jam session.

In addition to our special music, cruisers also get to enjoy more standard cruising fare during the week, such as fitness classes, spa and health workshops, champagne art auctions, digital workshops, blackjack tournaments and casino, etc.

Day 7: Final Day at Sea
Day 7 is always bittersweet. Everyone enjoys another day at sea, relaxing and listening to music, but it also signals the end of the cruise. Oh no! I want a couple more days.

Music on the last day included Mike Farris, Tab Benoit, Teresa James, Nick Connolly, Jimmy Hall, and Marcia Ball, and our grand master, Delbert.

Usually on the last night, you see more of the ship's personnel out and enjoying the concerts too. I think they are sorry to see it end as well. See you next year!

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